When the New York Times told me that there were spinach dumplings in Flushing, I knew I had to go there. Unlike pork dumplings, spinach dumplings seem hard to find. Lin's Dumpling House used to make one, but since the restaurant closed a few years ago I hadn't been able to find a vegetable dumpling I liked as much as theirs.
Available on the breakfast menu (served until 3 p.m.) at No. 1 East Restaurant, the plump spinach dumplings were stuffed with finely chopped spinach in such a way that resulted in a moist, fluffy texture. No pockets of air here, just lots of spinach goodness held within a thin, slightly chewy, homemade dumpling skin. Compared to my other favorite kind of dumpling—fried pork dumplings—theses seemed downright light and healthy.
In addition to the spinach dumplings, No. 1 East Restaurant also had another of my favorite dishes that I hadn't eaten in years: chive box.
Also known as leek box, but listed on the menu as "fried buns with chives & eggs," chive box is like a fried, flattened empanada packed with finely chopped, faintly sweet chives, bean noodles, and tiny bits of scrambled egg. The surrounding layer of crunchy dough was thicker than what I've had in the past, but that didn't make it taste any less good.
My meal of spinach dumplings and chive-filled "buns" was one of my favorites, partially because it made me feel nostalgic, but mostly because it tasted good. Do I mind trekking to Flushing just to fulfill my spinach dumpling craving? Not really. But if anybody has a suggestion in Manhattan, I'm all ears.
No. 1 East Restaurant
41-27 Main Street, Flushing NY 11369 (near 41st Road; map)