DiDi does dumplings differently
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011 19:04
DiDi Dumpling, a bar-table eatery on 24th St. and Lexington Ave., is the newest hot spot for lunch for Baruch students. DiDi Dumpling is set on catering its customers with "healthy, less greasy, southern style dumplings," said Jack Tsai, co-partner and manager. The restaurant is sticking to its word.
The eatery opened just two months ago and Tsai actually started as a street vendor preparing the same cuisine. He decided to move forward and open up a store because of all the positive feedback the street food received, which he accredits to grandmother.
"The recipes are the same, my grandma created all of the recipes we use; she taught me every step to preparing dumplings as a kid," Tsai said.
DiDi Dumpling is primarily known for the delicious fried or soup dumplings at five for $3.95. However, that is not all the restaurant has to offer. DiDi's pot stickers are as fresh as the dumplings and longer than your average pot sticker. All of the ingredients used are fresh and you can see the food being prepared as soon as you order it through a glass wall. You have a choice of pork, chicken, beef or vegetable dumplings and pot stickers when you order. The shop also offers lo mein, vegetable tempura and a variety of soups. The best deal to indulge in is the lunch special for only $5.88, which includes selected five piece pot stickers and veggie noodles.
The interior has a transparent design. One can look in from outside and see even the chef cooking. Patrons will also notice cylindrical red lanterns that hang from the ceiling onto the bar-table, giving the place a modern appeal. While there's a minimal amount of room, the sleek design makes the place appear more spacious than it really is and the contemporary soft music adds to the ambience.
The menu is displayed both on a flat screen slideshow and on lit boards atop the counter. Making your order is a cinch as the restaurant's employees are nice and attentive, but you might have to wait a little while since the food is prepared as you order it.
Fresh as it is, Tsai recommends that costumers stay and eat the food in the establishment. "After five minutes, food loses its flavor as opposed to eating it fresh, in here," he said. However, the capacity of the place during lunchtime does not allot customers that luxury.
Management is aware of this, and Tsai is very receptive to feedback in order to make the business more efficient.
"We want to start steaming dumplings to not only improve the time it takes to make our dumplings but, provide better quality dumplings," Tsai said.
The restaurant even has a bell to measure customer satisfaction; a sign reads, "If you were ‘satisfied,' please ring the bell; otherwise let us know." Tsai said that the "bell rings at least fifty times a day."
Whether the wait frustrates you or not, DiDi Dumpling offers healthy, natural and fresh cuisine fit for a student budget.