The Cougar Reviews: The Flying Dumpling
July 31, 2019
The Flying Dumpling on Monday had its soft opening and serves dumplings, egg rolls and chicken wings. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar
The Flying Dumpling, the eatery which replaced the former Fat Bao restaurant near campus, on Monday had its soft opening.
The restaurant for now is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. It serves a variety of different dumplings, egg rolls and chicken wings.
The Cougar editors visited the new restaurant and gave their thoughts on the eatery:
I will preface this by saying that I was Fat Bao’s number one supporter, and I still love Fat Bao. The Flying Dumpling was good. I got the pork dumplings, eggrolls and tried the chicken. They do not have many options, but it was also the soft opening. I don’t know if they’ll change it, but right now you can only get one flavor of fried chicken and two flavors of dumplings. I got the dumplings steamed, but I should have gotten pan fried. They were still good. The egg rolls were also good, but it’s hard to make egg rolls bad. The chicken was not my favorite. I do wish it had more flavor or sauce or something. All in all, everything was good, but I was not over the top impressed by anything. The prices were fair, and I’d go there again. I’d give it a solid 7/10.
I ordered the six piece boneless wings and steamed dumplings. The service was quite fast as five people ordered in front of me. The wings were more similar to sesame chicken than they were traditional wings. However, at just $6.49 for six above average sized wings, my appetite was satisfied before I got to the dumplings. The steamed pork dumplings were satisfactory, mostly because it lacked any dominant flavor. I give The Flying Dumpling a score of 5/10.
I had ordered the dumpling six piece and had it pan-fried style, as you would for traditional Asian dumplings that I had growing up. In comparison to authentic Asian cuisine, I would give the flavor and texture a 7/10. The texture of the pan-fried dumplings was average. The bottom of the dumpling was crispy, however, the texture of the meat filling was juicy and quite similar to the soup dumplings, also known as Xiaolongbao.
The prices are very reasonable, and if you’re hungry, it’s much cheaper to get your fill here than Fat Bao. The quality is fairly good! I really enjoyed my boneless wings; the kitchen seems to have stolen their wing sauce from a sesame chicken recipe, which works to distinguish it. I’d like to try the traditional bone-in wings next. The bao there is far more traditional than the Fat Bao kind, looking more like a sphere of dough than a small sandwich. It was a bit doughy for me, but still tasted fine, and for less than $3 I can’t complain. I also got to sample the dumplings, both the steamed and the fried, and as usual, the fried dumplings were far superior — crunchy and juicy. I’d rate the place between a 7.5/10 with hope that the rating will increase as the restaurant settles in.
I never had Fat Bao. As a result, I can review The Flying Dumpling as a restaurant in it’s own standing without comparing it to Fat Bao. I ordered the steamed pork dumplings. Although they were a tad doughy and more comparable to a wonton, the flavor of the meat and dough together was good. It was not quite underwhelming, but not boring, and still provided enough flavor to push through. The dumpling had a juicy, tasteful flavor with the pork seasoned well. I have heard from my colleagues that the pan-fried dumplings were better and closer to traditional. The most admirable and attractive trait of the restaurant, however, is the pricing. I managed to swipe six dumplings for $7, a great deal considering the good size and density of the dumplings, which filled me up more than I thought. Ultimately, you get what you pay for, making this a great place for a cheap, filling lunch. I give The Flying Dumpling a 7.5/10, with hopes that it will grow in the future, and recommend it to anyone looking for something filling, of decent flavors, and low on the dollar.
First things first, The Flying Dumpling was a solid 8/10. I ordered a vegetable baozi and a pork baozi, and it was actually a lot better than I expected. I also did not expect for the vegetable baozi to be so much better than the pork. My only complaint with the pork was that there was so little of it. Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but adding a little bit more probably would have bumped it up at least a half point. As for the vegetable, it was great. Unlike the pork, I got a little bit of it in each bite. While I miss Fat Bao dearly, The Flying Dumpling is a good replacement.