Pearls May Become My Go To Chinese Dumpling Place


Last time I wrote about Joe’s Shanghai, fellow Lunch’er Harry recommended I check Pearls (7th btw. 48+49th) out. I’m always skeptical about restaurants in and near Times Square. But I should have an open mind right? So I took a friend along so that we could try it out.

Situated next to the now closed Teriyaki Boy, Pearls is quite tiny and narrow. The small dining room is on the 2nd floor  and the menu features standard Chinese dishes (chicken and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, sesame chicken, scallion pancakes, egg drop soup…and etc). My friend was excited about pork dumplings so we got an order of that and I was craving for something spicy so I got the wontons with chili oil. We also got the chicken and broccoli and pepper steak lunch specials.

Pork dumplings

I was surprised by the pork dumplings(8 for $4.75). I was expecting them to look more like the usual thick skin dumplings one would find at those $1 (or $1.25 depending on where you go) for 5 dumplings in Chinatown. Well these looked more like dumplings my mom would make at home. (Aka they were great!) The pork filling was flavorful and only required a light dip in the soy sauce. If you prefer dumplings with more meat than skin then these are for you!

Wonton in spicy peanut sauce

Another dish that I was surprised by was the wontons in chili oil, listed as Szechuan Wonton hot and spicy with chili vinagrette on the menu (12 for $4.75). It didn’t say that besides chili oil the wontons would also be swimming in a delicious peanut sauce! Wow! I could order just this dish and eat it with a bowl of rice.

Pepper steak

The 1st thing I did when my pepper steak dish($5.95) came was to scoop some of the spicy peanut sauce from the wontons onto my rice. It was great. The bell peppers and beef were pretty good. The beef was tender while the bell peppers were slightly undercooked.

Chicken and broccoli

My friend enjoyed her chicken and broccoli($5.75) and said the broccoli was cooked perfectly (tender yet still had the snap to them).

My friend and I may have found our to go Chinese lunch spot. They may offer typical Americanized Chinese food but most of the items on their lunch specials were around $6 (hard to beat that). And 2 of the dumpling dishes we tried were excellent (I was drooling about the wontons in spicy peanut sauce on my way home).

The + (What somebody who likes this would say)

  • Can’t really beat $6 lunch specials.
  • I like my dumplings with thin skin.
  • Anything bathed in spicy peanut sauce is awesome.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The space is a little too cramped.
  • I like thicker skin dumplings.
  • I hate anything near and around Times Square.

Pearls, 732 7th Ave btw. 48+49th 212-582-7380


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    that’s my go-to chinese lunch place as well! it’s super cheap and pretty good. and the portion size is perfect for lunch.

  • Those wontons in spicy peanut sauce look fantastic. I’ll definitely be trying them soon.

  • I’m glad this place was finally noticed. It is terrific. I highly recommend the Braised Beef Noodle Soup. It’s perfectly spicy and delicious. On most days the meat is tender.

    The soup is like a cleanse. Glad you enjoyed.

  • Just had lunch here. I liked the dumplings but the peanut sauce was overkill.

  • this place USED to be my go to spot. until i called for delivery one day and asked if they can make my chicken and broccoli with no MSG, and they flat out said NO. most chinese take out places are accomodating to this, so i stopped ordering from here since then. now my go to spot is MEE noodle.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I happen to find myself on 7th avenue looking for chinese food last night. was not overwhelmed , peanut sauce was overkill and not spicy. Prob will not be back – was excited about a new Chinese place but this was not it.

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