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.
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!
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.
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.
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