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Asian-Fusion Cuisine at Tasty Dumpling is a Delight

A CUSTOMER ORDERS inside the spotless and relentlessly cleaned Tasty Dumpling restaurant, located in Falls Plaza Shopping Center. (Photo: Patricia Leslie)

Sandwiched between retailers in the Falls Plaza Shopping Center is a little takeout spot Tasty Dumpling.

It’s not a dessert café (as it sounded to me from its name) but a Chinese, Asian, and Asian-Fusion restaurant where customers can get delicious pork, shrimp, beef and chicken one-dish meals.

From a customer’s perspective, the place was ultra-spotless, that we clean freaks — which, let’s face it, most of us are these days — are keen to note when visiting any retailer but especially eating establishments.

Tasty’s best-seller is the pan fried bao ($14.50), according to Jason Zhu, one of the restaurant partners and the chef. The dish comes with beef, noodles, ginger and onions and, once tasted, becomes easy to understand why it’s ranked number one. The pieces were crunchy and juicy mixed together inside a little warm bun, with subtle flavor. I generally try to steer clear of beef but found no evidence of any overt flavors in the dish. Soy sauce comes on the side.

When ordering at most restaurants, I plead with the wait staffs, “Please, no spicy,” and “No spicy” is what they promise, but SPICY is what they bring!

These places need some lessons from Zhu, who promised me “No spicy” and that’s just what I got.

Although I liked the bao lots, all those calories from the little buns made me wince, notably when combined with the mango smoothie ($4) I could not resist.

Whoa!

I was exceeding my daily intake allowance (which I may or may not surpass a bit more than I should anyway), but since this was my first Tasty visit, I excused myself and ordered on.

I ordered the dumplings steamed instead of fried.

It was a tough decision to choose between the shrimp and chicken but I finally decided on the basil chicken ($14.50) with carrots, cabbage, green onions and ginger, the latter, not a favorite of mine but Zhu assured me the ginger was not overpowering, and he was right.

SOME OF THE OFFERINGS at Tasty Dumpling include (clockwise, starting at top): pan fried bao — the restaurant’s most popular dish — edamame and basil chicken dumplings (Photos: Patricia Leslie)

The tastes blended marvelously and I loved every bite I could eat.

Then it became a bit too much for one meal and I took home the leftovers in welcome containers of recycled materials.

Even on the cold wintry day I ordered the mango smoothie which exceeded my taste buds’ receptors where the fresh, spirited drink landed. It was the best mango smoothie I’ve ever slurped and made me happy, just seeing the bright color. It was sunshine in a cup. Just writing about it now makes my taste buds long for Tasty’s mango which Linda Lang, another partner, said was made with fresh mango and ice. (Calories? No sugar, no worries!)

Also on the menu are vegetable dumplings (including kimchi, kale and “spicy” tofu), pork dumplings and beef dumplings, each at $14.50, Lang said. Tasty may add rice later.

Due to Covid-19, salads are off the menu now, but the edamame I ordered ($3) was an excellent substitute and reminded me of shelling and eating raw peanuts (which is a good way to get children to eat their “greens,” if your children are anything like mine were. A mom has to have her “tricks!”).

The food was all made to order, fresh on the spot, which took about 15 minutes and well worth the wait.

For Covid-19 reasons, indoor dining is prohibited.

Chairs and tables are pushed to the sides and stacked, but weather-hardy customers can find seating under colorful umbrellas right outside.

It’s tempting to call the restaurant Tasty Dumplings, plural, but the name is just one Dumpling, please (although the orders of dumplings come with 12 pieces each, except the pan fried bao which is eight).

Since its opening about a year ago, six out of 10 Yelp reviewers give Tasty four stars or higher.

The next time I go, it’s all about tasty and taste and to heck with watching calories. I’ll try the shrimp dumplings, please, fried, with a side of mango smoothie.

Order contact-free 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) seven days a week from one of the online delivery services, which charge a bit more than ordering direct from the restaurant and picking up.