If dumplings drive you to deliriums of delight, make friends with Jen – a Chinatown café where the pillowy parcels reign supreme.
This green-painted café occupies a prominent Chinatown corner site where you can often watch the cooks sitting in front of the windows wrapping the hand-made dumplings. The cheapest dish is the northern Chinese snack of jiao zi, on this menu called ‘Beijing dumplings’, costing a mere fiver: eight white sachets like overfilled ravioli, in either a pork or vegetarian version. The same dumplings fried are guo tie, ‘fried dumplings’, at £6; also called ‘pot stickers’ in American English, these are closely related to Japanese gyoza. The wonton soup is yet another variation on this, and is worth the £6 for the intensely savoury stock.
There are plenty of other dishes served at this simple, no-frills café, from buttered toast through barbecued pork to Hong Kong-style tea and Taiwanese-style bubble teas, but it’s the freshly-made dumplings that keep us coming back.