In honor of the recent National Dumpling Day, I started researching places for the best dumplings in town. At first, the idea was just for a list, not identifying which was the top place.And then I discovered Tanuki on Alton Road. OMG, hands down the very best dim sum in the Magic City. So here’s the scoop on Tanuki and a list of other good bets and variety — from Wagyu beef and chive and crab meat, to crispy chicken, mushroom and potato, shrimp, and edamame. Note that places where I’ve tried the dumplings are highlighted in blue; the others are recommendations from foodies in town with special credentials on Chinese food. Get ready to drool!
Dish: Tough choice — tom yum shrimp moneybag, chicken truffle siu mai, seafood dumpling and mushroom & potato
Description: The dumplings are super flavorful, fresh, perfect texture, and attractive presentation. There’s a dumpling sampler, 10 pieces, 5 different dumplings for $35 that comes with three different sauces. While you’re there, you may want to try the Tanuki burger — tuna with avocado, jalapeno and shiso on a rice cake bun and the to die for ribs. Actually, the entire menu is very appealing, lots of dishes I wanted to try like Peking duck and the duck ramen. Attractive, fun, casual decor as well.
Dish: Black pepper duck and Pumpkin, chive and crab meat
Description: The most attractive ambiance in town for dumplings — it’s reminiscent of a luxe Chinese opium den with a happening bar as well . A Miami classic, It still ranks up there for quality, variety and the combination of setting and food.
Restaurant: Jaya at The Setai
Dish: Har Gu
Description: Count on The Setai for solid Asian cooking, luxe surroundings, and a noise level conducive to conversation. The dumpling is filled with fresh steamed shrimp and is served in a bamboo steamer basket. Before dinner, have a drink in the elegant garden courtyard that will make the occasion feel like Chinese New Year.
Dish: Wagyu Beef Dumplings with citrus ponzu; Kurobuta Pork Dumplings with pineapple nam prik and scallion oil; Prawn Dumplings with szechuan oil, garlic and black bean; Salt Cod Dumplings with blood orange; Vegetable Dumplings with zucchini, squash, corn and chinese shiitake.
Description: With options for every type of eater, Komodo offers these assorted dumplings for dinner daily. The celeb hotspot also features The Salt Cod Dumplings during Komodo’s Lucky 9 Happy Hour and Miami Spice Dinner. The stylish Asian inspired ambiance will make you think you’re in Southeast Asia.
Dish: Edamame Dumpling
Description: Made with sake, scallion and truffle, this delicate dumpling dish of four is perfection. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson brought his modern Japanese fare to Diplomat Beach Resort with Monkitail.
Restaurant: Dumpling King
Description: This is where local Chinese go for a no frills atmosphere and good, cheap dumplings. When you go there, in the same strip mall is an Oriental supermarket that has all of the specialty foods you can think of for DIY Asian cooking including super fresh baby bok choy and roast duck on the weekends.
Dish: Crispy Chicken Dumplings
Description: A new menu item at Chef Makoto Okuwa’s eponymous Bal Harbour restaurant, Crispy Chicken Dumplings are served over a sesame mustard miso with scallions. While you’re there, enjoy the people watching, the ladies who lunch Miami style.
Dish: Shrimp and Wagyu Siu Mais
Description: Count on DOA for always doing everything well. I’ve been there six times (unusual for me) and it has consistently been very good. The place itself is casually elegant, and good for conversation. Plus, fun bar.