The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Fans of the Shanghai phenomenon known as the soup dumpling can rejoice in the opening of Red Tiger Dumpling House in Stony Brook. Long Islanders haven't seen this delicacy since the last dumpling house left the island a couple of years ago.
The modest-looking little place, in a freestanding building at the edge of a strip mall, offers authenticity at bargain prices. Yes, there’s table service, but don’t expect fancy dinnerware. Instead, you’ll find a mix of compartmentalized plastic trays, Styrofoam plates and proper bowls. What matters more, though, is the fine selection of dumplings, along with a panoply of Chinese dishes, most from Shanghai, Beijing and points North.
At midday, recently, I tried the crab meat and pork soup dumplings ($6.95) served in a bamboo steamer. Here’s the drill: put some of the accompanying vinegar-soy-ginger sauce on a spoon, place the dumpling on top, gingerly bite off its top and slurp up the hot soup inside. Then, devour the rest. It all adds up to a savory, heady experience. Steamed crystal shrimp dumplings ($5.95), one of the few Cantonese items featured, were appealingly light and delicate.
Also on the menu: pork and vegetable dumplings ($5.95), beef stew noodle soup ($6.50), cumin beef ($11.95) and, a vegetarian choice, shredded potato with hot pepper ($8.95).
The restaurant, convenient to Stony Brook University, should attract a large local following. And, since the 2011 closing of Shanghai Pavilion in Port Washington bereft Long Island of worthy soup dumplings, the little place may draw dumpling lovers from afar.
Red Tiger Dumpling House is at 1320 Stony Brook Rd., Stony Brook, 631-675-6899.