Mimi Cheng's is an adorable dumpling store in the East Village. It was started by two sisters after searching NYC for delicious food like their mom would make. Nothing matched their mom's, whose nickname is Mimi, so they decided that they would do it themselves.
Hannah, one of the sisters, reached out to me after we were both profiled on a website and she realized I was a Georgetown graduate as well. She invited me and Garrett to take a dumpling wrapping class and I have to say, it was arguably one of the most fun activities I've done in NYC.
There's so much I love about Mimi Cheng's having visited, tasted the dumplings, and met the team. The restaurant itself is warm and inviting with a fun, cheeky aesthetic. We were there on a cold, winter Monday night, well after the sun had gone down, but we might as well have been somewhere warm and sunny! The girls are just as inviting as the store; they're young and full of optimism. This is their first restaurant and it only shows in their bright eyed enthusiasm. It's their baby and namesake for their mom. Oh, and the dumplings? Downright amazing.
Mimi Cheng's is closed on Mondays, so they offer the class at night. We had the whole seating area and kitchen to ourselves. An amazing playlist, new friends, and the best lemonade I've ever tasted.
We started the class by learning about the ingredients. (This recipe is pretty close to the one they used.)
Once everything was mixed together, it was time to learn how to wrap the little dumplings.
A dallopp in the middle of a pre-made wrapper. We learned two different wrapping techniques. A moon shaped dumpling (just like this one) and then a triangular shaped one.
I was not that great at it. The store manager said she can do an entire tray in seven minutes. Pretty sure I could do one in seven minutes.
After each of us had wrapped a tray full, we put some in the freezer to save to bring home and fried the rest of them. Garrett was a pro. You sit the little dumplings down in oil on the pan and cover with a lid, adding water occasionally to help steam them. The wrappers turn translucent and you will start to see the juices inside bubbling.
This is how the bottoms should look. This is actually doable at home! Garrett cooked our frozen leftovers yesterday on the stove in the apartment and we ate them– all of them– for lunch. Just as delicious.
I can't even begin to tell you how good these dumplings are. I want to go back to the restaurant and try the ones made by the professionals. Every month they have a new special; this month's is a chicken parm dumpling. Don't be surprised if you go there for lunch sometime soon and see me sitting in the corner devouring some.
What makes the dumplings even better? Mimi's Secret Sauce. The recipe? Don't know. I asked, but they wouldn't budge. Worth a visit to the store just to get a taste of it!
The group of us had no problem polishing off two huge plates of dumplings by the end of the night! If you're in NYC, whether you live here or you're just visiting, you should definitely visit to at least eat the dumplings... and take class if you can!
Mimi Cheng's | 179 Second Ave