At the newly opened Dumplings & Things on Fifth Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets, you shouldn’t let the dumplings distract you from ordering the restaurant’s real pièce de résistance: the sesame noodles with peanut sauce.
Don’t get me wrong, the dumplings – in five varieties, pan-fried or steamed – are surely quite tasty. But the sesame noodles are not only transcendent; at just $3 for a heaping plate of noodles, they’re a steal. In my broke college days, I would have welcomed replacing my thrifty bagel with butter lunch combo with the sesame noodles from Dumplings & Things.
In this dish, a meal-sized portion of soba noodles gets tossed, cold, with carrots, chopped cucumber, cilantro and sesame seeds. Then, the whole plated gets doused in a good-sized helping of peanut sauce.
It’s a dish that’s heavy on umami and has great texture – the cucumbers crunching in your mouth adds a great lightness and brightness to it. Served cold, I imagine it would be the perfect light lunch for one of these hot, sticky summer days we’re due for any day now.
Of course, if you must have dumplings, they’re a pretty good bargain, too – as is pretty much everything else on the menu, with the most expensive items weighing in at $5 (and pretty much everything is delicious, with the exception of the weirdly sweet garlic-cucumber salad).
But if you really want the most bang for your buck, don’t miss out on the sesame noodles.