What is it about your mom’s cooking that makes it so special? And how many of you wish that you could cook just like her?
The Cheng sisters were on a quest to find authentic, Taiwanese-Chinese food, just like their mom made, but they realized that the only solution was to make it themselves. Their mom used to pack coolers of fresh, hand-wrapped dumplings for them when they were in college and then continued to stock their fridge with her homemade dumplings when they moved to Manhattan. Now, they’re sharing their mom’s dumplings with all of New York City.
The food at Mimi’s is organic and sustainable. They’ve partnered with Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats in Brooklyn and Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, all of the animals they use have never been given antibiotics or hormones, AND their chickens are 100% free roaming in pastures. Obviously, this is not going to be like the fast food, 4 dumplings for $1.50 kind of place (and you’ll see that reflected in the prices).
Speaking of differences…the dumpling options here might not be what you’re used to, as in a mysterious mush of ground meat and who knows what else. There’s the Mimi Cheng–the recipe Mimi is known for–with chicken and zucchini. There’s the Reinvented Classic with pork, baby bok choy, and cabbage. And lastly, there’s the Mighty Veggie with kale, zucchini, egg, and shiitake mushroom. They all have a base in traditional dumpling ingredients and Asian flavors but are slightly more geared toward fresh, natural, healthy ingredients. Besides these, they have sides like kale fried rice, dessert dumplings, and a special dumpling option that changes (when I went, it was one with shrimp and lobster).
You can get either 6 or 8 dumplings and have them pan-fried or boiled. I went with 8, pan-fried, half chicken and half pork. Yes, they let you get half and half! That’s a plus. Another plus? They actually shape the dumplings differently so you can differentiate between the two. Now that’s forward thinking. And don’t forget to try your dumplings with Mimi’s special sauce that’s available at the tables in squeeze bottles.
What I really love about Mimi’s is the vibe of the space itself. It’s not a big space, but the handwritten chalk menu, light wood communal table, bright yellow stools, flowers and little plant boxes on the table and counters, and beachy, colorful, mismatched framed pictures on the wall…it all adds up to create a quaint, feminine space that has such a comforting quality to it. A+ on making such a small area feel so bright and inviting. I’m sure mom is proud.
8 pan-fried dumplings, half The Mimi Cheng and half The Reinvented Classic
179 Second Ave
New York, NY 10003