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With only the memory of the dumplings he ate in prison to guide him on the path of vengeance, the protagonist of "Oldboy" probably had stronger feelings than you about the bite-size savory treats. Now that the South Korean film is being remade by no less an auteur than Spike Lee, we rounded up the tastiest and most authentic offerings of the Asian treat right here in Manhattan's Chinatown. Cash is king and portions are generous (10 dumplings for $3 is average), provided you don't mind eating under an awning rather than at a tiny, scarce table. So grab an order of your favorites, and check out "Oldboy" starring Josh Brolin out Nov. 27.
23 Pell St.
Naming itself for the hometown of soup dumplings (xiao long bao) means this restaurant better deliver. The small pockets are sturdy and flavorful — the broth and pork both shine. The courteous service is a rare bright spot in a part of town that prizes brusque efficiency.
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles Inc.
1 Doyers St.
No mystery lumps of meat in these steamed dumplings: Assertively spiced chunks of pork and scallions wait to explode with flavor inside a nearly translucent shell.
Dim Sum Go Go
5 E. Broadway
Be prepared to wait, as this place is busy and orders are cooked as they’re received, but the spinach dumplings in their green-tinged shell are a ton of flavor away from the wilty pile of greens you know.
54 Mulberry St.
A firm dough is roughed up in the fryer, leaving the dumplings deliciously singed in spots. The pork filling is mildly flavored, but really comes alive with soy sauce.
Vanessa's Dumpling House
118A Eldridge St.
No need to bite into a hot&spicy wonton to find out what the name means: The boiled dumplings come smothered in a bright sauce of herbs, sesame and garlic with a chili kick.
18 E. Broadway
Anyone who’s eaten here speaks of two things: the ordeal of getting a table, and that the food is worth it. Pork siu mai is a must (and, while not a dumpling, the deep fried stuffed shrimp roll would be a shame to miss.)
Lam Zhou Handmade Noodles
144 E. Broadway
Putting something in a fryer only makes it more delicious but these boiled dumplings don’t need the help, boasting plenty of texture and flavor. Don’t mind the violent sounds of noodles being hand-pulled coming from the kitchen.