Jun 30, 2022 - Food and Drink

One last meal at Gourmet Dumpling House

Two photos side by side. One of dumplings and the other of eggplant.
My last meal was the spicy garlic eggplant and pork dish and, of course, some dumplings. Photos: Steph Solis/Axios

Gourmet Dumpling House calls it quits Thursday, so I thought I'd stop by for a final meal.

Why it matters: The restaurant has been a fixture of Boston's Chinatown since it opened 15 years ago, but it's closing due to rising rents and employee resignations, the company wrote in a Google post.

  • Their pork and leek dumplings, along with their Yu Hsiang eggplant with pork, have gotten me through some of the worst winter afternoons (the ones where the sun sets well before 5pm), often for way less than other downtown restaurants.
  • Gourmet Dumpling House remained a staple of the scene as bars and restaurants around the Boston area shuttered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as events ignited anti-Asian sentiment in the city.

Details: I got a seat on Sunday afternoon after a 20-minute wait, joining a couple of college students at a table for four.

  • I went solo, so I got my usual spicy garlic eggplant dish with chicken and cabbage dumplings.
  • Unsurprisingly, the line was three times as long when I left.

What's next: The restaurant closes at 10pm today. The lease is up in July, and co-owner Xuehua Gong is retiring, as her son, Adam Bing, told Boston.com.

  • The Cambridge sister restaurant, Dumpling House, will remain open.
  • As for the space at 52 Beach St., Bing expects new owners to take over the storefront and operate a similar restaurant, per Boston.com.

Yes, but: Even if a new version of the restaurant lives on, The Dig's Eric Twardzik said it best when he summed up the loss of Gourmet Dumpling House.

  • "Neither its sister location or a potential new occupant can replace what Gourmet Dumpling House had become. It was an institution, complete with all the quirks and eccentricities that make any long-serving establishment beloved and special," Twardzik wrote.
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