Yesterday morning, I was awoken by a phone call from my friend Lauren, who, as always, was trying to convince me to meet her for dumplings in Chinatown. Despite my Asian heritage, I generally can’t start my day off with shrimp and pork. But being the salesperson she is, Lauren convinced me to meet her at Red Farm, the new, modern, farm-style dim sum house just blocks away from my apartment in the West Village. Considering all of the buzz surrounding this place, I was dreading the two hour wait, but we were surprisingly seated at the communal table immediately.
With its red-checker table clothes, long wooden benches, and barn-style decor, Red Farm looks more like a southern pie shop than a dumpling house. But after our marathon Chinese meal enhanced with delicious brunch cocktails, I am further convinced that looks truly are deceiving. Our group of four was able to taste almost every small plate I wanted on the menu, but I will definitely be back to dapple in the entree section that my dumpling-hungry eyes completely ignored.
Though every dumpling was outstanding, our unanimous favorite was the pork and crab soup dumplings. These delicious little bundles were served with soup spoons, which served as a vessel to catch any of the succulent pork broth that escaped the steamed package. The broth was buttery, meaty, and rich – the entire dumpling was a soft, more decadent version of any other dumpling I’ve had before.
The crispy duck and crab dumplings were incredible as well, though I misinterpreted the description – these aren’t steamed dumplings with crispy duck, these are crispy fried dumplings with tender duck, served as four little fried sting rays surrounding an ocean of rich curry broth with okra and eggplant. The smoked salmon bruschetta was interesting and every lox-lovers dream: salty, fresh smoked salmon with a dollap of caviar on a thin slice of fried eggplant.
Of course, a post about Red Farm would not be made complete without a shout out to the Pac Man shrimp dumplings. The picture speaks for itself.
Every bit was incredible, and service was just as noteworthy. And considering the owner is an evident fan of “young girls eating his food,” I’ll definitely be back with a mitigated fear of table waits.
Location: 529 Hudson @ West 10th