Most restaurants have not many but one signature dish. At New York’s Stanton Social it’s the French Onion Soup Dumplings, an interesting fusion dish invented from chef Chris Santos, known from the US-american cooking show Chopped. I’ve tried them.
French Onion Soup Dumplings baked with Cheese.
Asian restaurants in Germany don’t serve dumplings. Or actually, that’s not correct. Some of them do serve Wontons, which – considering english terms here – is a variety of dumplings. But unless you go for a Wonton soup, they’re in the corner of an all you can eat menu, wrinkled and dry, waiting for someone to eat them. Sorry, but that‘s been my experience. Keeping this in mind, you might imagine how enlightening my first real dumpling experience was.
It was in a food court in Sydney‘s Chinatown, back in 2016. I learned when I learned how to order a variety of dumplings with friends, sharing them, learning that fried ones are my favorite and how to dip them in soy sauce. Embarrassing, but it‘s the only dish I‘m (more or less) able to eat with chop sticks. If you‘re having a similar dumpling definition in mind, be prepared to get it messed up when you‘re about to try Stanton Social‘s French Onion Soup Dumplings. But hell yes, that‘s what new dishes are about, aren‘t they?
None of the things mentioned above – dipping Dumplings, ordering fried ones, eating with chop sticks – applies to the said French Onion Soup Dumplings, Stanton Social’s signature dish. Though the price of $17 for 6 pieces want you make to share them. Realizing the considerable price tag, I thought about not to go for quite a while, but in the end I was just too curious.
I personally love food mash-ups, fusioning together flavors, textures and techniques from different kitchens. And I‘m especially keen about anything referring to „French Onion Soup,“ after trying the best burger eveeeeer (– Le Rivage‘s French Onion Soup Burger).
Anyways, the first thing I realized when I was brought to my table was the lighting. Or should I say the lack of light? Stenton Social is lit surprisingly mhh moody. It seemed to be appropriate for all the couples around me, I felt a bit strange, but well.
Arriving of: The French Onion Soup Dumplings
Nevertheless, I was quite excited, when the dumplings arrived at my table. The cheese crust covering them was super crispy and man, I’d rate this one with 5 stars.Unfortunately, the chrunch instead of soft cheese was great taste-wise, but prevented me from eating the dumplings with the skewers or do any cheese pulls. I had to cut my way through the Gruyère crust to get my hands on the dumplings. Probably that’s why they serve them with cuttlery, while regular french onion soup only needs a spoon and regular dumplings chop sticks. Anyways, though the cheese crust was different than expected, it sure was de-li-ci-ous! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say the same about the dumplings itself.
They are filled with onions, which actually sounds pretty awesome. Nothing but onions, as it seemed to me. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But though this Insider clip claims that they’re freezing soup in order to get them into the dumplings I missed the typical French Onion Soup taste. In fact, the first thing I remember when I think about this dish is the lack of this typical taste. The crunchy cheese crust made an awesome first impression, but the dumplings are the actual hero of the dish. Their taste is what counts the most – and something was missing.
Something is missing …
The croutons on top, dumplings hidding the onions, I actually really love the idea behind this dish. You can feel, chef Chris Santos, known as judge on Chopped, has put a lot of thought into it. It’s such a creative interpretation of a classic french dish. I want to like it, honestly, but for me the execution is missing something. Something that ties all those creative parts of the more or less “deconstructed French Onion Soup” together.
More soup within the dumplings maybe? A dip? A sauce, drizzled on top? One big dumpling with French Onion Soup inside (like Drunken Dumpling’s XXL Soup Dumpling), would have been an interesting idea as well. Or dumplings served within French Onion Soup, instead of the bread? If you have another idea, make Chris Santos famous dumplings at home and give them your own twist.
How To Find Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002
Mo – Fr: 5om – 12pm
Sat: 11:30am – 01:00pm
Sun: 11:30am – 11pm