You may have noticed a new brand lurking in the freezer section of your local Brooklyn Key Food, Met, or Associated Supermarket. There, amid the Mrs. T’s pierogies and Lean Cuisine meals, is a boutique brand of dumplings. One that you may want to pay attention to.
Until recently, Eton Chan had two Brooklyn restaurants: The eponymous Eton and Eton on Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt closed within the past few months, but around that time a new venture also started in the Eton world: He began giving his popular dumplings the freeze.
About two years ago, the brand started shipping unfrozen dumplings to the Essex House before Eton Chan realized he “was onto something” and set out to replicate his popular dumplings for the masses. The former banker turned chef has worked at numerous haute restaurants, including Asiate and South Gate, but says that this business model is certainly a “new avenue.” Right now the products are only available in Brooklyn, but they’re poised to hit the rest of town imminently.
The dumplings average $7 for a 15-piece package and come in three flavors — pork and beef with cabbage, chicken with mushrooms, and a vegetarian veggie-lentil variety. More square-shaped than the typical half-moon-shaped dumplings you’ll find at dollar-dumpling joints in Chinatown, the wrappers are just thin enough to hold their fillings and not burst during the reheat. The fillings are fresh and interesting. Buy a package or two and throw in some toothpicks for your holiday party, and snag some for a quick TV dinner. They’re 100 times better than your average frozen fare.