Wonton Desires

The China Dumpling team came very close to pitching a no-hitter, but a couple of lobs over the plate blew it for them. The barbecued roast-pork appetizer, for example, offered tasty slices of pork soaked in a salty brown sauce. The problem was they were as dry and brittle as an old baseball bat. And for dessert the lychee nuts soaked in syrup tasted like they came from a can. Overall, however, the combination of master cookery, attentive service, and more-elegant-than-average surroundings won the game for the restaurant. And although the prices are a tad higher than those found in other restaurants, I found them to be reasonable.

Only a few concoctions, such as lobster with scallion and ginger, seafood with pan-fried noodle, and sauteed filet of flounder, top the sawbuck mark. And the sterling preparation and large portions make even those dishes, if not a bargain, at least a well-earned treat.

The old cliche about ethnic restaurants goes something like this: If people of the nationality of the cuisine being served eat there, you know it's good. That old saw may soon apply to China Dumpling, as a twenty-item menu is currently being developed for the local Chinese community. (It'll be available to other diners as well.) But I think it's more appropriate to note where the staff eats. We were just paying our check when the chefs and servers sat down to dinner, a veritable feast shared by speakers of English and Cantonese alike. How's that for validation?

China Dumpling. 1899 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, 561-737-2782. Open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Open for dinner nightly from 4 to 10 p.m., Sunday from 3 to 10 p.m.

Sesame cold noodle
$5.25
Chinatown-style steamed dumplings
$5.50
Chicken soons
$6.25
Eggplant with garlic sauce
$7.95
Beef chow fun
$8.95

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