When my favorite dumpling place closed a couple of years ago in Sunset Park I had to go and find a replacement for it. Restaurants that specialize in dumplings are few and far between in the nabe and borough. Fortunately I did not have to search far and found two places to replace them. The first place to recommend is Family Dumpling on the corner of 7th Avenue and 56th street. This small place caters mostly to the Chinese population of the nabe as do most Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood. It seems to be a common price for dumpling places to charge $1 for 5 dumplings. I usually have $2 at a serving. They have been written up by the Village Voice and they have those reviews on the windows but haven't been able to find them online. You can always find seating at Family Dumpling as it isn't always that overwhelmingly busy. I like my dumplings with soy sauce and if you want it you will have to ask for it on the side. The bottles they have at the tables are filled with vinegar and someone thinking they are soy sauce will get a surprise when they pour it on. All n all their dumplings are far less greasy than most and they use a flat square pan skillet to fry them in. I highly recommend them if you are in the area for a quick cheap meal. Their address is 5602 Seventh Avenue.
A friend of mine always told me that if you want to know good places to eat look out for where the local cops eat. That is the case with Kai Feng Fu Dumpling House. You can almost miss it as it is off the beaten path off the corner of 8th Avenue on 48th street. This place is always busy and is frequented by the guys from the 68 and 72 precincts. Their dumplings are a little greasier than the ones at Family Dumpling. Seating during lunchtime or dinner time is on a first come first served basis. You need to grab any chair available, though most people do takeout and yes the bottles on the tables have soy sauce in them. They also have a variety of noodles and soups on their menu and are open every day until 9 PM but they are usually out of stuff by 8:30. Neither place is designed to cater to fine dining. I think the Chinese invented fast food, which means get it fast, eat it fast and get out fast. Kai Feng Fu's address is 4801 8th Ave. but as I said they are about 60 feet off the avenue on 48th street just off the corner.
I am still on the lookout for more dumpling places to try out in the area. We'll report on how our search progresses.