Bayside restaurant serves as dumpling depot

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Of the 115 items on the menu at Mama Su’s in Bayside, the staff takes most pride in its soup dumplings, which are well-known in China’s Shanghai Province.

“Our soup dumpling is a very fine dough that’s thin. It’s a very thin dough,” said Judy Lai, manager of Mama Su’s, at 212-22 48th Ave., which opened in November after a dry run in October.

Lai said Mama Su’s is the only Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood where the soup dumpling can be bought, although you can also find the soup dumplings in downtown Flushing and Chinatown.

The dumpling, which can be ordered either steamed or fried, is infused with soup before it is cooked along with pork or crab meat.

Eight plain soup dumplings cost $5.95, with the crab soup dumplings going for $6.95 for eight. A six-dumpling sampler of a variety of the doughy treats costs $6, while an eight-dumpling sampler is priced at $7.95.

Lai said the five partners who opened Mama Su’s “decided to open one here in Bayside because it’s congested in Flushing.

“There’s no competition here,” she said. “There’s no place that sells this thing in Bayside.”

Other dumplings offered at Mama Su’s include chicken, vegetable and seafood varieties.

“It’s not the commercial type, which is thick and hard,” she said. “What makes us different is their skin — they’re very fine.”

Crabmeat and soup dumplings are popular in northern China.

About 500 dumplings are made each day at Mama Su’s, which are frozen and then steamed.

“It’s very popular and affordable. Without the beef, it’s only $3 and it fills you up,” Lai said.

Other hits at Mama Su’s are the steamed fish, vegetable spring rolls and scallion pancakes.

“Our outer skin is crunchy and the inner is soft,” Lai said. “Some people call it Chinese pizza.”

If your craving for dumplings at Mama Su’s is not satisfied after visiting the Bayside restaurant, no worries. The business also sells frozen dumplings that you can steam later yourself.

Lai said the business has taken off since its opening in November.

“Mostly, the weekend it’s doing fine,” she said. “We’ve gotten very good reviews from people who come in to eat.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 11:30 am, October 12, 2011
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