Dabao Jiaozi (大宝饺子)

There's near-universal consensus within the local Chinese community that Dabao Jiaozi is the place to head to for home-style dumplings in Budapest — quite a statement in a city where more than 30,000 Chinese people live. Before moving into Budapest's Chinatown, Dabao was a takeout-only venue hidden in a beaten-down commerical building.

Takeout continues to be a major part of DaBao's business, but the current location, puritan as it may be, also caters to sitdown customers. Dabao makes Shandong-style dumplings, which means that the wrappers are a bit thicker and chewier. There are only two versions; both have the same base filling of ground pork and shrimp, with one packing napa cabbage, the other shredded Chinese chives. I'm slightly in favor of the chive-version, but there isn't much of a flavor difference, and they're both very good.

While waiting for your order, cast a glance into Dabao's kitchen, where on most days you'll see a cheery group of Chinese ladies hunched over a mound of dough, flattening, stuffing, and folding it with incredible efficiency. An order comprises 15 pieces, which will easily appease the average appetite and only costs €5. Dabao also serves noodle soups, but you're mainly here for the dumpings.

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