Skip to main content

For Japanese Flavors in Bushwick: “Ozi Dumplings”




Bushwick, Brooklyn is not what it use to be. 

It is even better. 

Within the last ten years or so Brooklyn has undergone a major period of gentrification. With all that change came a wave of new restaurants with an array of flavors previously unfamiliar to this neighborhood.

One of these restaurants is Roberta’s (https://bit.ly/2RUOGYZ), a very popular pizza place. Many of those who have worked here have gone on to create pizza legacies of their own. One such person is Frank Pinello of “Best Pizza” (https://bit.ly/2HDHqMc).  

But this lunch wouldn’t be pizza adjacent as most of my meals are. 

No on this day I was going for more of a Japanese flair. I was here for dumplings!

I love a good dumpling, both traditional and modern. My favorite are most definitely the French onion soup dumplings from “The Stanton Social” which I have had on two occasions. The first time was in April 2012 (https://bit.ly/2MGBEcy) and the second occasion took place in August 2015 (https://bit.ly/2RpoMs1). 

When it comes to more traditional dumplings you wont find any ones better than Nom Wah Tea Parlor (https://bit.ly/2WykAd8). It is famous for a reason.

Closer to home I have visited Chopsticks (https://bit.ly/2DJgqbg) and in a pinch they are satisfying. 

Ozi Dumplings opened at the end of 2017 and recently has garnered a lot of attention online due to their impressive dumpling machine. It can turn out fifteen hundred dumplings in an hour! Talk about an efficient piece of machinery (see last link below).



Ozi Dumplings is owned by Danny Cai and his mission was to create a place that served up dumplings like his grandfather use to make, in addition to those that are much more imaginative. This is why I was here. 




Ozi is located in a small shopping center like structure with a few other restaurants sharing the attached building it is housed in. The space isn’t big and is long like a railroad apartment. On the afternoon I visited my party of three were the only customers there for lunch. 


What I didn’t expect was that in additional to the dumplings, Ozi offers four kinds of traditional ramen soup. 

Soup is not a mainstay in my food repertoire, especially ramen. I mean I spent four years in college and another two in graduate school and never even had the kind that comes in the plastic package.

I wasn’t initially going to order any soup but it sounded so good and everyone around me was getting it so I thought, what the hell. I will try something new. I am so glad I did. 

I opted for ramen type d which had shrimp tempura, corn, scallions, and seaweed, alongside freshly prepared ramen noodles and broth. It was unbelievable! It was savory and sweet. I felt like there was something for every one of my taste buds to enjoy. 

Next we decided to share three kinds of dumplings so we could try a bit of everything. Each order of dumplings comes with a side, so there were three of those as well. 


The dumplings we chose were:
  • Original Pork Dumpling - ground pork, onions, and cabbage;
  • Teriyaki Chicken - chicken sautéed in house-made teriyaki sauce, topped with toasted sesame seeds;
  • Cheeseburger Dumpling - ground beef, onions, pickles, and a three cheese blend. 



Our sides were:
  • Seaweed Salad; 
  • French Fries; and 
  • Edamame.
My favorite dumplings were the teriyaki chicken by far!! The pork ones were good but they are not my favorite kind of dumpling. I thought I would really love the cheeseburger dumplings but they tasted like too much like beef if that makes sense. I thought I would notice the onions, pickles, and cheeses much more. To me I just tasted beef that was a bit dry. But the chicken was amazing, I loved the sauce. It made my tongue dance. Plus I am a big chicken fan. I could have demolished that plate all by myself. 

The sides were good although I didn’t try the seaweed salad. It does nothing for me. The edamame was great and I feel like it is always a crowd pleaser much the same way avocado is. And French fries?! I thought I read the menu wrong. I got them just because they were there. Why were they there? I have no idea but I love having one of my favorite comfort foods that are both crunchy and salty whenever I can. The only thing missing from the menu was pizza. Then I would have been in heaven for sure. 


The most surprising part of my meal was my beverage. I ordered a ginger soda for the first time and was delighted. It burned a bit as anything with raw ginger does but because it was carbonated it also was pretty good. I am currently in the market for a store that sells this by the case.

Although I had no more room by the time I left, I was curious about trying the blue and snow crab dumplings as well as the vegetable ones. I’ve never had crab dumplings, except for the ones I made via Chrissy Teigen’s first cookbook. Veggie ones I have had so many times that I feel it would be good purely for comparison.

I think the buffalo chicken might also have been an interesting choice now given how much I loved the teriyaki chicken.

I was surprised to learn that Ozi features a seasonal savory and sweet dumpling and that originally the teriyaki chicken dumplings I enjoyed so much were only supposed to be a seasonal item. But customer demand was so strong they are now part of the standard menu. I am glad to see I am not the only good with good taste.

The next dumplings I plan to try are from another new Brooklyn spot: Luda’s. 

Yes, it will appear on my next annual to do list. 

Clearly I am now in full planning mode. 


For More Information:






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For the Perfect Appetizer Dinner: “Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue”

Have you ever gone out to eat and wished that you just ordered a bunch of appetizers?  I have.  It is actually my preferred way to eat. I like to get a taste of a bunch of different things rather than one big plate. I am much more interested in the kinds of foods we eat as appetizers versus lunch or dinner. Desserts hardly ever register on my radar. At the beginning of this year, right before I was set to release my annual to do list , I stumbled upon a photo of the most beautiful plate of brisket nachos I have ever seen. I instantly wanted them. Naturally the establishment behind said nachos, Morgans Brooklyn Barbecue, earned a spot on my list. The week leading up to my visit all I could think about was “would those nachos be my entire meal or just my appetizer”? Sure I love all kinds of barbecue food: the ribs, the brisket, pulled pork, and don’t even get me started on those sides!! Any restaurant that serves mac and cheese, corn bread, and creamed spinach us

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth