100 Favorite Dishes: No. 100, Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe

heights asian dumplings.jpg
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

It used to be that you could only get decent dumplings in the confines of Chinatown -- new or old, take your pick -- and nowhere else. And then Heights Asian Cafe opened up in a once-derelict Long John Silver's and changed that.

Although the name itself might not lead one to expect much from the little restaurant, the old Chinese woman making dumplings in the partially open kitchen will quickly change your mind. The steamed pork and vegetable dumplings here are her creation, and they're frankly fabulous.

The gently crimped and hand-pinched dumpling wrappers are just thick enough to hold together but not so much that all you taste is dumpling skin; instead, the soft, slightly chewy wrappers give way to a savory mixture of ground pork and spinach inside that's brightened up with a vinegary sauce served on the side. The rest of Heights Asian Cafe's menu may be pretty straightforward, but these dumplings hold their own with the best in town and were one of the greatest surprises of the year.



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Location Info

Heights Asian Cafe

2201 Yale St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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8 comments
rgwalt
rgwalt

I know I am late to the comments here, but I just tried these Monday night.  I got the steamed pork dumplings, and I was amazed!  They were awesome!!!  Want to try the other varieties ASAP. 

The food was great, too.  Had the seseme beef and chili lemon grass chicken.  All around solid offerings.  Looking foward to trying their other dishes, but I have found my new american-chinese takeout/delivery venue!

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Are we actually saying these are better than Doozo's?  Because I will try them tomorrow and give my verdict.  Or have we never had Doozo?

Tim
Tim

The dumplings are indeed the best thing I've had so far in three meals.  However, with only one quibble (only three sprigs of broccoli with my General Tso's), I have been very satisfied with the food here.  It is straight ahead American Chinese food, cooked with good ingredients and obvious care.  With apologies to the above commenters, it is indeed an absolute boon to the neighborhood.

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

DAMN. I move out of that hood, and what happens? MF'ing dumpling place moves in. Damn damn double damn!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I am probably the only person in Houston who doesn't like Doozo's. So, yes, I think there are lots of better dumplings in town than theirs. These definitely included. :)

Jeff
Jeff

Tell me about it. I lived literally one block from there and 2 blocks from Jus' Mac BEFORE they opened. Grrr...

nord
nord

yesterday I ate dumplings from Weslayan Cafe. I'd forgotten how good they were, and have never given WC a proper place in the Greenway-area lunch rotation. 

Today, I ate dumplings from Weslayan Cafe...

Kim Colson Millspaugh
Kim Colson Millspaugh

You are not alone, Katharine.  I don't care for Doozo's either.  When in the tunnel I opt for the dumplings at Star Chef Dumpling House (across from Ragin' Cajun).  Can't wait to try them here.

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