Cheap Eats

The right stuffing from all over.

Momo better: Tibetan momo dumplings, soup, and hot garlic sauce at Shangrila.
The best dumpling deal in town just got better: Now that Fried Dumpling has opened a second branch in Chinatown on Mosco Street, there are two places -- not counting the inferior clones -- to buy five flavorful crescent-shaped minced-pork-and-leek dumplings for a dollar.

Vegetable dumplings, too often a bland cabbage-and-mushroom-stuffed afterthought, are reinvented at Dim Sum gogo, where they come in ten different versions, with threekinds of dough wrappers and four kinds of sauce. No. 4, the snow-pea-leaf dumpling, reminded us a bit of spinach ravioli ($2.25 for three).

Mandoo are Korean dumplings, the chief attraction at 32nd Street's Mandoo Bar, where they're hand-formed in the window by a pair of nimble-fingered women who stop traffic with their engaging labors. We're partial to the steamed kimchi mandoo, in which the typical pork-and-vegetable stuffing is fortified with tofu and a smidgen of the cuisine-defining pickled cabbage ($7.99 for ten).

Once you've tried mandoo, it's time to tackle momo, the oversize Tibetan take on Chinese potstickers. At Tibetan Yak in Jackson Heights, they're steamed or fried; stuffed with your choice of vegetables, chicken, or beef; and served with a sesame-dressed cabbage salad ($6.75 to $7.25 for eight). The momo at Shangrila remind us of Japanese gyoza, but maybe that's because the Tibetan-born chef-co-owner used to cook at Honmura An. (Hence the presence of tempura and edamame alongside gutse ritu, hand-rolled Tibetan pasta stewed in lamb broth and garnished with cottage cheese.) We find ourselves craving the semomo, and keep rotating between the sesame-flavored chasha chicken and the "Shangrila special," stuffed with spinach and homemade curd cheese ($8.50 steamed, $9.50 fried).

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· FRIED DUMPLING, 99 Allen St., 212-941-9975
· DIM SUM GOGO, 5 E. Broadway, 212-732-0797
· MANDOO BAR, 2 W. 32nd St., 212-279-3075
· TIBETAN YAK, 72-20 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, 718-779-1119
· SHANGRILA, 129 Second Ave., 212-387-7908