One thing that the East Valley’s eating scene has always been lacking is a Shanghai-style dumpling house, devoted to soup dumplings, wontons and handcrafted pan-fried dumplings. No longer, however, with the opening of One More Bite Dumpling House. The owners hail from Shanghai and the array of options are as authentic as it gets.
Black vinegar and soy sauce grace the table, as well as sweet chili sauce and roasted chili sauce for dipping your dumplings into, and drizzling over wontons. All dumplings and wontons are made on the premises and both are succulent and texturally perfect.
The Xiao Long Bar (soup dumplings) can be ordered with crab, pork or vegetables inside along with hot, intensely flavored broth in the interior. It’s probably advisable to use the narrow end of a chopstick to pierce the dumpling in order to let the hot steam escape, or you run the risk of burning your palate when you bite into it. Dip the bao into some black vinegar and slowly bite into this superb steamed soup dumpling, lingering over the flavors and textures.
There is also a Dim Sum section on the menu, which includes the classic Cantonese BBQ pork bun, which is more sweet than savory. Although there’s much more dough than filling, the filling’s intensity is more than sufficient to flavor the entire bun.
One of the best things we ordered was the pork and shrimp spicy wontons that come in a dark brown broth redolent with the building heat of powdered dry red chiles that quickly engages the upper mid palate.
Just when you think you can’t handle any more heat, it begins to dissipate and then you want that “one more bite.” This spicy and delicious amalgam of flavors also includes stalks of baby bok choy that add some contrasting color and texture.
You must order the popcorn chicken appetizer. Boneless chicken breast meat is quickly deep fried, which imparts a pleasing crunch, and also offers a touch of sweetness. This dish originated in Taiwan. Like popcorn, the more you eat, the more you want. Dip it in either the sweet chili sauce or the roasted chili sauce to provide a pleasing kick.
Any way you eat it, it’s supremely addictive! The popcorn chicken goes well with the house special onion pancake cut into triangles, which, while rather greasy, provides an abundance of flavor.
You also should leave room for the Chicken Pan Fried Dumplings with corn and green onions. A water and flour mixture fills the bottom of the pan while cooking the dumplings and creates a thin crust around each piece. When finished, the dumplings easily come out of the pan in one sheet with the mixture holding everything together. It’s quite impressive looking. You break the individual dumplings out of their crust and the bottom of the dumpling is perfectly crispy, which contrasts with the dumpling’s soft chicken and corn interior.
Even if you’re already full, do try one of their fried noodle dishes. The slippery udon noodles are tossed with a subtle black pepper sauce. We opted for the beef version, which also included cabbage, green peppers and onions, but it’s really all about the noodles. Slurp them into your mouth, enjoying the slickness, texture and mouth-filling flavor of this hearty dish.
In summary, the food is highly addictive and the “one more bite” perfectly describes the fact that leftovers are highly unlikely, especially if you’re eating with a group.
David Cohen is the former cohost of the PBS show “Table for Two.”