Nick’s Picks: Got Dumplings brings variety to campus

Illustration by Killian Goodale-Porter

Nicholas Barahona, Staff Writer

Welcome to Nick’s Picks.

Join me, Nick Barahona, on our journey through the city of Richmond where I review and showcase the different cuisines and restaurants in close proximity to campus, from the lens of a VCU student. To all new and returning Rams, I welcome you to an exciting time ahead filled with great deals and good eats.

Got Dumplings opened just over a year ago and has already made its mark on campus. Replacing what was previously Deep Run Roadhouse, this North Laurel Street location is an accessible spot for students on campus.

Got Dumplings adds yet another cuisine option for college students, bringing more diversity to the area and complementing its neighbors like &pizza, Chipotle, Cava, Panera and Five Guys.

Given its name, it’s no secret that dumplings are the highlight at Got Dumplings — but that’s not all it has to offer.

As you enter the restaurant, you immediately catch a whiff of the dumplings being prepared in the kitchen. Dining in will lead to an open space with tables and plenty of seats to enjoy your meal.

What I really like about this space are the abstract lights hanging from the ceiling and the ancient Chinese paintings on the wall, which give off an ambiance of authenticity.

The menu options include dumplings, dumpling soup, noodle soup — ramen or udon — Asian street food, signature drinks, sides and combos that mix a few of these together. Pick from either the original pork, curry chicken, shrimp, chive and, for vegetarians, tofu dumplings. Dumplings are offered steamed for the chicken and pork and fried for all other selections.

The Asian street food consists of either salt and pepper or chili sauce popcorn chicken, Japanese takoyaki or octopus dumplings and spicy dumplings that mix chicken and pork dumplings with a spicy house sauce.

As for the sides, Got Dumplings offers white rice, fried rice, seaweed salad, edamame, cold peanut flavor noodles and kimchi. All of these are great choices to go with dumplings or to enjoy by themselves.

 The real deals, though, are in the combo section: dumplings are offered in a five, six and 10 count with each combo having one or two sides to go along with it. I tried out two different combos: a five fried pork dumpling combo with kimchi and a five steamed curry chicken dumpling combo with white rice. This came out to about $20 total with tip included — a great value for ten dumplings and a pair of sides.

I enjoyed both the fried pork and steamed curry chicken dumplings. The difference between the fried and steamed options was the chewing consistency. The fried was slightly crispier and more flavorful, while the steamed was softer and more chewy. I tend to always order my dumplings steamed, though I must admit that the fried dumplings hit the spot and were more enjoyable. The kimchi was an excellent pairing with the dumplings —  it added just the right amount of spice and crunch, which made the entire meal for me.

Although the dishes are flavorful, I would not rely on Got Dumplings to take care of a hungry stomach. It seems more of a snack or quick bite on the go. However, considering its convenient location, I could see myself coming here in between classes during one of my busier days.

In many ways, Got Dumplings is a breath of fresh air in the community. I’m excited to try their signature drinks, as well as their soups once temperatures begin to drop. Solid four out of five stars on the day.

As always, eat up!

For all things food, feel free to check out @nxreview on Instagram and TikTok for many more recommendations and reviews around town.

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