New Year’s Promises, Wrapped in Gold

Dmp"Long ago, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there was a restaurant named
Chun Cha Fu. My family went there whenever we could, and I loved it as if it too
were my family: the booths with their torn red leather, the smiling waiters in
their ill-fitting tan jackets, the starched napkins that looked and smelled like
fortune cookies.
Every time we went, my sister and I asked for fried dumplings, guotie.
The wait always felt too long, but the thrill of each first bite remains with me
30 years later. When I close my eyes, I can taste the shattering-crisp, gilded
dumpling wrapper, the scalding, soy-scented pork, the heat spreading through my
body as I tried to breathe politely around a steaming mouthful. There was much
to love about Chun Cha Fu, but it was the dumplings that drew us back again and

T. Susan Chang


Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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