You may have thought automats — fast-food restaurants where everything is served through “vending machines” of some sort — had their heyday last century, but think again!
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop in the East Village is bringing back the high-tech grab-and-go concept to “enable a Zero Human Interaction (Z.H.I.)” experience in the age of COVID-19.
Started by the founder of Philippe Chow and co-founder of Brooklyn Chop House, Stratis Morfogen’s new concept “Brooklyn Dumpling Shop” will open for 24/7 service next Wednesday, May 19, and feature 32 different kinds of dumpling.
And these aren’t your classic flavors — instead, try the likes of pastrami, bacon cheeseburger, and peanut butter and jelly. And there are soup dumplings as well, in similarly one-of-a-kind options like French onion soup and Matzo ball!
Eventually they will also have breakfast dumplings such as the Bacon, Egg & Cheese CRO’ SUMPLINGS with the flakiness of a croissant inside the shape of a dumpling, and Hot & Frozen Dessert Dumplings including Fried Apple and Frozen Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae Dumplings.
Of course, the main appeal is the completely touchless ordering stations; customers can order ahead from their phone or from a kiosk in the shop, which doesn’t involve you even touching the screen, just hovering above it so it can detect your order.
Staff will wear both masks and hats with protective shields, and your food will be served in the lockers for safe and secure ordering.
Finished orders will be place in a locker (which there is a wall of that the customer will scan with their phone or receipt to open. Everything is continuously decontaminated.
Even before the pandemic, the business was already quite technologically savvy. They have a large dumpling-making machine with a conveyor belt that they say can produce over 10,000 dumplings per hour! You can even see them being made right before your eyes at “The Dumpling Lab” behind glass when you enter the shop.
The magician in the kitchen is Executive Chef Skinny Mei, who was born in Beijing and has worked with Morfogen since coming to NYC to work in the restaurant world in 2006. Chef Mei started as a sous chef at Philippe Chow and went on to become Executive Chef at Brooklyn Chop House and now Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.
And don’t forget the drinks! Enjoy beer and wine, plus to-go cocktail pouches filled with Frosés like the Lychee Martini and Red Velvet.
If you don’t actually want to grab and go, there is tented heated seating outdoors with two decks and 65 seats, and 14 seats indoors with screened dividers and wireless chargers built into the tables.
featured image source: courtesy of Daniel Kwak