A Dumplings Restaurant Opens In Greenwich Village With A Limited Menu—No More 100 Items Or More For This Chinese Restaurant


When she was younger, Becky Lin remembers working at her parent’s two Chinese restaurants in Long Island, N.Y., Lin’s Kitchen in Eastport and Pearl in Speonk, where each eatery had over 100 items on the menu. Those extensive entrees gave its customers an array of options but also led to many items being rarely ordered and led to “food waste and spoilage and required large refrigeration space,” she said.

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2006, she ran Lango Kids, a language immersion school for nine years that included an after-school and summer camp, where students were taught Chinese, Spanish and French. Lin is 38-years-old, a native of China, who immigrated to the U.S. when she was 12.

After giving birth to two daughters, she used her two-year respite to hone her recipes and sold food online at Shef.com, which delivers home-cooked meals. The pandemic curtailed her childcare business.

On January 17, 2023, she opened Lin & Daughters eatery in Greenwich Village, New York, on West 4th Street on January 17, 2023. She named it Lin & Daughters to honor her two daughters, because in China, “the emphasis is more on sons. I want to make sure and emphasize how important daughters are.”

It’s fast-casual, where guests order at the counter. It has six seats in a counter area and eight at tables in its tight 500-square-foot space.

A Greenwich Village dumplings restaurant Lin & Daughters has a limited menu, which helps to keep costs down, and makes it easier to manage.

But unlike her parents’ eatery, Lin decided on a streamlined menu, with mostly dumplings and soup, which fits for its limited size kitchen. “Dumpling and noodles are easy to like. It’s food that people find comforting, and they feel satisfied eating it,” she explained.

Moreover the limited menu reduces her food costs and makes it easier to train chefs on the menu, compared to the old-days of 100 items.

Streamlining “narrowed down the menu to my childhood favorites, plus some other items that I’ve honed to the best of my ability,” she said. She described many of the recipes as “generational” since they were passed down from her grandparents and parents and then she added some suggestions from Shef.com, initiated by customers.

The menu specializes in three types of items: 1) Dumplings, either pork, shrimp, curry chicken, beef or vegetable, 2) Soups and noodles including beef noodle soup and grandma’s peanut noodles, 3) Salads and sides including bok choy with oyster garlic sauce and wontons in hot chili.

Financing an eatery in Greenwich Village is pricey, and for Lin, it was a family affair that capitalized it. “Opening a restaurant is very costly,” she acknowledged, “especially if you have to renovate the place.”

Her parents and sister and brother who resides in Switzerland all contributed to financing it. Then Lin added her own personal savings, a line of credit and family loans to pay for it.

And, at her husband’s suggestion, she launched a Kickstarter campaign, to market the new eatery, as much as it was to raise $6000.

Meals with two items cost approximately $20 to $30 a person. But Lin says that many of her customers are satisfied by choosing one item.

“Our noodle soups are pretty hearty portions and a meal unto themselves, so a $20 soup will likely satisfy,” she noted. But groups of friends also come in and order a sampling of dishes and share.

In the nearly three months it has been open, revenues stem from 50% dine-in, 20% take-out, and 30% delivery, which derives from its partnerships with DoorDash/Caviar, Grubhub and UberEats.

It’s also been mostly a dinner destination, constituting about 75% of its business, with lunch 25%. She described the West Village as mostly residential, “so people come here after working a long day when they want something easy.” Tourists, she said, are just beginning to take notice of it.

Her staff runs lean, very lean. She has two full-time staffers in the kitchen, one full-time server and one part-timer. And her dad, now retired, comes in once a week to help in the kitchen.

Several Yelp responders sounded like cheerleaders for Lin & Daughters. Kathleen from Elizabeth, N.J. described it as a “little gem, with friendly staff, clean and cozy with wonderful food, including two kinds of dumplings, and the scallion pancakes, to die for.”

Anthony, who described himself as a Chinese-American who knows dumplings, said owner Becky Lin “had a passion for what she’s doing and loves to share her craft with her neighborhood.” He found the dumplings “authentic and delicious.” Jules noted that the dumplings are “handmade in the store and if you sit at the bar area, you can watch them get made.”

Its future success, Lin suggested, depends on: 1) Consistency of its food, 2) Forming strong customer relationships.


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