Spotlight: Ugly Dumpling
— 20 Dec 2018 by Lauren Furey
Boxpark is all about variety and if you didn't think cheeseburger dumplings are a thing then you haven't met The Ugly Dumplings. We caught up with, co-founder, Phillipp Chaykin to find out more.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Philipp Chaykin and I am one of the co-founders of Ugly Dumpling, together with Ping Wong and Panos Hambi. While they are involved in the more exciting world of recipe development and food in general, I look after the ‘more boring’ side, having come from a consulting background.
How did Ugly Dumpling come about?
I have always wanted to leave the office world and entertained the idea of doing something ‘tangible’. I wanted to open a dumpling restaurant that would go beyond the traditional understanding of dumplings as being a staple food in Asia, a restaurant that would explore which flavours could be put inside dumpling pastry and would work well in combination with each other. I have researched the London street food scene and met Ping and Panos of The Ugly Dumplings, who I thought were roughly halfway towards my vision of the food I wanted to serve, as they were doing Asian fusion dumplings with locally sourced ingredients.
I shared my vision with them and we united forces to open our first bricks and mortar side at 1 Newburgh Street, just off Carnaby street. We recruited experienced British cuisine specialist Andrew Mead as Head Chef for one year to develop the menu, something which is continued by his friend Emilian Craciun on a part-time basis. We developed a number of dumpling recipes which can in no way be linked to Asian cuisine, but we do serve Ping’s delicious street food classics as well.
What can customers expect from you at Boxpark Wembley?
We will serve Ping’s street food classic dumplings which customers will be able to mix and match as they please, while we will also serve some of our more successful dumpling ‘experiments’ which are incredibly popular at our Carnaby branch. All of them will be accompanied by a small choice of side dishes as well, such as rice noodles with seasonal vegetables or our Carnaby bestseller – tempura aubergine with tamari glaze.
What is your favourite dish on your menu?
Personally I absolutely love our cheeseburger dumplings. The pan-fried dumplings are filled with beef mince, cheddar cheese, onions and pickles and are garnished with tiny chips and sriracha ketchup – they look great and taste even better. Cheeseburger dumplings are quite likely to stay as a permanent feature on our Boxpark Wembley menu.
What song best sums up your brand?
That’s a tough one... I’ll go more old school – ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ by Prince.
Which other Boxpark trader would you recommend to customers?
I heard that The Athenian are opening at Boxpark Wembley too; they serve absolutely delicious Greek street food and I cannot wait to negotiate a staff food swap with them! I have a lot of respect for the way their brand is run and for the fact that they use organic and fresh ingredients and chop all vegetables by hand to make sure that the experience is authentic.
What is your favourite thing about Wembley?
I am a big football fan, and while Spurs have taken quite a foothold at Wembley now, I support the better side of North London – Arsenal. I have experienced heartbreaks at Wembley, but also a lot of joy recently with our FA Cup wins, and this is what my favourite thing about Wembley is; it creates memories that last a lifetime, and I am sure Boxpark Wembley will contribute significantly towards such amazing experiences!
You can follow The Ugly Dumplings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.