Restaurant starring soup dumplings to open in Fort Worth's Near Southside
Fort Worth is getting an exciting new dumpling spot from a team of high-profile collaborators. Called Teddy Wong's Dumplings & Wine, it'll be a Chinese restaurant with a stellar selection of dumplings and Chinese classics, opening in the Near Southside, at 812 W. Rosedale St., in the space previously occupied by Le's Wok Asian Food.
Targeted opening date is early May.
Teddy Wong's is from Patrick Ru, who previously owned restaurants in New York before moving to Dallas in 2020. He's a perfectionist at his craft, who wanted to do dim sum with a special focus on dumplings.
In 2021, he very quietly opened Bushi Bushi in Addison.
Now, for his Fort Worth debut, he's partnered with a high-powered team that includes Fort Worth chef Stefon Rishel and hospitality veteran Jeffrey Yarbrough, a Fort Worth native and owner of bigInk Commercial Real Estate.
Yarbrough has decades of experience in restaurants, bars, and nightlife, including partnering in 1998 with Dallas chef Annie Wong (once dubbed "the mother of Thai food"), in a pan-Asian restaurant on Greenville Avenue in Dallas called Liberty Noodles that was well ahead of its time.
For Yarbrough, who took care of Annie until she died in 2007, this offered an opportunity to rekindle a like-minded collaboration.
"Patrick had that entrepeneurial spirit and wanted to expand, and I felt like what he was doing was even cooler than what he realized," Yarbrough says. "He also wanted to find a chef partner, and I've known Stefon for years. Stefon and I drove to Addison, and he started eating this Peking duck. He and Patrick made a real connection."
But it's the dumplings that will be the thing.
They'll have a variety of options: veggie, chicken, seafood, both steamed and pan-fried, six pieces for $8 to $10, and then soup dumplings, which have become a big bestseller at Bushi Bushi. (Soup dumplings, aka xiao long bao, are a big foodie trend. They're not actually filled with soup but with ingredients that melt and form a broth; they're staples of a traditional Chinese dim sum brunch.)
Peking duck and BBQ pork will also be signatures.
Le's Wok closed in 2021, and the property was originally slated to be razed — until Yarbrough persuaded the new owners that it could be a cool location for dumplings and carry on the tradition for Asian food.
The restaurant will occupy the left side of the space, while on the right, they're planning a second concept called Bushi Bushi Market, which will sell grab-and-go dumplings plus bottles of beer and wine. It'll be a cool cosmopolitan spot featuring a chef's communal table for large groups and single diners.
As for the name, there is no Teddy Wong, at least not in real life.
"He's in my head," Yarbrough says. "I miss Annie, it's my channeling her spirit into this imaginary guy, this mythical cool character, a hip Asian cowboy with a passion for food and wine."