Dining Out: Dope!

Dining Out: Dope!

You mean to tell me that there’s a 90s themed noodle and dumpling house in Cincinnati? Yeah I want to go! That sounds dope! OK, I see the inspiration for their name now. Dope! is just that, a 90s themed restaurant that specializes in noodles and dumplings. It’s housed in a small space with about a dozen tables or so on East Court Street, sandwiched between a hair salon and a nail salon. On the walls hang pictures of popular 90s movies like Home Alone and Goodfellas while music from the same era is piped through the speakers. I believe when I was there it was R+B day, with Jodeci and Janet Jackson on the dial.

The menu itself is a playful take on 90s themes as well. For an appetizer we went with a flight of dumplings. This included two each of the Pork Diddy (ground pork, napa, and green onions), The Slim Chicken (ground chicken, shitake mushroom, and sweet onions), the 2 Pac Shrimpkur (chopped shrimp, nira chives, ginger, and garlic), and the Bone Kim-N-Chimony (chopped kimchi, green onion, shitake, and vermicelli noodles). You can choose steamed or seared, and any number of specialized sauces to accompany it.

For the main meal I got the Mariah Curry, a Thai green curry with eggplant, green beans, carrots, chicken, bean sprouts all over rice noodles. My companion ordered the Hella Spicy Miso Ramen, which is supposed to be one of their most popular dishes. This is a ramen with miso broth and Japanese style BBQ pork. It comes with bok choy, mushrooms, a soft boiled egg and kale.

Our take was that we liked the food, but we might have been in the mood for more authentic flavors. To be honest, I drank my bowl empty and left the place completely stuffed. I wouldn’t call this a traditional ethnic food place, but they never really claim to be anyway. This is more Asian fusion, with recipes that are Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, and Thai. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, so I won’t dock them points.

I would like to come back and try Baby Got Beef or the Wu-Tangy Chicken. Note: lunch fills up quickly so try to get there a little earlier than usual.