In an era where everything you could ever want–and plenty that you will never need–is available at the tap of a button, the array of choices has become a mind-numbing expanse of just-too-much. Perhaps as a subconscious response to this, there’s been a surge of restaurants designed in the service of perfecting a single dish. Mac ‘n’ cheese, rice pudding, greek yogurt. You name it. It’s about doing one thing and doing it exceptionally well. Which is what sisters Hannah and Marian Cheng did when they opened Mimi Cheng’s first outpost in 2014. Their beat? Dumplings. Really, really good dumplings.
After ditching out on their previous careers (Hannah in finance, Marian in fashion), the Rockland County-raised sisters used their mother’s special dumpling recipe as the basis for their new business. Now with two restaurants in Manhattan, Hannah and Marian pump out some of the best Taiwanese-style dumplings you can get, made by hand with premium ingredients and sustainability in mind. Think pasture-raised chicken, farm-fresh veggies, free-range eggs. You know, the good stuff.
In our latest edition of The Interrogator, we talk to the sisters about late-night pizza runs, morning prep snafus, and doing what you always wanted to do.
Place of residence:
Greenwich Village, NYC.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Trick question? We are grown up and we are already doing what we always wanted to do.
Quote to live by:
“She thought she could so she did.” – Unknown
First job you ever had:
Interest Rate Sales at JPM and Ready-to-Wear Wholesales at Dolce and Gabbana.
Least favorite part of your day:
When Baldor, one of our main vendors, is late with delivery. It throws off the whole morning in terms of prep.
Windows down, the song you’re playing is:
Frank Ocean’s “Futura Free.”
Three guilty pleasures:
If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?
You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…
Austyn Weiner’s pieces.
Plane, train or automobile for a trip?
Definitely plane. Car would only be for drives less than three hours.
What IS your favorite trip?
Taipei, Sardinia, Bali, and Australia.
Personal travel ethos:
Get the local experience!
Drink of choice:
Bulleit on the rocks.
Beach house or tree house:
Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?
Blue Hill at Stone Barns tasting menu. Everything is so fresh and comes from the grounds that you’re standing on.
What is the best news you ever received?
This is a hard question because there have been so many milestones along the way.
Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.
Cleanses are highly overrated. It’s not a sustainable lifestyle and we don’t believe in crash diets.
Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.
Alabama Shakes live at the Beacon Theatre. Close second is St. Paul and the Broken Bones at Terminal 5.
Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?
Away for the weekend in Hudson, NY.