Thursday, May 20, 2010

Excellent Dumpling House. Comrades, Almost a Love Story

Excellent Dumpling House

Here's another Hong Kong/NYC filming location. This one is from Peter Chan Ho-sun's wonderful 1996 romantic comedy, COMRADES, ALMOST A LOVE STORY. This location is in NYC Chinatown on Lafayette St., just south of Canal St. The eatery is called Excellent Dumpling House. The full exterior is never seen in the film, only the shot of the 'Dumpling House' neon sign that is pictured below. We also see a few interior shots in the film. This scene has Leon Lai Ming and Joe Cheung Tung-cho working in the restaurants kitchen. Up front sits Eric Tsang Chi-wai, the boyfriend of Lai's long lost love, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk. A great turning point in the film, giving the viewer butterflies. A near miss. The two lovers are so close. Will they find each other? The laws of film say, "Yup!"

Dumpling House neon sign as seen in the film (1996)

Interior of Excellent Dumpling House (2010)

Eric Tsang Chi-wai perusing the escort services. 'Dumpling House' interior (1996)

OTB over Tsang's shoulder. Its still there. (1996)

Table Tsang sat at while waiting for his din din. (2010)

I went inside for some dinner. I asked (pointed) the 'hostess' if I could sit at the 'Eric Tsang' table. And I did. This was the same chilly ass day I went into the city and took pics and video of the 'Four Seas Restaurant' from A BETTER TOMORROW II and hit the Tribeca Film Festival to see DREAM HOME. I needed to warm up a bit so I ordered Seafood Dumpling Soup and a Shrimp Shanghai Egg Roll. Burned my tongue and the roof of my mouth eating the soup but it was delicious and hit the spot. I played with the shriveled piece of gum hanging from the roof of my mouth while I watched DREAM HOME.

Tsang leaving his table and the 'Dumpling House' (1996)

Just in case you have not seen COMRADES, or don't remember the scene, fast forward the above video to the 13:00 mark. Watch Leon on his cool bicycle cycle through Times Square while Public Enemy blares on the soundtrack. Has he ever covered one of their songs? Maybe 'Night of the Living Baseheads?' The film then cuts to C-town and Lai and Cheung at the 'Dumpling House'. The scene ends around the 14:22 mark.
Below is a short video I took outside of the restaurant. Again, I apologize for my awful New Yawker accent. Enjoy.


  1. The "Eric Tsang" table... lol... :D

    And I love that neon sign!

    Finally, your video's not working. Please fix. :)

  2. Thanks for the comment Dave. The video seems to be working for me. I will check with my girlfriend tomorrow and see if she can watch it from her computer. I don't know why it isn't working? Hmmmm? I will try and see what the problem is. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. "Base, how low can you go?" - Don't get me started on PE -- I was a big fan for a while.

    Nice detective work in this post. When you finally get to HK, I bet you will be a bit obsessive -- in a good way -- when scouting locations. A lot of people have done blog posts on HK film locations but if you did a post like this on some of them, you'd be doing the world a big favor.

  4. Great post and a new approach to one of my favorite movies. "Comrades" would be on my top ten all time entertaining movies made anywhere.

    NYC may be second to Hong Kong as a place to find where favorite movies scenes were shot (if you don't count the view from the Griffith Observatory).

    While I was never overly impressed with Leon Lai as an actor I thought he was perfect in this role.

  5. @ Dave: Is the video working yet? I hope so.

    @ Glenn: Thanks Glenn. I was into PE when I was younger as well. Much to the chagrin of my mother. haha Still working on other NYC/HK movie filming locations. Still have a lot of work to do. Just finished spotting locations for Maggie Cheung and Leung Ka Fai's 'Farewell China'. If I ever DO get to HK it will be quite an endeavor to find film locations bc i'm not as familiar with the terrain. I would probably do the ubiquitos Chungking Mansions or TST Cultural Center. haha

    @ ewaffle: Thanks for the comment. I definately agree about Leon Lai. I am not a fan at all but he was great in Comrades. I'm looking forward to seeing Fire of Conscience, even though his beard looks just ridiculous. I think Glenn saw it when he was in HK recently?

  6. Yeah, I saw Fire of Conscience. Liked it but disliked the ending for a variety of reasons best left unexplained until one has seen the film. I saw it at The Grand in the Elements mall and the comfy seats were putting me to sleep so I may not have appreciated it fully.

  7. The video's still not working for me. When I hit the play button it starts, but then I'm sent to a page and get a "server not found" message. It appears that there may be some accidental code that's turning the player into a hyperlink.

    Nevertheless, I was able to find the clip and here's a link where you can see it full screen. :)

  8. That's odd? Dave, sorry for any inconvenience. Wow! Me in full screen. I didn't need to see that. Nobody does hahaha


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