Dumpling City replaced the VAM Asian Fusion Restaurant in Palo Alto in a space that has been a revolving door for eateries. There is no foot traffic along that stretch on El Camino, and signage is easy to miss for that building, and the space is small for any eatery. Dumpling City is the latest entry in that space, and if they got a good deal on the rent, they may actually make it.
The space is small, with a few small tables in the middle of the room. The dumpling making operation is curiously in a west- and El Camino- facing window near the door (Isn’t it kind of hot in the summer?)
There is talk that Dumpling City is affiliated with Dumpling Depot in Sunnyvale, which in turn may be affiliated with Kingdom of Dumpling, etc. in San Francisco. I have not had the chance to ask about the relationship. But evaluated on its own, Dumpling City certainly makes some dumpling that easily stands out in a stretch south of Redwood City and north of Sunnyvale that doesn’t have strong entrants in the dumpling area.
They run out of stuff all the time. Its a must to call ahead and ‘reserve’ your freshly made and unfrozen, or freshly made and frozen dumpling. My wife called mid-day to order uncooked dumplings to go, and they are almost out of everything (where did they all go then? A pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Dumpling in the North?) She managed to negotiate a couple of trays of dumplings, just made, room temperature- chives and pork, and bok choy and pork. The dumpling skins are not very thick. The dumplings are sized a little smaller than some large renditions I’ve seen. The fillings are fresh, clean-tasting, and seasoned just right. More delicate and better than I Dumpling in Redwood City, which in turn is better than Panda Dumpling in the water boiled dumpling department.
One of the reasons we got the dumplings to go was because dining in is on paper plates and plastic utensils. So we see no reason to haul the family there, wait for a table and eat the same thing that we could easily boil ourselves at home (6 minutes for unfrozen ones, btw), and for cheaper. I didn’t ask the price, and I only stopped for 1 minute. But I think unfrozen ones are 18 dumplings for about $8. There are other appetizers available.
Handwritten eatery sign on a piece of paper out front.