[Palo Alto, CA] Dumpling City- fine dumplings for southern Peninsula

Here’s my take on the XLB from 2011: 'I liked the XLB, though the juice was a bit fatty (hence the flavor!)’

I don’t get to go to Bamboo Garden these days. My wife vetoes it on the rare occasions I bring it up, so I don’t even bring it up any more. And its in the same general hood as Kumino, which I thought was the most competitive in its price range around there.

Its worth making the distinction between the steamed dumpling (e.g. XLB) from the Shanghai/ Jiangnan area versus the boiled dumpling from Dongbei. Panda makes a nice XLB, but less strong on dumplings. iDumpling is the other way round I think. I am not sure if Dumpling City has XLB. But if they do, its probably going to be similar to Kingdom of Dumpling’s in SF.

A post was split to a new topic: [Sunnyvale, CA] Dumpling Depot

@bbulkow I think the dumplings at Dumpling Depot were one of the best dumplings I’ve had in years, better than Bamboo Garden and Chef Zhao. Definitely worth trying!

Dumpling City is now only selling frozen and freshly made uncooked dumplings. Seems like they are short on staff to offer cooked food. A number of parties showed up to eat but turned away.

Called to ‘reserve’ some fresh dumplings in the morning. They said they had nothing made so far and asked us to show up later, e.g. 12pm. Showed up at 12pm and they hadn’t started making the dumplings. So I waited while they made them on the spot. They got plenty of frozen available in the freezer. Freshly made and frozen are the same price. Freshly made has 18 in each tray while frozen has 20.

Freshly made tasted noticeably better- the skin was more ‘al dente’ versus frozen was more mushy. So if you care about the last 10% of the quality, call in early to reserve the freshly made. Be prepared for them to tell you they don’t have anything and don’t want to sell you freshly made, but be insistent, ready to talk them into changing their mind, and possibly waiting for them to finish the job. Mid-afternoons are possibly better for snatching those freshly made dumplings.

The owner is from He Bei province. So is one of the workers. English is spoken.

Don’t know how relevant these are for the time being:

Freezer:

Blink and you will miss the shop from El Camino. I pass by it almost every day and even I have a hard time in spotting it from the street.

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That was our experience too. We bought some frozen which were good, but it did turn out a little mushy. I wonder if thawing them would be better. I will have to try the freshly made ones!! Thanks for the tip @sck!

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I wonder if its because boiling frozen ones longer in the water cause the skin to be cooked for longer than it should, making it mushy.

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That’s a good guess. I think it’s possible. Will be interesting to experiment fresh, frozen,and thawed to compare. I know my husband and I wouldn’t mind taste testing. :grin:

I should also add that the worker said that half of the dumplings made at Dumpling City get shipped to Dumpling Depot.

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The word from the employees is that they did some renovation of the space and didn’t pass the city’s requirement. So they stopped selling cooked food. No idea if they will resume doing so in the future.

On the other hand, lamb dumpling with zucchini was very gamey, and required a large dose of vinegar to cover it up, for me. Preferred the other dumplings.

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Is it better to steam and eat, or are these intended to be boiled and eaten?

Here’s an article that discusses the textural difference and how to do it. I don’t have steamers so I never tried steaming at home.

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I didn’t know you could microwave dumplings! :astonished: I must try today… I conveniently have a bag of frozen dumplings from I Dumpling… mmmmmm dumplings for dinner tonight! :joy:

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WOW great article!!!

I have been buying my frozen from 99Ranch and using the directions on the bag. They tended toward the “classic pan fry” with some variations. Great to know my options ( and now have an even better frozen source )

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Okay, just tried the microwave method in the article. It totally works! Just make sure to use a non-stick pan… I forgot to and it was sticking like crazy, but other than that, the dumplings turned out well. I can’t believe how fast it is!:heart_eyes:

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Hi Brian! Which ones do you get? Can you share a picture? I’m so curious! Thanks!

Finally, got to try the fresh dumplings from Dumpling City. :heart_eyes: 2 thumbs up, make that 4 (me + the hubs). They’re awesome, definitely worth calling ahead to order them fresh!

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The chive and shrimp dumplings (without pork) are also good. Very fresh floral and herbal chives with just the right amount of shrimp.

Their spicy beef tendon is also pretty delicious.

Took a picture of their dumpling making ‘standard’ while wandering around the store waiting for the fresh dumplings to be finished. It seems the requirement for at least the weight of the dumplings are pretty precise:

‘Each tray has 88 dumplings. They weigh 5.5 pounds total. Can’t be below 5.3 lbs and can’t exceed 5.75 pounds. Otherwise, remake.’

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Latest price list including price of wontons. Note the dumpling price increase of ~$1.

Still going strong. The chicken and spinach wonton is not bad also. They don’t make the skin for that one.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold