Carb lovers, these two pieces of coming soon news should make you happy. First, the Omakase Restaurant Group (Omakase and Okane) are going to be opening a casual dumpling and beer house, DUMPLING TIME this April in SoMa, just a couple of blocks from their other restaurants. (Owner Kash Feng is from Xi’an, China, so he grew up basically surrounded with dumplings—this is a project he has wanted to do for some time.)
Expect an array of Chinese and Japanese dumplings (primarily gyoza) made fresh throughout the day, with some California inspiration. Guests will choose their own fillings and dumpling skins and shapes, ranging from seafood, heritage pork, vegetarian, chicken, lamb, and wagyu beef, with the option of bright wrappers made with spinach, beets, and more. You’ll be able to watch the dumplings be made from scratch in a glass-enclosed “dumpling room.” Daily noodles will also be available. Plan on 10 local craft beers on tap, plus some bottled selections and wines as well. The 70-seat restaurant will also feature 20 seats on a patio. 11 Division St. at King.
(A quick sidenote, the Omakase PR team let us know Kash Feng will also be opening a yakiniku Japanese BBQ concept, steakhouse, whisky bar, butcher shop, and udon restaurant this fall to One Henry Adams, just by the roundabout.)
Meanwhile, udon fans will be visiting KAGAWA-YA UDON NOODLE CO., also due to open in April. The Mid-Market restaurant (just by the NEMA building) will be quick service, featuring housemade Sanuki-style udon (known for its square shape and flat edges). It’s famous in the Kagawa Prefecture in the Shikoku region of Japan, where there are more than 600 udon shops, and the local population consumes more than seven times than the national average. (Maybe I just found my future home?)
Chef Sean Lim (Palace Hotel, Kyo-Ya) and his wife Katherine Chiao were trained in Kagawa and imported Japanese kitchen equipment. There will be hot or cold broth available ($8-$15 a bowl), plus Japanese-style curries over rice and a variety of bites like Spam musubi (Lim is from Honolulu), onigiri, and tempura. Check out the udon menu here.
The 40-seat space will have a modern, minimalist aesthetic with an exhibition kitchen, a large custom communal table, and lots of natural light. Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-7pm. 1455 Market St. at 10th St, 415-703-0995.
A rendering of Dumpling Time’s upcoming interior. Courtesy of Aya Jessani.