Dumpling alert! Opening this Friday May 19th in SoMa is DUMPLING TIME, and I hope they are prepared for the crush of people who are going to want to explore their menu of unique dumplings that span Chinese, Japanese, and “choose your own” fusion options. I mentioned this project a couple of months ago, but after attending a media preview last week, I got a better sense of what they’re offering.
On the menu, there are classic xiao long bao soup dumplings, or you can try a spicy tom yum goong-stuffed version with heritage pork belly, black tiger shrimp, and coconut milk, wrapped in a beet wrapper (I recommend you do). The bao are fluffy and delicate, with fillings like chashu, chicken, or pork and green onion—you can order them steamed or panfried. Gyoza come with a variety of fillings, and things are definitely untraditional with the har gow, filled with black tiger shrimp, cream cheese, and juicy pork. There are plenty of vegetarian options as well.
They are getting in on the giant dumpling madness sweeping New York, with a giant XLB (comes with a straw!) and giant chashu bao (which I don’t really see the point of, but some people gotta go king size!). There is also shrimp toast, some sides like garlicky green beans, and sweet buns for dessert too. There are 10 local craft beers on tap, plus some bottled selections and wines as well.
The restaurant is from Kash Feng (a native of Xi’an, China) and his Omakase Restaurant Group (ORG), which is right around the corner. The dumpling chef is Do Leung, previously dumpling chef at Tai Wu restaurant in Millbrae—he is originally from Zhongshan, Guangdong, China. There is a glass-enclosed “dumpling room,” where dumplings are made from scratch, using quality ingredients. Many of the recipes at Dumpling Time were created or inspired by Feng’s mom, as well as Omakase executive chef Jackson Yu’s mom. Yay, moms.
Aya Jessani designed the space, which seats 70, and includes communal tables, a mural, and pink neon. There will also be patio seating this summer, with room for 20. Daily lunch will be served 11:30am-3pm, dinner Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm and Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm. No reservations. 11 Division St. at King.
Pork bao, pork gyoza, and har gow at Dumpling Time. All photos: Michael Ogata.