1935 Taraval St
San Francisco, CA 94116
My last birthday related blog post will also be about my “official” birthday brunch. Since a number of my friends and I were converging in town for the 4th of July weekend, we decided to also celebrate my birthday with a lunch.
Under the recommendation of one of my friends, we headed to Dumpling Kitchen, out in the Parkside neighborhood just south of Sunset. We arrived a little after 1:30 under the shield of the indomitable fog typical of summer in San Francisco. In about 10 minutes after arriving we were able to be seated in the warmth and the fragrant smells of the dining area and promptly got to ordering. After about 15-20 minutes, our massive quantity of food arrived, including:
- Drunken Chicken (my personal insistence – the chicken was nice, tender, and moist though it could have used more soaking in wine for a more pungent flavor)
- Dry Fried string Beans (The onion and garlic flavor matched well with the string beans. Different than my favored Cantonese style, but very tasty)
- Honey Walnut Shrimp (I’m not a big fan of this dish in general, but it was decently executed and by the end of the meal this plate was empty)
- Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings were great with a nice thin skin that didn’t break. The broth was flavorful without being too overpowering)
- Crab and Pork Xiao Long Bao (Very similar to the other Xiao Long Bao but the crab brought a nice fresh seafood flavor that I loved)
- Sticky Rice Roll (Only had a bite, but it was pretty good with the sticky rice not overpowering the filling)
- Shanghai Style Pan Fried Pork Buns (These were DELICIOUS with a nice fried bottom, juicy and moist pork filling, and wonderfully light dough skin)
For a table of four, this was plenty, though we were able to finish everything except for the large plate of string beans.Our servers politely asked if we wanted to take any of it home, but we declined.
As for the value, I couldn’t tell you as my friends generously paid for my portion, but looking online it seems more than reasonable for the quality of the food.
I had other tasty meals during my trip, including my birthday dim sum brunch with a good friend at Zen Peninsula (didn’t quite match Sea Harbour or Koi Palace but definitely better than any in San Diego) and a post birthday lunch at Namu Gaji (decent Korean fusion). Interestingly enough, I never stepped into Chinatown (San Francisco or Oakland) this trip, which I normally do at least once. It goes to show how the best and quality restaurants have shifted along with a more wealthy population of Chinese people in the suburbs.
Unfortunately, I likely won’t blog about those other Bay Area adventures. Next week I’m traveling to Vancouver and seeing if their Chinese food truly lives up to their “best of North America” reputation.