1713 Taraval St. (btwn 27th Ave & 28th Ave) | (415) 566-6143 www.kingofchinesedumpling.com
After days of indulgent food in Napa Valley, we were ready for some Asian comfort food and Kingdom of Dumpling was just the ticket. I know N calls me a FOB sometimes but I guess it’s true; after being spoiled with so many great restaurants in Napa, I couldn’t wait to chow down on some Asian food. Located in Central Sunset (Parkside), this
small tiny and unassuming “hole-in-the-wall” may not look like anything special but it is worth the stop, if nothing else than for the spectacular pricing. This restaurant was our friend Jewel’s finding on Yelp and boy are we glad she found it! It is like an old mom-n-pop shop where they have perfected the art of dumplings over the many years of business. It really is a small restaurant and the funny thing is, to get to the bathroom you have to go through a part of the kitchen where the dumplings are being cooked on the stove. In a way, it made me feel more at home and connected with the restaurant. The list of dumplings is extensive and everything sounds delicious so I’d advise you to go with at least a few people and try a variety! My ultimate favourite (of which we ordered many!) were the Shanghai Soup Dumplings, filled with savory broth that you slurp together with the delectable bites of dumpling. Gulp, my mouth is watering at the thought (image above)! The first time I ordered Shanghai Dumplings in New York, I wasn’t aware that they intentionally put broth inside the dumpling and thought the restaurant screwed up and let the water seep through while boiling; so there I was taking a bite out of the dumpling like a grenade and draining the soup into a bowl to throw away. (Such an amateur). Now that I know how it is eaten, it was so much better, lol. We also tried (images in order below) the classic pork and chive steamed dumplings (can’t go wrong with this choice), pan fried Shanghai dumplings (our least favourite), and pork and corn steamed dumplings (hint of sweetness set this one apart from the others):
There were so many more dumplings we could have chosen (beef, lamb, chicken, shrimp, vegetarian etc. with napa cabbage, carrots, Chinese spinach, string beans, etc.) but even our tummies have a limiting capacity! Although dumplings are obviously their specialty, the main dishes we tried were equally delicious. We ordered chow mein and fried rice (images below) and I would have liked to try some of their dim sum options (eg. green chive pancakes) but yet again, the stomach revolted at the thought of having to make more space. For those who live in the area, you can even purchase bags of dumplings that are ready to be cooked at home! I don’t know if they give out their hot sauce for take out but I loved eating the dumplings with their house made sauce which looked scary at first as it is bright orange.
Considering this was our cheapest meal of the trip by far, it was one of the highlights! And it looks like we’re not alone because the walls were plastered with newspaper articles of glowing reviews as well as stamps of approval from the likes of Zagat, Yelp and some others. After searching out this place, we were hesitant upon arrival but we left fully
satisfied content pleased gratified! If you find yourself drooling for dumplings in NYC, I would recommend checking out New Wonton Garden in Chinatown at 56 Mott Street (between Bayard & Canal St.) for their version of Shanghai (Soup) Dumplings, also very yummy!
Here are some final pictures to leave you really dreaming of dumplings tonight, I know I will be…