Dumpling Time Review: Juicy, Flavorful Dumplings (SoMa, San Francisco)

On a Saturday at 11am, the line to get into Dumpling Time for the first seating stretches around the block before the restaurant is even open. The wait time on a Saturday can take up to 1.5 hours. I thought it was insane that people were willing to wait that long for dumplings, but after eating there, I completely understood why. 

There is no lack of dumplings in San Francisco, but there are very few spots that are outstanding in quality. Dumpling Time stands out because of that; fresh made dumplings and noodles made with locally sourced ingredients right before your eyes. 

Patrick and I loved everything we ate - xiao long bao, pan seared char siu pork belly buns, seafood gyoza, vegetarian xi'an dumplings, Beijing pork noodles and trio of dessert buns.

Both xiao long bao options, pork and tom yum, are outstanding. The skin on the dumplings are thin with a slight chew, very flavorful, juicy filling. Patrick claims that the seared char siu pork belly buns are the best he's ever had - incredibly fluffy with a great filling to dough ratio. I also highly recommend the seafood gyoza, loaded full of crab, scallop, and shrimp in a spinach skin and served with a spiced chili butter sauce.

I usually don't care for vegetarian dumplings, but I really enjoyed the vegetarian Xi'an dumplings with a filling of chives, garnished with micro herbs, fennel, fresno chilies and cherry tomatoes.

The Beijing pork noodles were good and the noodles had a great texture, though it was my least favorite out of everything because the flavors leaned too far on the salty side for me from the use of soybean paste. 

Our meal ends with a "happy ending", as they like to call it. I am a sucker for sweet dessert buns, so we order the trio of buns - green tea & milk, beet & taro, and egg yolk. The buns were fluffy and I enjoyed each creamy custard filling. 

I left completely stuffed and satisfied, but wanted more. I'll definitely be back. 

Thank you for having us as your guests, Dumpling Time! 

Note: I was invited to Dumpling Time as a guest of the house, but all opinions and words expressed are completely my own. 


Visiting Dumpling Time

Location

11 Division St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone

415.525.4797

Menu

https://www.dumplingtimesf.com/menu/

Hours

  • Monday-Sunday 11am-2pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm

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The Bird Review: Ridiculously Delicious Fried Chicken Sandwiches (FiDi, San Francisco)

For over the past two months, I've been going to The Bird at least every other week for their ridiculously delicious fried chicken sandwiches. If you've been following me on Instagram, you can probably tell that I'm obsessed. It is the best fried chicken sandwich I've ever had in my life. For real. 

I've had several fried chicken sandwiches throughout the East Bay and San Francisco, but nothing comes even close to The Bird. My favorite is the spicy chicken sandwich ($8). The thigh meat is huge, so juicy and moist. The meat has this really nice silky texture that's easy to bite into. The exterior is crispy with a nice golden crust that's coated in some kind of spicy paprika all-spice oil that gives off a mild level of heat, contrasting with the bright pickles and apple-celery slaw. 

I may just be lucky, but every sandwich I've had has been unbelievably on point and consistent. I've even taken a sandwich to go all the way home and it was still crisp the next day. Every person I've taken to join me has come back for more. There's usually a line during the lunch hour, so I make sure to get there by 11:30am. They move pretty quick - I usually get my food in less than 7 minutes. The curly fries are great, crispy and nicely seasoned. The loaded fries are a real treat if you're into having your fries dressed with gooey cheese sauce, sour cream, bacon and scallions. 

They recently started serving brown butter biscuit sandwiches ($4.50) for breakfast during the weekdays (ends at 10:30am), which I freakin' love. You can choose from the fried chicken, house made sausage or bacon. My favorite, of course, is the fried chicken, which is about half the size of the thigh served at lunch and comes with irresistible crispy hashbrown bites. 

If you love fried chicken sandwiches, you've got to try out The Bird


Visiting The Bird

Location

115 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco

Website

http://thebirdsf.com/

Phone

415.872.9825

Hours

  • M-W: 8am-8pm, Th-F: till 9pm

  • Sat: 11-4pm

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Coming Soon: Ippo Ramen Pop-Up at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe (Oakland)

Inspired by the lack of good ramen in the East Bay, Steven Yee, a former San Francisco line cook, started a Japanese pop-up in 2012 by the name of Ippo Ramen. Ippo Ramen is one of the original players in the ramen game that got so popular through word-of-mouth that bowls would sell out at nearly every pop-up! 

I was recently invited to an intimate Ippo Ramen media dinner by Christina of East Bay Dish at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe where Steven served up four dishes for us to try. 

We started with cha su don, a very simple rice bowl topped with chopped pork and a soft boiled egg, then we quickly moved to three bowls of ramen from lightest to heaviest - shio, shoyu and miso.

The cha su don was too bland for me and the pork was on the dry side. It needed some kind of sauce to bring it together.

The ramen was tasty and had springy noodles. Each ramen broth has a base made of beef, pork and shellfish. Out of the three ramen bowls I tasted, I enjoyed the shio and miso broth best. The shio has a light and salty broth, whereas the miso was rich and flavorful.  I enjoyed the cook on the eggs, but I wish it was marinated so there's some flavor to it. 

Ippo Ramen is simply tasty ramen that you can enjoy with a nice cold beer. If you haven't yet, give it a try. 

Currently, Ippo pops up at mostly breweries and farmers markets, but starting in mid-March they'll also be popping up at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe in Oakland (719 Washington St. Oakland) on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 10pm or until sold out. The bowls are priced at $9. 

For more details, be sure to follow Ippo Ramen on Facebook

Much love to Christina for the invite and to Steven for having us!

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