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
11 Division St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Monday-Sunday 11am-2pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm