Noodles at Dumpling House
Are the "hand pulled noodles" at Dumpling House (on Rosemead in TC)
irregular in shape like those at e.g. China Islamic, or are they made
in house but shaped like standard machine-extruded noodles? I've been there
a couple times and never noticed the noodles or thought to ask if there
The noodles at Dumpling House used to be hand pulled, had a bigger diameter and superior elastic quality to them. I noticed the last time I went that the noodles had changed. Upon further probing, I found a few strands still stuck together as if they were put through a pasta maker. I asked the waitress what had happend to the noodles. She just pretended like she didn't notice any difference. After that, she went over to whisper to the boss man and looked my way. The noodles are good. They're just not hand pulled good.
Actually, I would say "all" restaurants that have hand-pulled noodles buy them. The exception being the hand-cut variety offered at places like Heavy Noodling.
In fact, a couple of months ago I was speaking with the owner of Dumpling House and he was mentioning that it is now cost prohibitive to actually make hand pulled noodles in house, given the dearth of qualified noodles makers and the quality and cost advantage of pre-packaged hand-pulled noodles.
I tried out this Dumpling House last night and wasn't blown away by the food. It was good in a hearty-comfort-food type of way, but it wasn't spectacular. I had the soup noodles with seafood and egg. The broth was good, but a little bland. The noodles were satisfying, chewy, and plentiful.
The BF had the veggie Mandarin chow mein noodles. Our waiter said it was different than the regular chow mein noodles on the menu because it used hand pulled noodles, so I'm assuming the regular chow mein noodles use machine made ones. I had a taste and it was pretty decent, but he thought it was bland as well.
What really stood out that night was dessert, which they listed on the menu as banana dumplings. We were expecting dumplings filled with bananas and a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top, but that wasn't it. First, the waitress brought in a bowl of ice water. When I asked her what it was for, she said it was to dip the dumplings in. When she brought out the plate of dessert, all confusion was cleared up. The banana dumplings are actually bit sized chunks of banana coated in some kind of sugary syrup. You take a piece, dip it quickly in the ice water, and the syrup hardens into a candy coating.
At first, we were disappointed that they weren't actually dumplings, but after one bite I forgot about my disappointment. The candied bananas were delicious. Also on the menu were apple, yam, and corn dumplings, which I assume are also candied in the same way.
While the food isn't something to write home about, the dessert was a pleasant surprise.
I would avoid the chow mein there. It's a Cantonese dish, and Northerners aren't known for their expertise in making them. Once, I asked the owner why a Northern restaurant would serve chow mein. He replied that his Cantonese customers kept on asking for chow mein. I suppose one must do what must be done to stay in business.