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Dumplings

Recommendations for the best Dumpling restaurants in SF

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  1. Not counting Koi Palace in Daly City (Best dumplings in the Bay Area), I find yummy soup dumplings/Shanghai dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling Shop on Balboa or Old Shanghai on Geary. Plain old har gow and shiu mai and other yummy items can be found cheap and tasty at Good Luck Dim Sum on Clement or overpriced and tasty at Ton Kiang on Geary. But I would hands down recommend Koi Palace over all of these places for dumplings of all stripes. My last experience in that outer courtyard at Yank Sing was awful in terms of service. Plus its costly and frankly tastes no better than cheap bakery dim sum, in my opinion. Avoid.

      1. What kind of dumplings are you looking for? XLB or the water dumplings or steamed dumplings?

        1. Dumplings is a generic term.

          If you are talking about Northern Chinese style boiled dumplings aka shui jiao or jiaozi, like pork and cabbage or pork and chive (or pork and celery), look no further than Asian American Food Company on Noriega (aka King of Chinese Dumplings). Freshly made and frozen on the premises. $6 for a bag of 20 or so, and they surpass most restaurants. To go of course. Cheaper than eating at a restaurant. They also sell xiao long bao/XLB which you can steam at home as well but chances are you will get a better version at a sit down restaurant.

          13 Replies
          1. re: K K

            Actually Ken, don't you think the majority of Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area serve cr*ppy XLB? Only a few do OK. Just head to Marina Foods in Foster City or Cupertino and buy the frozen dumplings, potstickers, and XLB from this company (forgot the name in English, it's Famous Person or Celebrity in Chinese) that makes everything by hand in California. You won't miss it because it's probably the most expensive brand there (about $13 for about 40 pieces). Better than 95% of what restaurants here can churn out.

            I have been to Hana in that mall where Mitsuwa sits on Saratoga Avenue in West San Jose. They use high-quality flour and make all the dumplings by hand. The menu outside states in Chinese, Japanese, and English that they sell frozen dumplings made on premise to go. But every time I go they sell out, and I can only eat in.

            Vincent

            1. re: vincentlo

              I actually tried your recommendation of MyHall. For home use it is certainly a great value. And given that I live in the Peninsula it's not convenient for me to trek all the way up to Noreiga SF to Asian America Foods to pick up bags of frozen dumplings (far superior). I think MyHall dumplings are decent but they are not certainly the best. I'll have to respectfully disagree on the MyHall XLB that you love so much :-) It's ok, perhaps it is a steaming technique, but I'd rather eat these outside (like Koi Palace).

              Vince have you tried XLB at Su Hong Eatery in Palo Alto (behind Fuki Sushi)? They're probably one of the best in the Peninsula, might be closer for you.

              Hana....well guess what I learned from Miki-san on Saturday, (the wife of your absolute favorite sushi chef in Mountain View) that they use the same imported Japanese flour for their Chinese style noodles at Hana as Maruichi ramen (after all they're under the same umbrella). Hana's noodles are certainly superb, but the toppings, broth, or sauce that goes with it is not very good. The dumplings are nice but I certainly would not trek all the way from SF (if I were coming from there) to SJ just for that. The kitchen and dumpling chefs were hired out of China, somewhere near Sichuan. They never really had Butaman whenever I was their either.

              1. re: K K

                Hey thanks all, just to clarify I will be visiting the city for 2 weeks. I wont be able to cook in my hotel and I would like to stick to the city of SF itself.

                1. re: K K

                  Hey I never said MyHall dumplings are the best in the Bay Area, just the best among what you can get from the large Asian grocery stores. =)

                  Yes the first time I tried it I was very surprised to find the XLB at Su Hong Palo Alto quite decent, definitely among the best.

                  As for XLB from Koi Palace, it can be good if it's fresh out of the kitchen. If not, oh well...

                  Vincent

                  1. re: K K

                    Re: su hong - is there anything else there that's edible?

                    I ate dinner off the regular menu and was, let's say, disappointed. Windy's on University is my go-to when I don't want to trek north to San Mateo or south to Mt View. Windy's has a passable water dumpling.

                    1. re: bbulkow

                      Note that there is a world of difference between Su Hong Menlo Park and Su Hong Eatery Palo Alto. Though the best items from the S.H.E Palo Alto place is from the Chinese only characters menu.

                      1. re: K K

                        Yes. I remember eating with other Stanford undergrads in the early 90s at Su Hong in Menlo Park. Nice decor, and not bad Americanized Chinese dishes. But Su Hong Palo Alto is actually a contender for one of the better (or best?) Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area. Try Xiao Long Bao, chestnut chicken clay pot, and a specialty pork rib dish there.

                        Vincent

                2. re: K K

                  I would definitely second the recommendation of Kingdom of Dumplings on Noriega in SF. After receiving numerous CH recommendations of the place, I've been there twice and have bought about 10 different kinds of their 2 dozen or so varieties. All have been very good to excellent, with the exception of the XLB (for which I will go to Shanghai Dumpling House on Balboa as previously mentioned) which were just pretty good. Recently boiled some chicken wontons the other day, which were so flavorful and fresh tasting despite being in my freezer for a month or so. Definitely worth the trip, just bring a cooler bag and stock up on a bunch of varieties; they're great to have in the freezer for a quick meal or snack when the fridge is empty.

                  1. re: K K

                    FYI -- The dumpling shop is Asian American Food Company aka King of Chinese Dumpling

                    Neighborhood: Outer Sunset
                    1426 Noriega St
                    (between 21st Ave & 22nd Ave)
                    San Francisco, CA 94122
                    (415) 665-6617

                    http://www.kingofchinesedumpling.com/...

                    1. re: larochelle

                      Just looked at the website do they serve them COOKED, remember I will be staying at a hotel!

                      1. re: irbaboon

                        No, they don't serve them cooked. They only sell packages of frozen dumplings or wontons.

                        1. re: irbaboon

                          Where is your hotel going to be and will you have access to a car?

                          1. re: K K

                            Near Nob hill and I will be relying on public transit, cabs and Shanks' mare i.e:my own two feet!