Panda Dumpling in Redwood City
Just wanted to alert everyone that Panda Dumpling of San Carlos (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/790617) has opened a new location in Redwood City. I haven't been there yet, but I suspect it replaces Beijing Kitchen (which was previously the Chinese - Hawaiian place).
711 El Camino Real
Redwood City, CA 94063
Well I too saw this new opening. Yes it was the Chinese-Hawaiian/Beijing Kitchen.
It seems that the cooking team at the San Carlos location split up. The woman who made dumpling remain in San Carlos while the man who was the lead cook is in Redwood City. I was able to get the waiter to tell me that woman trained the dumpling new dumpling chef. Which explains why I saw two additional women working at the San Carlos in early Dec.
The food was as good in Redwood City and there will be a 10% discount for at least this month.
A welcome addition to Redwood City. But my only question why open in a location with so poor parking?
Poor parking? Really? Just park around the corner in the Caltrain lot, there's some deal for parking there on weekends and evenings, or park in the lot behind crouching tiger, that often has space.
I was on an errand across the street, but I just had eaten an in-and-out. If I had remember new dumplings I would have saved my calories (although I have an in-and-out about once in 6 months and today did just feel like the right day)
Haven't been there yet, but I did have a chance to try some reheated leftovers of the spicy dumplings. These were shui jiao, boiled pork and chive dumplings with the typical thickish, doughy, chewy skins bathed in red oil. But the saucing was quite different than other versions, including some peanut butter for a rich creaminess and bits of preserved vegetable. Since this is dan dan mian month, I wanted to highlight them as sort of a dan dan jiaozi rendition.
I had been to Dumpling Kitchen in SF for lunch and had my own leftovers of its version of spicy dumplings. My brother agreed that Dumpling Kitchen's were better with a more intense-tasting filling and less doughy wrappers.
Still, Panda's are unique.
re: Melanie Wong
Finally went - we're fans.
staff is from shanghai. XLB were long on anise and short on broth. Skins were about right.
We had "beef pancake" which seemed very much like street food I've seen in beijing, can't remember the name. It's more like a deep fried bun with lots of juicy meaty goodness inside.
We happened to get the shui jiao, and we also liked the peanut base. Never had anything quite like it, and we'll be back for more.
The dumplings all seemed (via inspection of the kitchen) frozen. No one making fresh today, and I saw them being pulled out of the freezer. There's still a chef, but he was in the back room reading a newspaper and smoking.
They had a super-cute hedgehog bun, which was a doughy mass with sweet bean inside (or lotus root). More fun to look at then eat.
This place could use more business. When we drove past iDumpling that was nearly full. Panda Dumpling is at least as good.
Frozen isn't too big of an issue for some kinds of dumplings, but they freeze a lot of their other stuff too. For that reason, I declined to get the vegetarian goose and instead got the salty duck. The chef needs to be retrained on microwaving--- the duck tonight was hot on one end, and had ice crystals in the middle.
I really dug the the Ji Cai (shepherd's purse) pork wontons. Wonton wrappers can't rival handmade skins, but these are a delicious dumpling with a peppery and herbal flavored filling. They're served in a basic broth with spinach. They're listed at other Shanghainese places as "vegetable with pork wonton soup," "Shepherd's purse wonton," or "Chinese vegetable and pork wonton soup."