Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Mar 27, 2014 10:45 AM

Dumpling Express - Berkeley

Looks interesting. 2328 Bowditch @ Durant in Berkeley. Still in brown papered windows mode.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: heidipie

      Dumpling Express was crowded with Cal students at lunch. The neighborhood seems quite receptive to this new source for made-to-order Chinese dumplings.
      The two types I tried, shrimp/chive and mixed vegetable were great. Bright, balanced flavors, fresh ingredients, medium thin wrappers. Everything is made right in front of you by a crew working at a steady pace to keep up with demand. Rice plates, soups, congee are also available. Take out only. Cash only, at present.

      1. re: heidipie

        I poked my nose in a few days ago. No seating -- standup bar only, and it was a hot day and very hot inside. It was fairly busy.

        1. re: heidipie

          I stopped by on my way off campus this evening. The short version is that it is a great value but not really worth going out of your way for. I work on Berkeley campus, so I'll likely be back. Unlike the takeout dim sum concept all dumplings are steamed/boiled to order, though you have to order a full batch (12). Though the XLB pork are 5.50, so still very cheap. I got the pork XLB (they have pork+crab for about $2 more) and lamb vegetable dumplings. They also offer congee, chow fun, and rice plates that some of the students seemed to be waiting for.
          The dumplings are all put in plastic clamshells immediately after they are done cooking, whether you are eating there or to go. The XLB are good for the price--the skins weren't terribly thick, but they were a bit gummy, even though I ate the first one second after the cashier took the from the steamer. The pork was maybe not fatty enough--the soup was flavorful enough, but the remaining pork was nothing too exciting. The lamb dumplings were good, though I'd probably order another type in the future. I didn't note any leek/chive note and the main vegetable was napa, the listed component to most other dumplings. It was crowded, and seems easier to eat your dumplings on the street than at the already crowded stand-up counter. They now take cash and credit, though there is a discount for cash.

          1. re:

            I got a half dozen XLB for lunch. Not bad though maybe not the best thing to order.

            1. re:

              Thanks for the description. The gummy skin is annoying. I use the soy/vinegar/ginger to cut a bit of that. Not really a solution but it helps a bit.

          2. tried the porridge (jook)4.13
            -lots of watery rice, tender beef, lots of msg and sodium
            -7 minutes wait......

            1. According to the woman who works the front counter,

              1. According to someone who works there, the owner also owns two places in or near San Francisco.