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  • Writer's pictureTheFork

Would I Fly Just for Lunch? When It’s Dumpling House, Absolutely!

In the heart of San Francisco’s vibrant Castro district, tucked away on a seemingly nondescript side street, lies a culinary secret that many have yet to uncover. From the outside, Dumpling House, at 335 Noe St., doesn’t demand attention. Its quiet presence might even be mistaken for timidity. But step inside, and you’ll be gently reminded that, sometimes, modest exteriors hide rich stories.

You wouldn’t suspect it, but the hands that knead, fill, and crimp the dough at Dumpling House carry stories from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and even tales whispered within the hallowed kitchens of Michelin-starred haunts. There’s an alchemy in their Chicken & Corn Dumplings, a kind of edible memoir with flavors that swirl and dance on your palate, telling tales of bustling Asian streets and age-old family recipes. Meanwhile, the Spinach Dumplings come across as a soft sonnet, their silky casings holding a world of subtlety and grace.

While munching on the perfectly crisp Garlic Green Beans, a metaphor crossed my mind. They were like the tenacious residents of the Bay Area, holding their own amid a cascade of flavors and experiences, bending but never breaking. The marinated Cucumber? A cheeky interlude, like a drag queen’s sassy one-liner during a Pride parade, lightening the mood and prepping you for the next act.

There’s an earnestness here that’s hard to find these days. A commitment to craft that makes one wonder: “Would it be utterly mad to hop on a flight from Burbank or LAX just for lunch?” Perhaps. But sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants. And mine might just crave the warm embrace of Dumpling House’s dim sum on a cold San Francisco day.

So, here’s to the hidden alleys of culinary wonders. And to Dumpling House, with your unassuming grace and impeccable craft, I tip my hat and say, “Xiè xiè.” You’ve earned 4 out of 5 forks in my book.

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