Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh Dumplings!

best dumpling peninsula
best dumpling south bay
Thanks to an unexpected early afternoon traffic along the 101 Fwy, I recently had a surprising culinary encounter on the way to visit our friend. We detoured off the freeway, and ended up on Broadway in Burlingame, a main street dotted with mom and pop style stores that felt like they are steeped in local traditions rather than cosmetic glitzy fanfares.

A sign in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese caught my attention. It's a dumpling house on the corner of Broadway and Laguna. Or more precisely, Grace Garden is a restaurant specializing in Shangdong cuisine, of which flour-based staples, such as noodles, buns, dumplings are the specialties. Yes, there are other dishes on the menu, but whenever I come across a Shangdong restaurant that handmade their dumplings, I had to try them.

The boiled dumplings (port with leek) and steamed Shao Long Bao dumplings were amazing. Shao Long Bao is more of a Shanghainese dumpling, and is "the item" to try at well-known Ding Tai Fung dumpling house in the Los Angeles area, or Arcadia to be precise. Since moving from LA, we have not found a satisfying dumpling place. My homemade version is not bad, but I don't have the expertise to make the dumpling skin myself and always had to rely on the mediocre machine-made variety from Asian grocery stores. At the end of our meal, we couldn't resist but bought more dumplings in its frozen-and-ready-to-cook form as a quick rescue for a "I'm too lazy to cook" weekday dinner. The home cooked version is equally good. The dumplings are as plump and juicy as the ones we had at Grace Garden.

Grace Garden Restaurant
1200 Broadway
Burlingame, CA 94010-3424

1 comment:

The Flirty Girl said...

It's almost 3:00 am and now I want dumplings. I have some vegetarian ones from Trader Joes in the freezer but I'm certain they are a far cry from the ones pictured here. LOL. Thanks for the tip. Will have to check them out the next time I'm in Burlingame.