Since opening in May, Dumpling Time in San Francisco has been the dumpling destination.
Folks start lining up on weekends long before the restaurant opens for dinner at 5:30 p.m., jotting their name down on a clip board to snag one of the 70 seats inside or 20 on the front patio. That’s the scene I witnessed when I dined there as a guest of the restaurant a few weeks ago. Even after I demolished the contents of my last steamer basket and departed, there was still a throng of people queued up patiently at the entrance.
Who doesn’t love dumplings, right? Especially traditional ones given a contemporary flair with delicious fillings, colorful wrappers, and social media pizazz?
That’s what you’ll find at this casual, affordable South of Market Street establishment from the same restaurant group that owns the more rarefied Omakase nearby.
My husband and I were seated at the table on the patio directly beside a window that peeks into the restaurant’s dumpling-making room. That’s where the magic happens throughout the day and night, as a small crew meticulously stuffs and folds dumpling after dumpling at lightening speed. Chef Do Leung, who was born in Guandong, China and was most recently at Tai Wu restaurant in Millbrae, oversees the kitchen.