Info at : www.dumplinghaus.com
I have this theory that the only reason their restaurant is called Dumpling Haus is because that domain name was available. Which makes a lot of sense to me, I mean the only reason I have www.luluz.net is because after trying endless permutations of my name that was the only acceptable on available. I would have loved www.luluzhang.com but it belongs to some oddly artistic Chinese girl. Cry.
I had a bad feeling about Dumpling Haus when I read their website and it said that they specialize in Beijing style food. Most things I have to say about Beijing style food are in the post linked here.
But I heard good things about Dumpling Haus, and so I tried it. It was terrible. I didn’t think it would be that bad, even though it is overpriced (’cause it’s so bad, see? It’s all connected), but it was bland and thoughtless.
How can food be thoughtless? Well, how can a restaurant charge eight dollars for a light-lunch-sized portion of peanut noodles with nothing but a light sauce, scallions, and some julienne cucumber on them? Are you fucking kidding me? As if that weren’t bad enough, the first thought upon taking a bite is: “Where’s the … hot sauce, soy sauce, ANY SAUCE”. I imagine it’s very similar to the sinking feeling a dieter gets when they take their first bite of salad. Even if it’s an adequately dressed salad there’s still a feeling that you’re eating something insubstantial and bland. But hey, there’s an entire (small) plate of it there for ya! It’s partially my fault for ordering peanut noodles. I guess I should have gotten something with meat in it or something. But I never thought it would be so plain, simply because all the other peanut noodles I have ordered in my lifetime have never been this spartan, and I would never serve something this insipid as a main course dish.
We also had the Haus Buns and the Potstickers. If I had known ahead of time that the filling for these two were exactly the same, I would have gotten another flavor of bun. In any case they looked authentic on the outside but were badly executed within. Neither the buns or potstickers had a drop of juice on the inside, which is instant fail. The filling, a nondescript pork and cabbage with too much rice wine and not enough aromatics, was rubbery. I have always read in cookbooks that you should not overwork ground meats for fear of ruining the texture, but this is the first time I have seen it demonstrated. I think that if I had a mind to, I could have bounced the balls of filling off the floor like Silly Putty. Instead of serving dipping sauce with the potstickers, they poured sauce over the potstickers and then they served a dipping sauce with the buns. What the hell is that? You don’t serve sauce with buns. The pastry wrapping the buns had a sour flavor, maybe the sauce is to help hide that.
I am trying not to take the fact that their business seems pretty good as an insult to … Chinese food, or something.
Verdict: I don’t know what Dumpling Haus is an insult to, but it’s an insult to something, most definitely.