Finally tried THE dumpling house in Arcadia Sat. morning, and let me tell you was it something special.
We left the OC (Dana Point) at 9:00 Saturday morning to be assured early arrival so as not to miss out on the famous soup dumplings. Arriving a little after 10:00 AM (they open at 10:30) there was already a short line (2 families) so we assumed the position and stood hungrily trying to imagine what was to be in store this overcast morning in Arcadia. By the time they opened the doors at 10:30 the line had increased 5 fold and I am happy to report that we were the only Anglos in that line (and that is always a really good sign). The first thing I noticed upon entering was how clean the place was. From the carpet, to the tabletops, to the bathrooms, everything seemed freshly scrubbed. Once we sat down it was apparent that we better hurry and mark our orders on the card you are given as the tables around us were hurriedly handing off the cards to the waitresses (all dressed in fresh pressed matching outfits). We decided on 2 orders of the soup dumplings, an order of the juicy crab and pork dumplings, an order of shiu mai, an order of the vegetable dumplings, an order of the fried pork and noodles, and an order of the pork buns. The waitress told us we ordered too much (there were three of us) and my father replied "I'm not sure we ordered enough". Sitting in my cube hungry on Monday morning I look back and think to myself that we didn't order enough. The first dish brought out was the first order of the soup dumplings. I was amazed how small and cute they were when the girl took off the lid to the steamer. I followed the recomendation on how to eat from the chopstick packaging and was amazed. The mixture of juice, pork, and dumpling went together perfectly with the ginger/vinegar condiment mixture. I was impressed with how perfectly seasoned and textured it was. Not salty, not greasy...just simply stated and wonderful. The crab/pork dumplings were next which were great as well. They tasted amazingly of the sea (which was nice) and provided a nice burst of juice when you popped them in your mouth as well. The fried pork noodles came next. They were to die for. Home-made noodles of the perfect texture with bits of pork and some greens. It was noticeably less greasy than the pork chow fun I am used too and it might be my new favorite noodle dish. The shiu mai were next. They looked divine.....fat at the bottom, skinnier on top, with a small shrimp placed on the opening of each. Hands down best shiu mai i have ever had. They were too hot to eat at first...but once they cooled and i popped the first one in my mouth a huge smile hit my face. perfectly seasoned, juicy, and quite sizeable it was just awesome. Next were the vegetable dumplings. These were different than what i thought they would be but equally as good as everything else. The green inside was chopped quite fine, and they had mixed it with some sort of grain (not quite sure what it was or even if it was a grain) which gave a nice almost crunchy texture. The pork bun came next. Very different from the char siu buns i am used to, but again just awesome. THe dough was so light and fluffy, and the pork filling so juicy and hot. Very very good, though when she cut them in half a bit of the juice from inside leaked out. And at that point they brought out the final order of soup dumplings which was a perfect end to the meal. Overall it was very very good. The total came to $50.88 which is more than affordable. Every single dish was remarkable in it's own way. I wish I was eating it right now. I'll be back.