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Dumpling and noodle houses are proliferating faster than I can keep up with them. But perhaps that’s not a bad thing as this was the third one in as many months that was a letdown. The seafood dumplings in black cuttlefish ink wrappers, $12, were not seasoned at all and were filled mostly with Chinese chives and next to no seafood. It did attract a non-Chinese customer from across the room who asked me what this was. I didn’t mind telling him that it was a tasteless waste of money. And very weird presentation of black colored food on a black plate.
The knife cut noodles with lamb, $9.90, seemed under-priced. But the reason became clear why it cost so little. This had more mushrooms than lamb and also annoyingly spindly stems and woody ends that stabbed the soft palate. Both the noodles and the dumplings were much too soft. Not overcooked, just not enough gluten content or development to have satisfying texture.
The one saving grace turned out to be the San Tung chicken wings, $8.50, for six little pieces. Thin batter for a delicate crispness, juicy meat, vivid and tangy sweet and sour saucing that’s more tart than sugary and slightly piquant too. Did I mention they're on the small side?
I had plopped myself at a table in front of the dumpling and noodle prep station. But neither of those dishes I ordered were produced here. Hmmm. Well, no matter, scratching this off my list.
354 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
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