Forgive the new discussion post, other reviews of the new iteration are spread out among several "new openings" threads.
Swung by the new Dumpling Inn on Saturday, and we sat at the bar area. The back bar area is the Shanghai Saloon, with oddly large leather chairs and couches as well as numerous bar seats. Craft beer is displayed at the front bar, whiskey and cocktails on the side. The bar area has a limited menu at night, but all we wanted were some Xio Long Bao and other snacks to go with our beers.
Shanghai Saloon Menu
We ordered the XLB (affectionately and lazily acronymed on the menu to appeal to hipster Convoy rookies?), some other dumplings, popcorn calamari, and the sautéed greens in oyster sauce. Besides the XLB, the dishes were well prepared and nice options for some good craft beer. That's isn't the point of my post though. That falls to the highly disappointing XLB.
I enjoyed the XLB at Dumpling Inn 1.0 in the past, even though I felt they were inferior to XLB that I have had in SF, Seattle, and Vancouver. Personally, I don't elevate soup dumplings to High Art status, following a belief of "even middling soup dumplings are better than no soup dumplings". The XLB at Dumpling Inn 2.0 now negates my axiom. The XLB (actually, now I am quite happy to have this acronym for posting) at Dumpling Inn 2.0 were extremely rubbery with the skins slightly tough and far too chewy. The dumplings had no broth whatsoever, and the stuffing was very bland and one big dense lump of mystery meat. Lastly, the soup dumpling spoons were strangely oversized, befitting only those with Joker sized mouths.
Craft beer selection was well done. I also had a bourbon old fashioned to test the cocktail preparation. It was made in the proper style using just bitters, bourbon, a single whiskey ice cube, and a fresh orange peel (no pith).