Dumplings and Buns Near You
The news sounded like music to the ears of this dim sum-lover—Dumplings and Buns, an Asian comfort fare specialty grocery shop, was opening in Pacific Heights in San Francisco. I can’t imagine anything more comforting than succulent Hong Kong dumplings in silky steamed dough—be it meat, shrimp, vegetable, or a number of combinations of various enticing ingredients.
And of course, the buns—savory or sweet—all is good in dough. (Am I repeating myself?)
At the pre-opening event, I had a chance to try a teaser from the upcoming short-but-sweet menu of my favorite treats. My chicken dumpling, pork dumpling, and pea-shoot dumpling were of a slightly larger size then usual, delicately slim, showing their stuffing through the thin rice wrapper, and absolutely divine with soy-and-chili sauce.
A BBQ pork bao had a perfect golden tan from the oven, and was nicely stuffed with meat and onions. Finally, a sweet custard bun was filled with chocolate, and presented the best imaginable dessert – not too sugary, and very satisfying.
On the eat in/take out menu, there are also pork, shrimp, and mix ‘n match dumplings; chicken bao; chicken wonton soup with mushrooms, pea shoot wonton soup with mushrooms and tofu (vegan); soba noodles salad with baked tofu and cabbage; and sweet bao with vanilla, coconut crème, orange and ginger as well as “boozer buns” – chocolate Kahlua, lemon Cointreau, and May’s Favorite Amaretto.
May is the shop’s founder, May Lee Iorfido. She came up with the menu ideas in collaboration with Chef Katie Leaird, trained in French pastry, who is now at the helm of the kitchen here. Chef Katie told me that she learned how to perfect the dumplings and the buns from May’s grandmother, so the stamp of authenticity is definitely there.
Dumplings and Buns opens to the public on Monday, August 29, and is sure to please the lunching/dining crowds of this swanky area of the city.
Dumplings and Buns is located at 2411 California St., off Fillmore, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information or to place a to go order, call 415-292-6209.
Editor’s note: This venue is now closed.