4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Dumplings, Pot Stickers, and Buns Galore at Dumpling Inn

A week or so ago, I decided to blindly try out a restaurant on Convoy. I found it online, liked the name – Jasmine something or other – and headed over without looking at their menu. When my three-year-old daughter and I entered the restaurant, I got a “we prefer no children” vibe from the red silk-covered chairs and the mean-eyed waiter. But, I have a rather significant defiant streak in me, so we sat down.

Two minutes later, however, when I opened the menu and saw a list of dishes in the $30-$50 range, we turned around and walked back out.

That part of Convoy is densely packed with Chinese restaurants, so we left the car where it was and walked around the building to little strip mall where we found Dumpling Inn smooshed between an eye clinic and a foot spa.

None

The tiny restaurant has nine tables and a full wall of mirrors. In the center of the mirrored wall, a sign reads “Best jellyfish east of Hong Kong – 2001.” The wait staff that evening consisted of two women over 65, one of whom was so grumpy and put-out by our presence it was amusing.

When we arrived, only one other table was occupied. But within ten minutes, seven of the nine were filled.

Had I been in the company of someone likely to enjoy it with me, I would have ordered a smorgasbord of dumplings and noodle dishes. The menu offers eleven different kinds of dumplings, pot stickers, and buns in various combinations of beef, pork, shrimp, vegetarian, steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, boiled. But I knew if I wanted my little one to eat anything, we’d have to go with something familiar – or at least a dish that resembled something familiar.

So, I ordered cashew chicken (dinner size $10.75) and ten small steamed pork buns ($6.25). At least, I thought that was what I ordered. I was expecting the pork buns to be the kind made with the thick, white dough and filled with barbeque pork, but what came was more like a dumpling. It had the outer casing of a steamed dumpling, and the insides had a dumpling consistency. Later, I would also see that our bill said $7.25 for whatever it was. So, clearly, something went wrong when I ordered. I still have yet to find anything on the menu that’s $7.25 for ten (there were definitely ten). But whatever it was that the waitress set in front of me, it was hot and tasty. So I didn’t complain.

None

The cashew chicken was definitely cashew chicken. And it was the real deal. The cashews, which are often soggy in the more run-of-the-mill Chinese eateries, were fresh and crunchy. And the water chestnuts were, too. Little pieces of ginger showed up every now and again, giving the dish a little kick. Overall, it was saltier than I would normally care for, but the accompanying heap of steamed rice helped temper it.

The good news is that, after feeding my resistant daughter pieces of cashew with my chopsticks to convince hers that she'd like it, cashew chicken is now on the list of items she'll eat.

None

Pork bun mix-up or no, I am still thinking about which dumplings I’ll order next time, which will likely be during the lunch hour. I like to have a beer with dinner when I go out, and Dumpling Inn doesn’t serve it.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

T. E. Hulme: an influence on Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost

Six poems from the first Modernist poet

A week or so ago, I decided to blindly try out a restaurant on Convoy. I found it online, liked the name – Jasmine something or other – and headed over without looking at their menu. When my three-year-old daughter and I entered the restaurant, I got a “we prefer no children” vibe from the red silk-covered chairs and the mean-eyed waiter. But, I have a rather significant defiant streak in me, so we sat down.

Two minutes later, however, when I opened the menu and saw a list of dishes in the $30-$50 range, we turned around and walked back out.

That part of Convoy is densely packed with Chinese restaurants, so we left the car where it was and walked around the building to little strip mall where we found Dumpling Inn smooshed between an eye clinic and a foot spa.

None

The tiny restaurant has nine tables and a full wall of mirrors. In the center of the mirrored wall, a sign reads “Best jellyfish east of Hong Kong – 2001.” The wait staff that evening consisted of two women over 65, one of whom was so grumpy and put-out by our presence it was amusing.

When we arrived, only one other table was occupied. But within ten minutes, seven of the nine were filled.

Had I been in the company of someone likely to enjoy it with me, I would have ordered a smorgasbord of dumplings and noodle dishes. The menu offers eleven different kinds of dumplings, pot stickers, and buns in various combinations of beef, pork, shrimp, vegetarian, steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, boiled. But I knew if I wanted my little one to eat anything, we’d have to go with something familiar – or at least a dish that resembled something familiar.

So, I ordered cashew chicken (dinner size $10.75) and ten small steamed pork buns ($6.25). At least, I thought that was what I ordered. I was expecting the pork buns to be the kind made with the thick, white dough and filled with barbeque pork, but what came was more like a dumpling. It had the outer casing of a steamed dumpling, and the insides had a dumpling consistency. Later, I would also see that our bill said $7.25 for whatever it was. So, clearly, something went wrong when I ordered. I still have yet to find anything on the menu that’s $7.25 for ten (there were definitely ten). But whatever it was that the waitress set in front of me, it was hot and tasty. So I didn’t complain.

None

The cashew chicken was definitely cashew chicken. And it was the real deal. The cashews, which are often soggy in the more run-of-the-mill Chinese eateries, were fresh and crunchy. And the water chestnuts were, too. Little pieces of ginger showed up every now and again, giving the dish a little kick. Overall, it was saltier than I would normally care for, but the accompanying heap of steamed rice helped temper it.

The good news is that, after feeding my resistant daughter pieces of cashew with my chopsticks to convince hers that she'd like it, cashew chicken is now on the list of items she'll eat.

None

Pork bun mix-up or no, I am still thinking about which dumplings I’ll order next time, which will likely be during the lunch hour. I like to have a beer with dinner when I go out, and Dumpling Inn doesn’t serve it.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
3

I love this place. Those little dumplings are pretty darn delicious. Never had the cashew chicken but it looks great.

You can buy a beer at the grocery store next door and drink it with your meal if you like.

June 7, 2012

You know, I wondered about the byob thing. I'm so happy to know they're ok with it. Thanks for telling me!

June 7, 2012

Big fan of DI. Been going there for, wow, 15 years, and that BYOB policy is a great one indeed. Try the kung pao sea bass next time. Always delicious!

June 9, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close