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Dumpling Haus

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Dumpling Haus

Postby NullDevice » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:41 pm

I had dinner there last night.

I still don't know why they called it "Dumpling Haus" since everything about it is sort of asian-moderne. But that quibble aside, the thing that will make or break it is the food.

Yeah.

YEAH.

If you've been to Yen Ching for their "dim sum" menu, then you know a lot of what to expect. The "haus beef","haus pork", and "tofu salad" are lifted directly from that menu, and are really, really good (although being slow-braised pork belly, the Tan-po style Haus Pork isn't exactly doing your arteries any favors). Their Bao Zi are fluffy and come with a few different fillings - we had the veggie-and-tofu bao and they were nicely savory, with a subtle hint of some fermented seasoning. The shrimp dumplings were also good, nicely meaty with a nice rice-wrapper stickiness that wasn't overly glutinous (I've had a few of those were it's all rice paper and no shrimp, and that's no fun).

Tasty. Not exactly groundbreaking, exactly, but hey, 4 bao for $6 ain't bad.

The noodle bowls were the surprise of the night, though. I had the "Tart Cabbage and Pork Soup", which wasn't so much tart cabbage as it was chinese pickled greens (mustard greens, as far as I could tell) and minced pork in a light broth. It was decent, although probably not my favorite thing on the menu. Might work better as a winter meal. My friend had a noodle in peanut sauce, which while again not groundbreaking was solid and tasty, cut with nice fresh veggies. My other friend had what proved to be the winner of the night, the "Homestyle Tomato and Egg" noodle bowl, which had garlic, green onion, scrambled egg, and chopped tomatoes - all of which was cooked nicely, without overcooked tomatoes or egg.

We split an order of the pork. It's worth the trip to just eat that. It's tender, unctuous, and flavorful.

The space is nice, a sort of industrial-cafe spot with red walls and scandinavian-modern furniture. Minimal, but it got the point across, and you get a nice look at the frenetic kitchen.

The downside was, and from speaking with Jenny (the owner) it came as a complete surprise, that they were out of a lot of items by the time we got there. I guess they weren't prepared for the opening-day popularity. Many things, like the BBQ Pork Bao Zi, the Bao "tacos" (flat steamed bun wrapped around pork, cilantro, greens and hoisin), the beijing meatballs, and a few of the salads were sold out. They sold out of the haus beef while we were there. She said that she used to make the pork once a week at Yen Ching, now she's making it every day, and that their opening day was so surprisingly popular that they literally ran out of everything before the mall closed.

I'm assuming that, being veterans of the restuarant biz, they'll get that sorted out soon. I hope so, becasue there're about a dozen things on the menu I want to try.

So it's a winner in my book, especially if they can sort out the logistics issues soon. It's not mind-blowingly original cuisine, and it's not chinese gourmet, but it's well-executed, tasty, and reasonably-priced for what you get. It's nice to have a dumpling shop around again.

(It's also dangerously close to my house.)
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby NullDevice » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:58 am

Update: went there again the other night, and despite it being even busier than the first time I was there, they seem to have sorted to logistics issues for the most part. The only thing that was off the menu for the night was the custard bao.

So I finally got to try the pork bao, the bbq bao and some of the dumplings.

Dumplings? Definite plus. They're boiled instead of steamed or fried, so they have this interesting wobbly glutinous texture that I quite enjoy. Might not be everyone's bag, but I prefer them to most potstickers (the lack of fryer oil means I can eat about twice as many!)

The Pork bao used essentially the same pork-meatball filling as the dumplings, only more of it. It was good, but from a flavor standpoint not entirely different from the dumplings. The BBQ Pork bao, however was quite different, stuffed with a sort of "sloppy joe" approach to BBQ - except, you know, beijing-style. A little sweeter than I would've preferred, unfortunately. But what was fascianting to me, and I don't know if it was a fluke or by design, but the consistency of the bao itself was also different between the two. The bun on the pork was less "bread-like" with a flakier consistency (almost like a soft pretzel), and the bun on the BBQ was fluffier and more like a steamed bread. Now I know there are myriad types of bao and dumpling wrapper preparations and such, so it's entirely possible that sure enough, they make these differently. Or it might've just been luck, but I did really like the contrast.

My cohort ordered the noodle bowl with pork and black beans, and to my pleasant surprise they didn't skimp on the black bean sauce. I had the "Homestyle Tomato and Egg" and ti was really, really good. My fav of their noodle bowls so far. It's simple, fresh, and surprisingly rich.

Hopefully they'll be able to maintain their level of quality. Things ended up being a liiitle pricier than I expected, but we did rather pig out. It's not cheap but you could do pretty well sharing orders, and certainly a noodle bowl by itself is a pretty substantial meal without splitting bao and dumplings amongst a small party. I'll have to see what they end up doing for lunches, as a lunch special at a place ike that would be killer.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:09 am

NullDevice wrote:The BBQ Pork bao, however was quite different, stuffed with a sort of "sloppy joe" approach to BBQ - except, you know, beijing-style. A little sweeter than I would've preferred, unfortunately. But what was fascianting to me, and I don't know if it was a fluke or by design, but the consistency of the bao itself was also different between the two. The bun on the pork was less "bread-like" with a flakier consistency (almost like a soft pretzel), and the bun on the BBQ was fluffier and more like a steamed bread. Now I know there are myriad types of bao and dumpling wrapper preparations and such, so it's entirely possible that sure enough, they make these differently. Or it might've just been luck, but I did really like the contrast.

It's not just you. My wife and I tried the pork bao zi and the BBQ bao for lunch not too long ago. The former was a smooth wrapper, typically dumpling-skin. The latter was almost like steamed biscuit dough. Kind of lumpy, much starchier.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby kimm » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:54 pm

Munching on some Pork Bao Zi for lunch right now. The dough on these is light, moisty and fluffy. The filling is pretty much a seasoned pork meatball (probably does double or triple duty on the menu). Very tasty.

The servings are big. It was 3 for $6. I could've sworn the BBQ pork were 3/$6 and the others were 4/$6, but whatever...the buns are huge and worth it. Noodle bowl prices are higher than I expected-$8-9, even without meat.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby TAsunder » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:40 pm

I enjoyed the food at this place, and so did my companions. That said, we were extremely disturbed by the fact that the man taking our order repeatedly turned his head and spit large quantities of various disgusting sputum-like matter directly onto the floor of the cooking/prep area. Perhaps it's a stretch to assume serious sanitation issues as a result of that, but that's where all of our minds went and it certainly reduced the overall impression of the place quite a bit.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby Huckleby » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:19 pm

Do they have soups? The soups at the old place were great.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby NullDevice » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:57 pm

They have a few. They're listed under their noodle bowls. I've only had the "pork and pickled cabbage" soup, which was tasty enough but not something I'd order regularly.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby pds » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:07 pm

NullDevice wrote:They have a few. They're listed under their noodle bowls. I've only had the "pork and pickled cabbage" soup, which was tasty enough but not something I'd order regularly.


We eat there all the time and I would agree on the pork and pickled cabbage soup. Very good, but not great. They have things there that I like more. We've ordered the black bean and pork noodles the last few times.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby Huckleby » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:36 pm

They had a great spinach-based soup at the old place.

I guess it is time for me to nut-up and just try the new place. When I see that their wonderful menu has been replaced by deep-fried, mall-friendly food, there is danger of a shed tear. I'll try and be a man about it, dignity above all.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby TAsunder » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:11 am

I've now tried two of their pork bun varieties and both were mediocre. I prefer the dumplings here and the pork buns at yen ching nearby. I guess their name is well-chosen...
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby Huckleby » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:41 pm

TAsunder wrote: I prefer the dumplings here and the pork buns at yen ching nearby. I guess their name is well-chosen...

you know that yen ching closed, right?
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby TAsunder » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:32 pm

Huckleby wrote:
TAsunder wrote: I prefer the dumplings here and the pork buns at yen ching nearby. I guess their name is well-chosen...

you know that yen ching closed, right?


I did not. Thanks. Where does a guy get good pork buns now??
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby nichole » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Dumpling Haus is run by the same people who ran Yen Ching. Surprising that the same menu items are so different.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/entertainment/dining/article_e3d0011f-088b-5c4b-8d33-7992f5146158.html
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby NullDevice » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:39 pm

I had found that at Yen Ching, some dishes would vary in quality from day to day. I would not be surprised if that carried over to the new palce.

I've been there a few times now and it's always been good, but I have noticed some variation in dishes between visits.
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Re: Dumpling Haus

Postby kissyfish » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:26 am

I was out with my 8 yr old son yesterday, and he was recommending the dumpling haus, he has been there with my wife before, and when we were out, he kept insisting we go there, and that I would love it.

This might be the first restaurant recomendation from him which was not for chucky-cheese, or based on a free-toy included with the meal, so I indulged him.

We went in, and he immediately went up and ordered the pork bau, I doubled the order and got the cold peanut glazed noodle bowl. Wow was that tasty! The noodle bowl could not have been better, I was tempted to order another bowl, but decided to wait until the bao appeared.

Much like what others have said, this was a great dumpling! Reminded me of my grandmothers dumplings in a way, boiled, fluffy and delicious. I added a bit of the hot sauce they have, and it was wonderful!

I am going to have to listen more to the small one, his childhood sure is different from mine growing up in stoughton. I think the most foreign type restaurant we had at the time was a pizza parlour.
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