When we were planning our trip to Norcal, we left out a place to eat at for dinner in Sunset. The night before, we settled on Kingdom of Dumplings, persuaded by Li Qinghe’s (the owner?) promotional video on Yelp. It’s a must-watch! LOL.
This place is just down the street from Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream (review here) and was small (less than 10 tables, for sure) and very hole-in-the-wall. (There was a really angry Asian woman, who got fed up with waiting for a seat and stormed off while we were dining. o__O Guess she was dying for these dumplings.) While going to the restroom (behind the kitchen), I caught a glimpse of the full-scale dumpling operation, which would probably be at home somewhere in Northern China.
The Kingdom specializes in boiled dumplings and xiaolongbao. So we tried a variety of entrees and left satisfied. To start off, we ordered a green onion pancake (蔥油餅), which was served in cut up slices. Next came the lamb skewers (羊肉串), sprinkled with paprika and cumin and boasting a strong meaty aroma.
Finally, the pork dumplings with bok choy (白菜豬肉水餃) and pork and shrimp dumplings with chives (韭菜豬肉蝦水餃) arrived, in heapfuls. We made our own dipping sauce with the provided condiments, and savored each bite, from the floury skins to the juicy innards.
The final dish that arrived was a basket of steamed xiaolongbao. In Socal, the big name for XLB is Din Tai Fung, and I can say these were just as good. XLB are typically eaten with a soup spoon, nibbled at, so as to pierce the skins and release a meaty and savory soup.
I didn’t leave satiated (I can eat a lot…by normal standards, at least), but I did leave satisfied, knowing that I had entered the Kingdom of Dumplings. And our subsequent walk to Marco Polo made this trip to Sunset worthwhile. 🙂
Address: 1713 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116 | map