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« Mariscos Monday: The Mariscos Tijuana Jr Truck and Mariscos Godoy closes | Main | The Missus' three current favorite places, in photos »

Tuesday, 11 March 2014



I never understood the hype of this place. I've visited a few times in past but just couldn't understand WHY people loved it so much. Shouldn't the XLB be served in a steam tray/bamboo container? You risk the skin breaking when transferring them onto a plate. That's what it looks like in the pic at least.


I had the black bean sauce fish at Hong Kong BBQ the other day. I was pretty happy with the flavor, and I'm fairly certain the price was about the same for twice the food. The asparagus and beef in XO sauce was yummy (a bit skimpy on the beef though).

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

I liked the dumplings at dumpling inn alright but agree they are not the best. And the long wait + high price certainly don't help. Do you have other spots in SD you recommend for dumplings?


I've never understood the hype either. Kirk, what would you recommend as the best XLB in San Diego?


I'm from the SGV and only moved here 4 years ago. I love my XLB and haven't really found anything in SD worth the time/wait/drive.

My best option is to actually buy them frozen up in LA and steam them in my own kitchen. In my opinion, it taste better than Dumpling Inn!




I'm still waiting for Kirk to open his own XLB restaurant...


I'm not an xlb expert, but looking at the photo, those look unappetizing, espcially with the hard looking folds. it's so funny when i see the so-called 'super diners' for the sd u-t and their recommendations about authentic asian food almost always include dumpling inn! really now...


Hi Faye - Actually they steam them on the plate, that's why they deliver it with spider tongs.....but as whole, Dumpling Inn just isn't that great.

Hi Jan - You know, I gotta get back there.....

Hi JS - I recommend a drive to the SGV....

Hi LL - You know, I really can't recommend any XLB in San Diego....sorry, but I just can't do the "I'm just happy we have it here...." thing.

Hi Christina - We lived in the SGV for almost five years....I'd rather drive up there to have XLB. Even mediocre XLB is better than what we have.

LOL Kat......

Hi Jason - I'm too old for the business! ;o)

Hi CC - Dumpling Inn is perfect for the "I want something that's almost traditional but won't get me too far out of my comfort zone" crowd. It's a gringo hybrid that's not too close to PF Chang's, but not too close to, say Qingdao Bread Food either....


Oh, Dumpling Inn. I have quite a few friends that love this place and I always stay really quiet when they are singing its praises. I also have noticed that the staff is very nice to their regulars, but I still don't like eating here.


Filling to wrap ratio looks disappointing.
$10 lunch portion, WTF!


Hi Kirbie - You've got much more restraint than I do......

Exactly Billy!

hk kid

This place is horrible, I cant say there are too many Chinese Restaurants in SD. What I mean by that is more of a Cantonese style, closest is probably Golden city and big maybe sam woo. Rest are really szechuan style, Same goes for dim sum...sorry to say Id much rather drive to LA if I miss chinese food!!

hk kid

I cant wait for 85c to open in Clairemont and for Ding Tai fung to open in the OC. Finally Quality food I'm proud to say that's Chinese.



Come pick me up! I can be the token Chinese person in your next post. I love the pan fried noodles there.


@Kirk - Thanks, and I concur with your statement regarding not being happy with just having it in SD. Would rather not have it since we would make the trek up north anyway. Exposing others to subpar XLB is doing everyone else a disservice. Our last visit to Dumpling Inn was disappointing to say the least. All of our XLB were clumped together and broke upon serving. Not happy with soupless XLB!


Hi HK Kid - Funny thing is, the locations of 85 C we went to in Suzhou and Nanjing were infinitely better than Irvine and HH....

LOL Soo! I'll let you know if I need a token Chinese!

Hi LL - That's exactly how I feel. Thanks again for your comments.

Bara Tenjo

Dumpling Inn was great in the early 2000s (that's when I discovered it). The food tasted like the local homemade jiaoze I grew up with in Taiwan. The last time I stopped by was in 2010, and it started to go downhill, food was much more expensive and smaller portion. Reading your post made me believe they lost their chef and the new person can't replicate. It's always sad when that happens.


Hi BT - When we moved here in 2001, I thought the food was decent. It really started to go downhill after the owner started to expand to newer things (i.e. Del Mar Reandevous) and it seems the objective was to maximize profits. I don't mind that, but it seems the food has really suffered not only in terms of quantity, but quality, and execution.

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