After a few years of looking, I finally found a place that rivals the dumpling wizardry of Din Tai Fung in Seattle.
I’m talking about Dumpling Generation — a suitable name, don’t you think? — in Edmonds. It specializes in handmade dumplings and noodles originating from the Liaoning province in the northeastern part of China.
My standards for Asian cuisine have been pretty high since my friend introduced me to Din Tai Fung a few years ago. The Taiwanese restaurant — the largest dumpling restaurant chain in the world — is hugely popular for its xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings), which each take 40 minutes of hand preparation to make.
The same level of care seems to go into Dumpling Generation’s fare, which my dad and I recently tried for lunch.
Their dumplings, served in bamboo baskets, are filled with various meats, such as pork, chicken and shrimp, and vegetables including chives, celery, mushrooms and cabbage.
We split the pork and cabbage dumplings for $13. I usually garnish dumplings with sauces — even at Din Tai Fung. But I didn’t feel the need here. The pork and cabbage filling was that tasty.
If you do try a sauce, don’t be afraid of the hot chili paste on the side.
Dad seldom eats food like this, so he was as impressed by the dumplings’ presentation as by how they tasted.
“When our waitress took the cover off and the steam came out, that was pretty cool,” he said.
We also ordered the pork buns ($12), braised beef noodle soup ($14) and spicy chicken ($14). We decided to share everything, which is what my friend and I do at Din Tai Fung.
Pork buns are essentially oversized dumplings but with a thicker, bread-like texture. These were filled with minced pork and chopped glass noodles.
I prefer dumplings over pork buns any day, but the latter are worth trying if you’ve never had them before.
The spicy chicken, cooked to a crispy, golden brown, had enough of a kick on its own — but there’s also green and red peppers for even more heat. My dad steered clear of those.
Dad’s favorite was the beef braised soup, which he praised for its savory, seasoned meat and fresh-tasting bok choy. The broth had a nice bone marrow flavor to it.
We capped the meal off with some mango bubble tea ($4.75). It was the first time my dad tried the smoothie-like drink, but it won’t be the last.
“I’d definitely eat here again,” was Dad’s verdict.
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
Dumpling Generation, 23830 Highway 99, Suite 115, Edmonds, is open 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Call 425-678-0806 for takeout. Go to www.dumplinggeneration.com for more information.