Monday, January 25, 2010

Visiting an Unfamiliar Kingdom

Cupcakes, Ice Cream, Cookies, Donuts and Bacon. Can you guess what all these things have in common? Yes, they are all things that I have covered in Sweet Lady Sass, but that's not the only thing. You give up? OK, so they are all American sweets. Sure I have done a few European posts, ie Tiramisu and some French inspired bakeries, but nothing out of the realm of ordinary for us Americans. However, today I will take you on a visit to far away Kingdom. It may be an unfamiliar land to most of my readers but it's well worth the journey nonetheless. So hop on your horse, camel, race car or whatever means of transport you have and follow me to the Kingdom of Dumpling!

Are we there yet!! Smack! Stop your whining kids its only a little bit further. We're not heading to China or anything, just the neighborhood of Parkside San Francisco where Kingdom of Dumpling is located. Thanks to my friend Jeffery, who is a huge foodie himself, my husband and I were introduced to this little hole in the wall restaurant on our visit to SF. Josh and I were both very excited to be invited here, because when you are invited by Jeffery to a food establishment you know it will be good...
Upon arrival we waited about 10 min. outside for a table since there are only about 5 tables inside and no standing room to wait. So wait we did in the rain, which only made our experience all the more delicious when we finally got to sit down and eat warm dumplings!

You might be wondering at this point how I could blog on such a thing as dumplings, this is a sweets blog for heavens sake! Don't worry, shhhhh.... I love congruity as much as the next person, in fact probably way more. And although the dumplings were amazing, especially the Shanghai ones filled with soup, I am here to blog on the Shanghai Style Donut.

Even so, I thought I would include a picture of the Shanghai dumpling to give you an idea of what they are

Don't be fooled, the Shanghai donut is really nothing like a donut, other than it was probably fried. It is more like...hmmm... I don't know if I can compare it to anything, so I will just show you a picture and attempt to describe it.

It's shaped like a flattened out hershey kiss, and has the circumference of the bottom of a drinking glass. The exterior is a warm pastry shell covered in white sesame seeds, firm enough to hold its shape and soft enough to bend under the weight our your bite. And when you do bite in you discover the hidden treasure that only a Kingdom like this could hold, warm black sesame paste filling. It is sweet, but just subtly sweet and quite satisfying after a savory meal of all dumplings. Not to mention that the sesame flavors and crust of the donut are tastes and textures you just don't get in most American baking.

I would highly recommend a visit to Kingdom of Dumpling for every San Francisco native and visitor. The journey may be arduous for us LA folk, but the wonders you will behold in the realm of Dumpling are outstanding! So go for the dumplings, stay for the Shanghai Style Donuts and return home happy :)

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