dumpling inn / clairemont – san diego, ca

The Dumpling Inn is an itty bitty little restaurant located in one of the many strip malls on Convoy Street in Clairemont. It’s an 8-table restaurant meaning you’ll probably have to wait once you get there. There’s a waiting list on a clipboard attached to the door. You put your name down on the list and just hope you’ll get seated sometime soon.

Jake, T and I went on a Friday afternoon on one of my days off and we probably waited about a half hour for a table, just shy of lunch time. I was ravenous by the time we got seated in the tiny restaurant and ready to try some dumplings.

[Complimentary tea]

We served some nice complimentary hot tea once we sat down. If you want water, you have to ask for it.

[Pan Fried Pork Pot Stickers]

I already knew what I wanted to try after looking at the menu online, so this was one of the first things we ordered: Pan Fried Pot Stickers. I love the golden brown bottoms of these pot stickers!

[Inside of the pot stickers]

The pot stickers had a good amount of filling inside and the wrapper was nice and chewy with that bit of crispiness on the bottom. They weren’t greasy tasting, just a nice crisp. Very yummy in my tummy.

[Deluxe Chow Mein – with four meats – pork, chicken, beef and shrimp]

To go along with our appetizers, we decided on getting some noodles for our meal. We got the Deluxe Chow Mein with four different meats. It also had a good amount of veggies in the mix and the sauce on top was a little sweet. They kind of skimped on the shrimp though, there were only two shrimp in the whole dish (the tiny shrimp, too). Overall, it was decent dish but not the best I’ve ever had. I’d probably order something different on my next visit.

[Steamed Small Pork Buns – or Xiao Long Bao / Soup Dumplings]

This was the other appetizer we ordered, but we didn’t get it until the end of the meal. These are the Steamed Pork Buns or Soup Dumplings (aka Xiao Long Bao). The first time I ever had these was at Dean Sin World in Los Angeles. I think they’re my new favorite dumpling!

[Peek inside of the steamed soup dumplings]

The steamed pork buns here have a nice outer chew from the wrapper. It’s light and chewy. The inside of the dumplings had a nice pork filling which nicely rounded out the dumpling. These didn’t have a ton of the hot soup broth that I remembered from the dumplings in LA. It still had a little broth, but not a ton, and I kind of missed that. I think that these would have been better with more of the soup/broth in them, but they were still good despite that. Just not perfect. I would order them again, though!

[The Dumpling Inn]

All in all I enjoyed the food we had here. The dumplings are good for what you can get here in San Diego, though I have to say what I had in LA was better. But it was still good and it satisfied my craving for dumplings. I’ll have to find a different noodle (or other dish) to eat along with some dumplings though on my next visit!

Stay tuned for Wednesday – I’ve got a special giveaway coming up that involves Dumpling Inn’s sister restaurant and San Diego Restaurant Week!

The Dumpling Inn
4619 Convoy St Ste F
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-9638

Dumpling Inn on Urbanspoon


mary likes baking.

9 Responses

  1. Happy New Year, Mary! We’ve had it on our list to actually sit down at Dumpling Inn sometime soon. We usually get the food to go. My favorite dish is their black bean sea bass. I’m not usually a fish person but I just love it!

  2. Carol says:

    The XLB looks very good. Too bad the noodles lacked shrimp content. I hate when that happens.

  3. mary says:

    Happy New Year, Kathy! I’m not usually a fish person either, but it sounds good! Don’t think I could get Jake to try it though. It’s fun to sit down if you don’t have to wait too long for a table.

    Hi Carol! Yeah, I was pretty disappointed with the shrimp in that dish. Oh well, I’ll just have to try something else. But definitely more XLB!

  4. leanne says:

    Dumpling Inn has a sister restaurant? Didn’t know that!

    I really like their curry dumplings, too. Oddly enough, I don’t think we’ve ever ordered a non-dumpling dish there. Maybe I should make that a goal for 2012. =)

  5. Darlene says:

    It all looks so good, Mary!

    I have never been to The Dumpling Inn and glad you blogged about it. Would you consider returning?

  6. mary says:

    I would go again! I would maybe order all dumplings though 🙂

  7. Kirk says:

    Hi Mary – Nice post…though I’m not such a fan of Dumpling Inn. I think the shrimp and chive dumplings are the best. Make sure to get black vinegar, as I recall they don’t put that on the table.

    • mary says:

      Hi Kirk – I wanted to try the shrimp & chive dumplings, too, but I was with my non-seafood eating boyfriend. Will have to try them again with some shrimp-lovin’ folks. Thanks for the tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *