mr. dumpling / clairemont – san diego, ca
I gotta be honest. I wasn’t so sure how this visit to Mr. Dumpling would go. I hadn’t read very favorable reviews about this place and many complained about the service. But, I had a gift card to Mr. Dumpling thanks to the folks at UTOPIA so it was locked in. I was visiting. And I brought my co-workers along to partake in our weekly Friday lunch feast.
Mr. Dumpling is just off Convoy on Convoy Ct. and is tucked away behind Kaiser. Half of their restaurant’s tables are set up for hot pots but we just tried stuff off of their regular menu, which you can view here: Menu 1 | Menu 2
These were the complimentary items brought out for us to munch on: some spicy boiled peanuts and some pickled veggies (mostly cabbage and a couple carrot slices). The peanuts were a little too spicy for me and well… I just don’t eat pickled stuff. It shall not cross these lips!
[green onion pan cake – $2.99]
Overall we ordered 8 items, probably because we’re crazy… for food! Har har.
I ordered like three things and this was the first one – and probably my favorite of the whole bunch. This simple green onion pan cake was the first item to come out, golden brown with a nice crisp. It kind of reminded me of a quesadilla, just by how it looked. The green onion flavor was nice, mellow, and infused through the pancake slices. Very yummy start!
[seafood fried rice – $7.99]
David picked the Seafood Fried Rice. I liked how it had a pretty fried egg on it.
We all kind of just stared at it for a minute until Matt dug in and broke the egg so we could actually eat it instead of just staring at it. The rice itself was very tender and moist and with the egg mixed in made for another yummy dish. There was a distinct garlic flavor going on here and mostly I just remember shrimp in the rice… I failed to note any other sea creatures to make it “seafood” fried rice instead of just “shrimp”. Sorry for my lack of observation.
[3 delicacies pan fried noodles – $8.99]
I kind of started to lose track of who ordered what at this point or what order we ate them in since they just starting handing out those dishes to us around this time. This is the 3 Delicacies Pan Fried Noodles – I believe the “delicacies” are shrimp, beef and probably pork? Again, terrible blogger that I am, forgot to take note. I liked the noodles in this dish and the plumpy shrimp, but I remember thinking that the beef in this dish was weirdly sour. And it was just the beef that was sour, so perhaps it was cooked differently and then added in here.
[roast duck with pan cake – $8.99]
I ended up really liking this one, too, probably because I got to make my own little steamed bun sandwich…
The roast duck wasn’t too bad, but not the best I’d ever had. The skin was vaguely crispy and the meat was tender. I felt like we got a little too much bone and not really enough meat for all of the steamed buns we got. The sauce (maybe some kind of hoisin sauce) was tasty topped on top of the duck. Steamed buns are delicious and hard to mess up, so I liked this one overall.
[steamed veggie dumplings – $6.99]
Can’t come to Mr. Dumpling without ordering some dumplings, right?
We tried the steamed veggie dumplings… which I thought were just okay. The wrappers were a good consistency but the filling left something to be desired in my book. Just kind of plain.
[pork cabbage fried dumplings – $5.99]
Um. So. Yeah. These… were a little burnt.
Okay, maybe a lot burnt. I have no idea why we didn’t send these suckers back to the kitchen. I’m honestly surprised they even served this to us but then I actually tried to eat one like this one?! The bottom was totally inedible. The top wasn’t too awful and the filling was kind of “eh” but I could not get past the completely burnt, hard as a rock, bottom.
[pork meat potstickers – $7.99]
Now I thought I had ordered the pan fried pork buns… but I think instead we ended up with the pork potstickers… I didn’t notice at the time, either, so oh well. These were filled with a pork-shrimp filling and was sadly very, very bland. No flavor really. No seasoning, nothing. Just a sad potsticker experience.
[pan cake with beef slice – $5.99]
This dish came so late in our lunch that I was kind of hoping they had forgotten about it and wouldn’t bring it out. But, they came through in the end – though I think we had all kind of finished eating at this point…
I took a slice and was surprised to see the pan cake wrapper was kind of spongy and had bits of fried egg in it. I was expecting something more like a “beef slice burrito”, kind of like the one I had at 101 Noodle Express but apparently no such luck there. I didn’t like the outer pancake since the texture was weird and spongy to me. The beef inside the roll wasn’t too bad but I didn’t care for the ratio of onion to beef – much more onion than beef here. It was also terribly hard to eat and it just kind of fell apart on me after two bites. Oh well.
Funny that my favorite items here were all non-dumpling items… but such is life. They’ve got a pretty big menu and while not every item was delicious, there was enough tastiness here to make me want to revisit and see about the other menu items… and maybe actually get a real order of fried pork buns and not potstickers next time (without the burnt parts, too, I hope).
If you’re interested in checking out some of the items from Mr. Dumpling as well, grab yourself a discounted gift card from UTOPIA and have yourself a little food adventure just like we did!
7250 Convoy Ct. #B
San Diego, CA 92111
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary gift card from Mr. Dumpling from UTOPIA – a website that offers discounts on gift certificates for restaurants, services (such as spa or dental), and more.