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Opening alert: Dumpling Garden in Mountain View

Uploaded: May 15, 2018
Dumpling Garden quietly opened in a Mountain View strip mall last month, serving handmade dumplings and other traditional Chinese fare.

Less than a month after opening, the 108 N. Rengstorff Ave. restaurant had a famous visitor: none other than model Tyra Banks.

Tyra Banks poses for a photo at Mountain View restaurant Dumpling Garden with owner Kenny Qiu. Photo courtesy Kenny Qiu.

"She was specifically looking for dumplings," said owner Kenny Qiu.

Banks, wearing a grey sweatshirt and a leopard headscarf, ordered pork and shrimp dumplings, soup dumplings, popcorn chicken, sautéed pea shoots with garlic and cucumber salad, Qiu said. (She was with her family and young son.) She also bought frozen dumplings to take home with her.

Dumpling Garden is Qiu's first restaurant. A former IBM engineer and native of southern China, he recently decided he wanted to start his own business and opted to open a restaurant. He did so with the help of his brother, who runs a dumpling restaurant in San Francisco.

Qiu took over the Rengstorff Avenue space after Chinese restaurant Bamboo Garden closed.

At Dumpling Garden, all dumplings and noodles are handmade with the "highest quality" ingredients, Qiu said. The large menu also includes meat and seafood entrees, soups, clay pot dishes and other items.
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Posted by Rick Moen, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights,
on May 16, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Here's a (possibly) interesting thing: The active Web-using population is now invisibly divided between people who rely on Internet mapping services to find and visit places, and those who don't.

As one of the latter, I found the location description '108 N. Rengstorff Ave.' sub-optimal: Not intending to complain, but the rendition '108 N. Rengstorff Ave. @ Central Expressway' would have been clearer for the likes of yr. humble servant, who thinks in terms of streets and cross-streets rather than relying on Internet mapping services to do the thinking for him. Just a thought.

Thank you, as always, Ms. Kadvany. It sounds like a delightful place.

Rick Moen

Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown,
on May 16, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Kudos for Dumpling Garden. I had dinner there earlier this week and the food was delicious, especially the dumplings.

So sorry Bamboo Garden closed as it was my favorite Chinese restaurant in the area. However, Dumpling Garden looks like a great successor. My only quibble is that the dumpling dough could have been a little thinner. The filling was wonderful. I also had lamb which was delicious.

I will be going back for sure. I encourage everyone to try this small neighborhood restaurant. It is in the strip mall behind the Shell station at the corner of Rengstorff and Central Expressway.

Posted by resident, a resident of South of Midtown,
on May 17, 2018 at 7:49 am

@Marie - these sound like northern-Chinese dumplings that have a juicier filling and thicker skin. They are somewhat different from the Cantonese-style steamed dumplings that you get at most dim sum restaurants.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on May 17, 2018 at 8:18 am


Well, that's a bit bizarre that Qiu is serving up northern China style dumplings when the article clearly states that he is a native of southern China.

That's like a Cajun putting New England style clam chowder on the menu instead of gumbo.

Oh well, the world works in mysterious ways.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 17, 2018 at 12:28 pm

"Reader" wrote: "that's a bit bizarre that Qiu is serving up northern China style dumplings when the article clearly states that he is a native of southern China."

I disagree that it's bizarre at all: there are many counterexamples to that argument's big assumption.

It is one thing if someone worked long as a chef in one region of China, then took those skills directly to a restaurant here (as at Chef Zhao Bistro in Mountain View -- chef came from Chengdu). Yet the peninsula's best-known Chinese-restaurant entrepreneur, Lawrence C. C. Chu, was also born in Sichuan, but he opted at his restaurant here to focus on other specialties than Sichuanese, because they sold better, as he has often said publicly.

This new restaurateur is described as a former engineer, not a chef, and took over a restaurant much-loved already (therefore, with a valuable existing customer base) for Shanghai and Dongbei specialties, especially dumplings. He even kept part of the former name. Elena's report says nothing to preclude his carrying over of menu items or even cooks from Bamboo Garden or from other sources unrelated to where he happened to be born. And Bamboo Garden was in fact known for some thicker (and even very-thick-) skinned filled dumplings.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Also, Dumpling Garden just soft-opened recently, it's a brand-new restaurant and may still be sorting things out. It's harder to tell what a typical experience will be until a new restaurant has been open a while. Personnel and menus turn over more in early days. (That's why these Embarcadero newspapers have a hard rule of waiting at least three months before doing a "review" article about any new restaurant.)

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