Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Restaurant Review: Dumpling Restaurant for Food
This is a repost from something that I tried to put on Yelp. However, the Yelp people have no sense of humor and denied my entry for a new restaurant. And for the record, my daughter named the place.
Dumpling Restaurant for Food
Category: Chinese Food
Hours: Mon-Fri; varies
Good for Kids: Yes
Accepts Credit Cards: No
Good for Groups: No
Price Range: $$$$
Takes Reservations: Yes
Waiter Service: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Good For: Lunch
Noise Level: Loud
Has TV: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
It is easy to miss Dumpling Restaurant for Food since it is tucked away in the school-ager's room of Curious Kids Preschool Center. However, I kind of like finding little niche non-chain restaurants and when I went in to pick up my four-year old daughter, she quickly grabbed me and told me to eat at the new restaurant.
First of all, seating is sparse. I occupied one of the five chairs available. Seating is kind of hibachi style, as I was not given my own table, but rather sat down community style. This style of seating isn't bad, but it does take away from the intimacy of the dining experience.
The table I sat at already had the other four seats occupied and the other customers were arbitrarily yelling out their orders to the wait staff who also served as the cooks. By the frenzied pace that orders were being shouted out, it was difficult to tell what kind of food was being served since I was not given a menu when I sat down. Two of the girls at my table asked for dumplings while another customer shouted for corn on the cob and a donut, while the fourth customer just sat there. When I told the staff that I didn't have any silverware or a plate I was given one chopstick and told that I had to share with my neighbor. While I do not mind the communal seating, this was just ridiculous!
I barely had time to complain to the wait staff when one of them approached me and put a large white oniony looking thing on the table in front of me (since I did not yet have a plate) and told me that it was my dumpling. When I argued that I didn't order a dumpling and didn't even like dumplings, I was told to "pretend it's something else". The waitress then left. Mind you, she served me with her hands which I could visibly see dirt on. It was almost like she was playing in the dirt just before cooking my meal that I didn't even order.
I decided to try to make the best of my ordeal and asked what they served for drinks. I was given conflicting reports by the staff: one said that they didn't have any drinks (?!?) and the other told me that the only had tomato juice.
I passed on the drinks and told my daughter to get ready as we were going to leave. At this point I saw one of the customers at my table get up and go to the kitchen and get her own food. I do not blame her! As I was preparing to leave, I was given a menu by one of the staff. I told him that I was leaving and could have used one when I first arrived. He then told me to give it to someone else at the table then. He wouldn't even give it to them himself!
At this point I noticed that one of the other customers from the table got up and got plates and place-mats from the kitchen herself. Again, I don't blame her! As I gathered my daughter and we moved to leave, a staff member stepped in front of me and told me that my bill was two hundred hundred dollars. I balked at the price for the single dumpling that I never ordered. It made me realize why they are reluctant to give out the menus beforehand. Just wanting to leave, because I wanted to take my daughter bike riding, I asked if they took credit card. He said no, only money. I said I didn't have any cash on me and he said that was okay and let me pass.
Dumpling Restaurant for Food is a chaotic mess with no real organized business model. I'm all for niche little restaurants, but the ambiance is loud, distracting and half the staff looked like they had just been playing in the dirt. I really cannot recommend Dumpling Restaurant for Food to anyone. I do not see how the disorganized restaurant can last with the business model they support.