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Dumplings N More Has Mastered the Art of Soup Dumplings

Forget the language problem — the food speaks for itself.

The dumplings are what I came for, though, not the "N More." The first pan-fried dumplings I sampled were a bit of a disappointment, but each new order of meat-and-veggie-filled pockets that arrived at my table was better than the last.

Unlike the stir-fry, delightful for its lack of grease, the pan-fried dumplings came swimming in a pool of oil and mirin. The watery mixture instantly destroyed the once-crisp brown shell on the delicate dumpling skin. That nearly burned umami flavor is integral to the overall appeal of a pan-fried dumpling (as opposed to steamed or boiled dumplings), but the liquid mess in which they were resting ruined the outside texture.

The filling was good, though, as it was in every dumpling I sampled. The ground beef inside the pan-fried dumplings was rife with ginger and leeks, and the meat was tender, never chewy. There's nothing worse than biting into a soft dumpling only to be met with tough gristle. At Dumplings N More, that's not a concern.

Pan-fried dumplings get crisp, lacy edges from the hot oil.
Troy Fields
Pan-fried dumplings get crisp, lacy edges from the hot oil.

Location Info

Map

Dumplings N More

3149 Highway 6 South
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Outside Houston

Details

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Cheese crab puff: $4.95
Mapo tofu: $7.99
Crisp dumpling snowflake pancake: $8.99
Seafood fried udon: $10.95
Salt toasted shrimp: $13.95
Pan-fried beef dumplings: $8.45
Mushroom dumplings: $6.99
Pork soup dumplings: $7.99



Go behind the scenes of this week's reviewed restaurant in our slideshow, "Dumplings N More: A Closer Look."


Vegetarian dumplings resemble little half-moons, crimped around the edges with colorful strips of carrots and onions barely shining through the thin skin, like something on the other side of a frosted window. The flavor and aroma of these are more mild than with the meat-filled ones due to a less hearty serving of ginger inside each little pocket. The vegetables are soft without being mushy, though, and the salty dumpling sauce adds another layer of flavor otherwise missing.

True to the recommendation of our server, the xiao long bao are the restaurant's most flawless dish. After we performed the near-religious ritual of removing the lid and breathing in the warm aroma of pork and ginger and lemongrass and sweet, tender dough, we could hardly contain ourselves and scalded our tongues and fingertips in an effort to get the pork-stuffed soup dumplings as quickly as possible from the basket to our mouths. With each bite, the meaty broth contained within would burst out, adding a new flavor dimension to the dumplings as it mixed with the ginger-scented ground pork.

Though we'd previously discussed the proper ways to eat a dumpling, all decorum went out the window the moment the steam revealed the perfect round dumplings, wrapped and twisted like tiny, meaty presents. There's an art to eating dumplings, yes, but when they're this good, all artistry gets left behind. And you end up full and happy with soup running down your chin.
_____________________

The language barrier is indeed a challenge at Dumplings N More. Incorrect dishes get fired in the kitchen and brought to the wrong tables at the wrong time. People not accustomed to the sometimes inconsistent service at small mom-and-pop restaurants in Chinatown get annoyed. Dishes get sent back. What works on Bellaire Boulevard doesn't always work in Sugar Land.

I encourage you to go with the flow, though. If veggie dumplings are brought to your table instead of the mushroom ones you ordered, give them a try. Perhaps you'll discover, as I did, that the folks in the kitchen generally know what they're doing.

Whether you order soup dumplings or steamed dumplings, shrimp or pork, pan-fried pockets or half-moons cooked into a dumpling pancake, Dumplings N More will satisfy a craving. And even though the restaurant is cleaner and more modern and chic than many in Chinatown, even though it's sandwiched between a Shipley Do-Nuts and an upscale home-theater store, even though it's out in Sugar Land, the food is authentic. And even though there are language problems, the food speaks for itself.

Go behind the scenes of this week's reviewed restaurant in our slideshow, "Dumplings N More: A Closer Look."

kaitlin.steinberg@houstonpress.com

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9 comments
Claudio Lerma
Claudio Lerma

You had asked about soup dumplings, Denise Castillo Rath.

FRL713
FRL713

No mention of the condiment options?  I'll put in a plug here for Dumpling King (Westheimer location).  Their ginger/jalapeno condiments are part of what make that place so awesome.  Order some dumplings to go and avoid the rest of the menu items.  Then mix up the ginger/peppers with a little soy sauce and go to town!

vonReisendorf
vonReisendorf

Yum, I'd eat there! (If I lived in Sugar Land)

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

@FRL713  Sorry, but Dumpling King, of which we live across the street from, has to have some of the worst dumplings we've ever had. Try Fu Fu Cafe for some of the best in all of Houston!

FRL713
FRL713

@del.martinis @FRL713  Yep, Fu Fu dumplings are great (and cheap).  However, that's quite the hike out to Bellaire and BW8, one that's even worse now with all the construction on Bellaire blvd.  I'm referring to the Galleria location of Dumpling King.  If you have other recommendations in the area, I'd be willing to give them a shot.

ericyounglu
ericyounglu

@del.martinis @FRL713  


Try E-Tao in the Galleria for some decent dumplings. (Expensive but whatever).


For Sugar Land, Old Place Cafe is owned by the same people that own Xiong's Cafe. 


I've been to Dumplings and More and it's not that good. This is someone who has been to Shanghai and Taiwan and have eaten the best of the best.

 
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