Dumplings, dumplings, dumplings! I can hear my friends now: “Enough with the dumplings.” But I can’t help it. We live in a mecca of the little doughy treats, and they never get old. There is always another rock to be turned over, concealing my latest dumpling obsession. Pork, veggie, crab, or soup, it doesn’t matter what’s inside — all that matters is that burst of flavor that feels like the first time all over. And it’s happened yet again.
Hing Wang Bakery, at Judah Street and Ninth Avenue, is a dim sum joint that serves buns, desserts, and about 10 different types of dumplings. It’s a little steamy, kind of sweaty, and just the right amount of greasy. For less than $10, you can get a pile of assorted dim sum that could feed a small crowd. But if there’s one morsel that cannot be skipped: the combination chicken-and-mushroom.
These are some of the best dumplings in San Francisco. The savory, meaty, sausage-like texture blends impeccably with the nutty, soft mushrooms. The thin, translucent rice wrapper packs everything in with a tight seal. Steamed to perfection, they maintain a juicy core while also staying intact with every bite. It all works.
It never ceases to amaze me that something so simple — which has been done so many times — can still surprise and excite. Hing Wang’s dumplings are rustic and delicate at the same time, and I’d be just as happy if I’d sat down and ordered them at a fancy restaurant. But I didn’t. I paid $2 and ate them while I was walking to the beach. Life is good.
Hing Wang Bakery, 339 Judah St., 415-681-3928, no website