When we heard Gourmet Dumpling House was opening a sister restaurant in Cambridge, we were thrilled. There aren’t not a lot of really good quality Chinese restaurants in Cambridge, so we hope it helps elevate the quality of Chinese food further in the area.
We came in on a Sunday night to try out their food. Other friends had mentioned to us that they were open for business so we invited them along.
The is a lot of nice, clean, bright open space inside the restaurant. We really like the wall hangings that they use for decoration.
Mini Soup Dumplings with pork aka Pork xiao long bao
These soup dumplings were the primary reason we came for dinner. We ended up with two orders because they were good, but not great compared to the location in Chinatown. To eat a soup dumpling, you have to wait for it to cool down a bit, then gently bite down on the wrapper and suck out the soup. Then you eat everything else. These ones had a good amount of soup and ground pork inside. I wish the ground pork was more flavorful however.
Beef with Scallions Roll in Pancakes aka Scallion pancake wrapped beef
This was a decent version of this Taiwanese traditional appetizer. The beef was tender and the scallion pancake a bit thick but very crispy. We needed more dipping sauce because they didn’t put enough inside. It was good and we would definitely order it again but Jean & Lee Kitchen in Newton makes an even better version in our opinion.
Baby Clams in Special Chili Sauce
This dish would have been excellent if the clams were properly washed and not so gritty. It was hard to decide because the flavor and the heat from chili sauce were delicious. The major issue was not knowing if you would get a sandy clam really put a dent in our enjoyment. Every fourth or fifth clam we would go “Awww, more sand!”
Sizzling Beef Short Ribs with Black Pepper Sauce
This beef short rib dish was very good. The beef was tender from the marination and very more-ish. These sesame seeds on top added a light crunch, which was nice. There were more onions than peppers in the pepper sauce. We would order it again.
Beef and broccoli
The beef and broccoli stir-fry was good as we hoped it would be. Beef was fresh and the broccoli was not overcooked but still a little crunchy. Everything was stir-fried with soy sauce. This isn’t a true Chinese dish however. It is a Chinese American invention. This is my friend’s take out favorite so if it wasn’t up to par they probably wouldn’t return on their own. They liked it immensely.
As with many Chinese restaurants, the customer service aspect is sincerely lacking, as the emphasis is on food, not service. As long ad you don’t take it personally and realize this is a cultural difference, you should be fine. We ended up with two different servers. The first one was polite but had to leave because their shift was over and the second one was extremely brusque.
Overall, Dumpling House puts out solid Chinese food. With some adjustments as they get used to working as a team, it can be as popular and as delicious as Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown.
950 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02149