Dumpling King

Dumpling King is a fitting name for this restaurant. It serves some of the best Chinese dumplings in town. These are the dough pockets that are filled with several different minced meats or vegetables, then steamed or pan fried.

There are over fifteen different combinations: chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, shrimp and pork, chicken with chives, vegetables with chives, cheese and chicken, and cheese and vegetables. There are also the similar Steamed Pork Purse and a Steamed Crab Meat and Pork Purse. These are really dumplings that are slightly smaller and folded in a different manner. Available either steamed or pan-fried, the dumplings are served in orders of six or ten.

The drill is to create your own dipping sauce with soy sauce and a mixture of the contents of the other jars and bottles on the table: minced jalapetios and cilantro, minced garlic, oil and vinegar. These condiments are always in good condition, and plentiful for the table.

Almost every type of dumpling is worth ordering. Unlike some other places where the pan-fried dumplings can be overly doughy and bland, both versions are consistently very good here. The only quibble, and a minor one, might be that the cheese and the crab meat are not very evident in those dumplings. The latter is not surprising given the very low price.

Though dumplings might get all of the attention from many patrons, Dumpling King also serves a large number of Chinese and Chinese-American dishes for very reasonable prices. With at least several items under each heading, the menu is divided among Soups, Noodle Soups, Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles, Lo Mein, Fried Rice, Bean Curd, Vegetables, Poultry, Shrimp, Pork, and Beef.

Lunch specials come with fried rice, an egg roll, and a choice between hot and sour and egg drop soup, and are generously served six days a week until 4PM. The more than two dozen items include dishes such as Sweet and Sour Pork, Almond Chicken, Hot and Sour Chicken, the peanut-laden Kung Po Shrimp (called Gong Bao here), Pepper Steak, and, of course, General Joe’s Chicken. These are a great value.

This easy-to-miss restaurant shares a tiny strip center with a cigar shop and an erotic wear store on busy Westheimer near Voss and Hillcroft. The restaurant itself is fairly small and unassuming, and it is often full during the lunchtime hours during the week. A half-dozen Chinese watercolors adorn the wall along with a large, slightly kitschy framed woodcut of a one of the Great Wall. It actually has more decor than most Chinatown Chinese restaurants even as the food is comparable to most of them. And the service is generally attentive.

Dumpling King
6515 Westheimer (just east of Hillcroft / Voss)
Houston, Texas 77057
(713) 266-1468

Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.

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