Description and review of Hidden Dumpling House, a newish Chinese restaurant located in Midtown Sacramento. See: Visit #1 & Visit #2 below.
Hidden Dumpling House in Midtown held its soft opening in late May. This is the second location for the family-owned restaurant, the other being in Elk Grove.
The restaurant is located at 28th & P Streets, at the former location of Midtown Sushi and, prior to that, Lou’s Sushi.
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
Hidden Dumpling House
A friend and I stopped by Hidden Dumpling House for dinner prior to the theatre on a Tuesday evening. It was about 5:30 p.m. when we arrived, and we were immediately seated.
At 5:45 p.m. my friend, who was facing the door, remarked that it was standing room only as a line at the door had formed. Apparently, we had arrived at just the right time!
No one was seated on the small outdoor patio while we were there, very likely because it was a very warm day and there was no shade. On the plus side, the small patio is dog friendly.
A friend and I recently met at the Hidden Dumpling House at 11:30 a.m. for a weekday lunch. Only three other tables were occupied at the time. The small restaurant was never more than half full during the time we were there that day. Several people did stopped by to pick up a take-out order.
Hidden Dumpling House Menu
The Hidden Dumpling House menu has a wide variety of dishes:
- 7 Small Plates
- 13 Large Plates
- 12 Dumplings/Buns
- 5 Soups
- 13 Combo Plates
- 10 Noodles & Fried Rice Plates
- 13 Boba Drinks
After looking over the menu my friend and I decided to share the Pork, Shrimp & Chives Dumplings (10) ($13.99), the Pork Buns (3) ($13.99), and the Shrimp Siu Mai (6) ($12.99) for dinner.
Neither of us ordered any of the boba drinks from the menu. I did notice, however, when the two women at a table near us were served some type of beverage in pre-prepared ready-to-be served sealed plastic cups.
Note: Hidden Dumpling House does not serve alcohol.
It did not take long after ordering that our dumplings were served, followed shortly afterwards by the Siu Mai and pork buns. Note: We both took leftovers home to enjoy the next day.
Of the three dishes, we both agreed that the Pork, Shrimp & Chives Dumplings were our favorite. The chives added a subtle flavor that really made the dish. The Shrimp Siu Mai were close behind the dumplings. I particularly liked the distinct savory mushroom flavor of the Siu Mai.
The Pork Buns were not what either of us expected. To be fair, the menu did not say “BBQ” Pork Buns. The interior of the steamed bun contained, in essence, a pork “meatball” that I personally found to be bland. Additionally, both the texture and taste of the bun left something to be desired.
On this second visit I decided to try one of the Combo Plates. I ordered the Kung Pao Chicken (zucchini, carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion). One can order either the “lunch” combo plate (which comes with steamed rice) ($12.59) or the “dinner” combo plate (which comes with Chow Mein, fried rice and an egg roll for an additional $3). I ordered the $12.59 lunch plate.
My friend ordered the Singapore Rice Noodles (shrimp, chicken, BBQ pork, bean sprouts, onions) ($15.99).
We both also ordered a soft drink ($2.50). We were provided with the can of soda along with a glass with ice.
It did not take long after we ordered before our lunch was served. The portions were large, and both of us took about half of our meal home as leftovers.
The Singapore Rice Noodle dish received a so-so review. On the negative side, the color was right but there was not much in the way of curry flavor. On the positive side, there was sufficient “heat”. My friend also noted that while there was lots of protein (shrimp, chicken, BBQ pork), there were very few vegetables.
The Kung Pao Chicken Combo Plate fared better. The vegetables were crisp, just how I like them, and there was a sufficient quantity. The sauce was spicy-hot, perhaps a bit much for me. There was also plenty of chicken, although I would have preferred smaller pieces as I was using chopsticks and had no knife.
Staff greeted us upon arrival, and we were seated immediately after entering the restaurant. We were also provided with water upon being seated, and our glasses were topped off several times while we were there.
We were asked by at least three different servers if we were ready to order soon after we sat down. It does not appear that tables are assigned to anyone in particular. Overall, the staff were friendly as they multi-tasked doing whatever needed doing. It did seem a bit chaotic.
In our case, when we asked a staff person walking by for the check and indicated we were going to pay by credit card, she returned with a credit card reader, took my friends card to complete her half of the transaction and then handed me the credit card reader and left the table to go do something else. I decided to try to make my payment only to find that the transaction had timed out. I made my way to the cash register, but it was several minutes before someone who knew what to do arrived to help me pay my half of the bill so that we could be on our way.
On visit #2 we were cheerfully greeted when we entered and seated immediately. We were offered water, which we declined, instead ordering soft drinks.
When we were ready to leave I caught the first person walking past to ask for two containers as it still appeared that no one in particular was responsible for our table. This request also resulted in our being presented with the bill.
A few minutes later a credit card reader was left on the table as the server walked by. My friend and I agreed that I would put the bill on my card and she would give me cash for her share. For the second time, I had difficulty with the credit card reader! Very frustrating.
The interior of the restaurant has been freshened up post Midtown Sushi. The walls are painted an attractive green.
While we were waiting to be served, we both remarked on how loud it was in the room. The small dining area is separated from the kitchen by a low counter, with the kitchen located along the back wall.
My friend and I had difficulty hearing each other, having to repeat ourselves more than once during our time there. Patrons were naturally chatting with their tablemates, but it seemed the loud volume was largely due to raised voices directed at/or between employees.
Once again it was difficult to carry on a conversation in the small restaurant, despite it being half empty. Thumbs down.
To Sum Up
I enjoyed two out of the three dishes we tried, so I plan to try Hidden Dumpling House again. As a matter of fact, another friend and I have already scheduled a lunch there. My plan is to combine the two visits into one blog post prior to publication.
After experiencing difficulty in conversing for a second time, if I patronize Hidden Dumpling House again it will likely be for take-out.
See related blog post: Sacramento Ethnic Restaurants
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Hidden Dumpling House Snapshot:
- 2801 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
- (916) 822-4005
- Days/Hours – Open 7/Week (11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
- Vegetarian Friendly
- Gluten free options available for all entrees
- Outdoor Patio, Dog Friendly
- Street Parking
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