Full Disclosure: I paid for this meal with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post. The opinions are completely my own.
A couple of years ago Dumpling Haus opened in Hilldale Mall. There was a lot of excitement that came its opening since it was a new restaurant that was also locally owned and with what seemed to be an interesting menu. I happen to work in the mall and every time I walked by this place around lunch time it was very busy. Soon after it opened I saw many different articles about it and it seemed to be a great addition to the mall.
One day, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to pick something up there for lunch. I generally don’t eat out for lunch since I don’t like a ton of heavy food in the middle of the day (which is what a lot of eating out generally involves) but I figured since this seemed to be lighter and semi-healthy I’d go for it. Instead of eating there I took my food back to work with me. The restaurant itself is pretty small (it is where The Chocolate Shoppe and Ben and Jerry’s were previously) and there isn’t much seating so I decided I’d be better off taking the food back with me.
The menu is quite large and a bit overwhelming. I am not super familiar with Asian-style dishes, so there were several that I avoided just because I didn’t exactly know what I would be getting. After much deliberation (I wish I had gone with someone who could have told me more clearly what some of the things on the menu were!) I decided on the Seasonal Harvest Noodle Soup which is described as “noodles accompanied by the freshest veggies of the season in our savory broth” I asked the person taking orders what the “in season” vegetables are the they were using – since the description implies that maybe it changes with the season – and he basically said that it was whatever they had. I could tell there was a bit of a language barrier but it didn’t really convince me that the “seasonal” veggies were really any different than any other time of the year.
The soup turned out to be good, but not fantastic. The veggies were pretty standard Asian veggies, but they did taste fresh, and there was a fair amount of them in the soup. The soup as a whole was good, you really can’t go wrong with noodles and broth, but it was nothing fantastic.
One of the reasons that I really wanted to try Dumpling Haus (Ok, maybe THE reason) was for the Nutella Bao. Bao are basically Asian steamed buns filled with something. I had them for the first time last summer whene I went to Wow Bao in Chicago. The ones I had there were savorty and alright, but I wasn’t a huge fan. A sweet Bao, on the other hand, I had never had and was definitely excited for. Also I love Nutella.
The Nutella bao were basically like a fancy little Nutella sandwich. Delicious. They had just the right amount of Nutella in them that you had some in every bite, but it was easy to eat without dripping and making a mess of everything. I have to confess, I was planning on getting the 3 and then sharing two of them with my coworkers…..but they were so good so I ate them all. Ooops!
Overall the food was good, and definitely different than other things in the area have to offer. I did have to wait a few minutes for my food but not too long that I felt like I was wasting time waiting for my food rather than using that time to eat lunch. The menu offers a lot of unique items and I’m hoping the next time I go there it will be with someone a little more adventurous so I can try something that is more unique!
Taste: A, the soup was good but not outstanding, but the Nutella bao were definitely great.
Cost: A-, the soup was $8 and the bao were $6. Not too bad, but more than I think I would generally spend on lunch.
Would I go there again? I think so. Hopefully next time I go I’ll be more adventurous and try something a bit more interesting. I definitely will get the Nutella Bao again though!