Where Are The Soup Dumplings!?

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"Where are the soup dumplings?" is very popular question in our house and while it sounds straight forward, what it really means is, "When are we going to eat some?!"

The last time it was asked the answer was, "In San Francisco, that's where."

We could've flown, but what fun is that when there's so much to be discovered in between? So the day after Christmas we rented a car and took a week-long trip up the coast with a final destination of San Francisco where we'd drop the car off and fly home. Soup dumplings were going to close out 7 days of adventure and we couldn't have been more excited.

Over the course of our road trip we visited old favorites - Kalyra Winery, Roblar, Carhartt, JustinWild Horse, Rancho Sisquoc and Red Scooter Deli

Kalyra Winery has cornhole available for the time in between tasting pours. 

Kalyra Winery has cornhole available for the time in between tasting pours. 

If you're ever in Los Olivos, drop into Carhartt. Family owned & run, it's a real party. It can never be said this family doesn't know how to have a good time. 

If you're ever in Los Olivos, drop into Carhartt. Family owned & run, it's a real party. It can never be said this family doesn't know how to have a good time. 

Rancho Sisquoc is the most secluded winery of them all, sitting across from a cow pasture. This particular day there were some who'd just given birth. 

Rancho Sisquoc is the most secluded winery of them all, sitting across from a cow pasture. This particular day there were some who'd just given birth. 

At Roblar, we snacked on cheese & charcuterie while playing dominos. More games! 

At Roblar, we snacked on cheese & charcuterie while playing dominos. More games! 

Floyd!! It may sound ridiculous, but we're attached to a grumpy llama. Every visit we feed him salt & vinegar chips. He's getting old, but that doesn't stop him. 

Floyd!! It may sound ridiculous, but we're attached to a grumpy llama. Every visit we feed him salt & vinegar chips. He's getting old, but that doesn't stop him. 

The Red Scooter Deli sits across from the park in Downtown Paso Robles. Their sandwiches are a great to-go option before hitting the road or picnicking. 

The Red Scooter Deli sits across from the park in Downtown Paso Robles. Their sandwiches are a great to-go option before hitting the road or picnicking. 

but also veered off the path to discover new hidden gems - Big Basin Redwood State Park, Cold Spring Tavern and Lover's Point Park

Chris vs. a redwood. We once read an article where the writer recalled having an "emotional reaction to a tree". It must've been a redwood. 

Chris vs. a redwood. We once read an article where the writer recalled having an "emotional reaction to a tree". It must've been a redwood. 

Cold Spring Tavern has been on our bucket list for quite some time. Nestled in the Santa Barbara mountains, you'll find killer tri-tip sandwiches, live music and great beer. 

Cold Spring Tavern has been on our bucket list for quite some time. Nestled in the Santa Barbara mountains, you'll find killer tri-tip sandwiches, live music and great beer. 

Pictured: THE tri-tip sandwich. There are three sauces to choose from- 1. BBQ 2. Salsa 3. Mustard. We opted for mustard and had no regrets. Though we did try their house bbq and it was delicious. 

Pictured: THE tri-tip sandwich. There are three sauces to choose from- 1. BBQ 2. Salsa 3. Mustard. We opted for mustard and had no regrets. Though we did try their house bbq and it was delicious. 

The view from Lover's Point Park in Pacific Grove is aboslutely breathtaking. 

The view from Lover's Point Park in Pacific Grove is aboslutely breathtaking. 

and cross off a few bucket list items - Lagunitas, Russian River Brewing, Industrial Eats and Artisan.

Party time and where better to start than Lagunitas in Petaluma? The band on this day was TV Mike & the Scarecrows. Their sound was reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and a great soundtrack to sampling many beers unavailable outside the brewery. 

Party time and where better to start than Lagunitas in Petaluma? The band on this day was TV Mike & the Scarecrows. Their sound was reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and a great soundtrack to sampling many beers unavailable outside the brewery. 

Russian River, best known for Pliny the Elder & Pliny the Younger is a hot spot in Santa Rosa. We showed up within an hour of opening and there was already a line outside. On this particular day, we had beer for breakfast. 

Russian River, best known for Pliny the Elder & Pliny the Younger is a hot spot in Santa Rosa. We showed up within an hour of opening and there was already a line outside. On this particular day, we had beer for breakfast. 

Industrial Eats!!! This dynamite eater in Buellton oven roasts every single one of their dishes. The place is void of oven, stove & deep fryer. Picured: surf & turf. Oven roasted NY strip and pancetta-wrapped shrimp on sourdough toast. 

Industrial Eats!!! This dynamite eater in Buellton oven roasts every single one of their dishes. The place is void of oven, stove & deep fryer. Picured: surf & turf. Oven roasted NY strip and pancetta-wrapped shrimp on sourdough toast. 

We also stumbled upon unexpected finds along the way - Pezzini Farms, Grappolo's and Brecon.

The Choke Coach, a famous artichoke-centric food truck is known for firing fried bites, artichoke tacos, tostadas and po' boys at Pezzini Farms. 

The Choke Coach, a famous artichoke-centric food truck is known for firing fried bites, artichoke tacos, tostadas and po' boys at Pezzini Farms. 

Brecon. What can we say except the wines are spectacular enough we joined- zero questions asked. Also, it was very cold on this day. 

Brecon. What can we say except the wines are spectacular enough we joined- zero questions asked. Also, it was very cold on this day. 

The experiences we encountered were memorable, fulfilling and of course delicious, but we were ready for soup dumplings. So we rolled into San Francisco at sunset on Friday night, picked up an Avellino's pizza and checked into our hotel room for some much needed rest, a triple D marathon and some more wine. 

The next morning after digging through blogs and articles recapping best soup dumplings in SF, we set our sites on Bund Shanghai in Chinatown. Reviews of the establishment's soup dumplings included phrases such as, "wrappers with integrity", "neat pleats", "not too thick" and "good quality pork". You'll only understand the importance of such phrases if you've experienced a soup dumpling rip right before your eyes. We were excited to say the least. 

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We scooted into a booth on the north side of the restaurant and immediately noticed the tables were void of chili oil. Interesting. As always, we began with just one order of soup dumplings, which turned into two and then three...

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Everything we'd read on the internet was true. The dough was pleated with purpose, thick enough to withstand chopsticks, but not so thick it overpowered the high quality pork filling. The broth was savory and seasoned, needing only a dab of black vinegar. We asked for chili oil, but only used it once every three dumplings and only the realization of the Ferry Building in our near future stopped us from placing a fourth order. 

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Love soup dumplings? This is one of those times you can believe everything you read on the internet. Bund Shanghai nailed the magic of a soup explosion.