I got a chance to check out Journey To The Dumpling in Elk Grove. I’ve really been anticipating the opening of this place. I love xiao long bao! But my standards for xiao long bao are high. I grew up going to Hong Kong all the time and so I am extremely critical of Chinese food in the United States. I’m happy to say that the xiao long bao and the dumplings at Journey To The Dumpling are up to my standards. We have visited Journey To The Dumpling twice now.
I’m going to be very straight-forward about what I recommend. I liked the Xiao Long Bao (soup dumpling), the Sheng Jian Bao (fried soup dumpling), the Wonton in Chili Oil, the Potstickers with Pork & Cabbage, the Beef Chow Fun with Black Bean Sauce, and the Tan Tan Mein. The Xiao Long Bao was good because the skins didn’t break. The greatest faux pas in when you make xiao long bao is to make it so that the skins break when someone tries to pick them up. We didn’t have breaks with XLB! The Xiao Long Bao was juicy and flavorful with a satisfactory gush of soup when I bit into it. The Sheng Jian Bao was lightly fried and crispy on the inside but it was genius because when you bit in, there was soup inside. I have no idea how you fry a dumpling without the soup inside spilling out, but it was pretty darn delicious. The Wonton in Chili Oil was something pretty unique. I’ve been all over Asia and I hadn’t tried it before. I really liked it. The Potstickers had this crispy lattice thing all over it so you got to eat it with the dumpling. It was very good and exactly what a potsticker should be with one side browned and a little crispy and the inside nice and meaty. The Beef Chow Fun was very good with the Black Bean Sauce. You have an option about whether to get it wet, with gravy, or with Black Bean Sauce. Go for the Black Bean Sauce. It’s tasty and I just like it better than the other versions. The Tan Tan Mein wasn’t too spicy and it was right on par with Tan Tan Mein that you would eat in Asia. Note that this Tan Tan Mein wasn’t in soup. The sauce is meant to be mixed in. I also loved the fact that they heat up their tea pots over a small candle. Nice touch! I had the chrysanthemum tea and liked it.
Journey To The Dumpling has an obvious strong point with their dumplings. Stick with the dumplings and you really can’t go wrong. I do really highly recommend the Beef Chow Fun with Black Bean Sauce and the Tan Tan Mein as well. I’m going to be honest and say that the Beef Noodle Soup and the Beef Roll were reasonable but didn’t knock my socks off. They definitely were good, they just didn’t have the wow factor that the other dishes did.
The decor is very modern with an Asian contemporary design. My husband really appreciated the 4 flat screen tvs they have inside the restaurant. I also noted that their bathroom was spotlessly clean, although there is only one bathroom for each gender with no stalls.
I met the owner Yvonne. Both times we went she greeted us warmly and thanked us for coming to her restaurant. Considering this was a Grand Opening, I think that they executed it rather well. The waiters accommodated my request for a dish of chili oil, didn’t mind when I requested children’s waters with a lid and a straw, kept refilling our water glasses (my hubby downs water like a camel) and didn’t seem overly overwhelmed as most waiters and waitresses would be during a Grand Opening. My baby girl knocked over a dish of sauce and it was cleaned up quickly and they even brought us more napkins without me having to ask for it to replace the ones we used stopping up the sauce.
To be very clear, I think that Journey To The Dumpling is BETTER than any Din Tai Fung in the United States. Din Tai Fung in the Bay Area loses points with me because of the long wait. Journey To The Dumpling is on par with the Din Tai Fung in Toronto, Hong Kong, and within Asia. I highly recommend Journey To The Dumpling. They have awesome dumplings, good noodles, and excellent customer service. I recommend showing up early because they are not taking reservations. JAX APPROVED!
Journey To The Dumpling
7419 Laguna Blvd #180, Elk Grove, CA 95758
Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.