California's state capital blends arts culture and agriculture, so one might expect high-quality dining — and wow, does it deliver. Now Sacramento is drawing new attention as the backdrop of Lady Bird; call it the Oscar effect.
Gary is learning how to make Noodles and Dumplings at Journey to Dumpling in Elk Grove. The restaurant is located at 7419 Laguna Blvd., Suite 180, Elk Grove, 95823.
Yvonne Nguyen, who owns the restaurant with her boyfriend Chris Tan and head chef Justin Yang, says she and Tan specifically wanted to open a xiao long bao restaurant in their hometown of Elk Grove simply because of the lack of good bao in the Sacramento area. “There are a couple [places] that serve it, but I’ve noticed that some places serve frozen ones, and other places just don’t get the right consistency,” she says.
What people should be saying is that Journey to the Dumpling is a fabulous local restaurant that somewhat reminds them of Din Tai Fung, with its contemporary interior, upscale service, attractive plating and focus on xiao long bao while still offering an array of Chinese dishes.
Xiao long bao was otherwise hard to find locally until Journey to the Dumpling opened three months ago in the busy, casual-restaurant-filled Target shopping center on Laguna Boulevard. The journey to which the restaurant’s name – a play on the Chinese literary classic “Journey to the West” – refers culminates with readily available soup dumplings. They are made with a rich chicken-pork stock set in gelatin form until it is ready to be mixed with ground pork or seafood, wrapped in dough and steamed. The heating process turns the dumpling’s interior into soup.
The name of Elk Grove’s Journey to the Dumpling leaves little question about the restaurant’s specialty – dough-wrapped treats in several forms, most notably the excellent xiao long bao, or dumplings with soup inside. But chef Justin Yang’s skills extend past dumplings to other noteworthy dishes, such as Hong Kong-style chow mein.
Cambi is getting a preview of the Taste of Elk Grove with pork dumplings from Journey to the Dumpling.
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.