>> 嘉源 Jiayuan Dumpling House | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 13 August 2021

嘉源 Jiayuan Dumpling House

CHINA 🇨🇳
(HEILONGJIANG)
Facade of Jiayuan Dumpling House

COVID-19 UPDATE: The indoor dining room is open.

It is not everyday that you get to sample the hearty, warming noodles and dumplings of China's far northeastern province of Heilongjiang, known for the Ice Festival in its capital of Harbin, mountainous terrain, and its long, circuitous border with Russian Siberia. But thanks to the friendly family who runs this new restaurant in Redondo Beach, you could now make it a daily occurrence.

The dumplings are good news for both local residents and those that like to go to the beach cities on their off days. The family's path to the South Bay is an odd one, the curiosity of which will probably start when you notice the plaque hanging above the dining room that proudly announces the establishment of their business in 2013... in Canada.

Beef stir-fried noodles

Most customers that see the plaque will ask about the history and find out that the original restaurant in Lethbridge, Alberta had run a popular four years to 2017. The family had originally come to North America via the States in 2004, and have decided like many that Southern California is a very hospitable place to live.

There are mushrooms and some other vegetables that grow in the frigid northeast of China, as well as livestock for meaty meals, but it is wheat that makes its way into most of the staple foods eaten year-round. Thick round wheat noodles make the beef stir-fried noodle ($14.99, above) a little springier than usual. It may be hard to imagine yourself in Harbin, but from the first bite of this food at Jiayuan you can understand the warmth and comfort it would bring you.

A combination of two orders: pork and napa cabbage dumplings and shrimp and chicken dumplings

Like the noodles, the skins on the dumplings are thicker than most, and make for a good option to take to the beach if that is your day plan. Each order is served with their homemade dumpling dipping sauce, which is lovely, but you may be enticed to enjoy the flavors within each on their own for some bites as well.

Two six-piece orders are shown combined above with both the classic pork and napa cabbage ($8.99) and shrimp and chicken ($9.99), each with a pleasant crispy undercarriage. This must be one of the most desired parts of the dumplings, as they are presented bottoms-up.

Close up of crispy fried dumpling bottom

The northeast does not seem to be a place where spicy flavors are sought out, but you can ask for a chili oil to use for dipping as well if so desired.

You will notice that almost half of the front of the menu are items that are crossed out, but this is a promise for future dishes rather than a discontinuation of anything. Once the restaurant has its feet underneath itself, the menu will expand with more offerings.

Close up of dumpling interior, pork and napa cabbage

But there is plenty to enjoy now, like the wheat-based scallion pancakes. Soon they will make a house special version using fermentation typical of the northeast. Turn the menu over for many more items familiar to westerners who grew up on westernized takeout, but zoom in the Northeastern style sweet and sour pork for more flavors of a region not yet sampled in Los Angeles.

Customers used to large quantities of Chinese takeout stuffed into styrofoam containers and at least one round of leftovers might be surprised by the more manageable portions here. Quality is more important than quantity here at Jiayuan Dumpling House, as also proven by dumpling orders taking 15-20 to make from scratch. It is all worth the wait.

📍 1904 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, South Bay

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