Mark Twain once said “All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.” Well that could be true since I recently applied it to my search of good Chinese food and actually found some! I mean, it’s next to impossible to find good Chinese Food around here. Now don’t get your panties all bunched up, Jeez! It’s true. I know good Chinese food since I’ve eaten the best because I used to live in San Francisco and that city has the best Chinese food, so please don’t write me a bunch of letters telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, then suggesting that if I want good Chinese, I should go eat at a Panda Express! A girl’s gotta have standards! Anyway, I was craving good Chinese food so badly, I decided that I was going to go out and find some no matter what. Talk about confidence!
You’d think that I would just skip the search for good Chinese and just have my usual Asian go-to, which you can read about here, but my stomach wanted Dim Sum in particular and, well frankly, who could argue? Normally, I would call my friend Vivster the Slipster because she just loooves Chinese food and would go with me in a heartbeat. Plus, she has this neat trick she does to meet men, where she purposefully pretends to slip on the floor as she’s walking by a cute guy and lands right in his lap, and I thought that would be perfect since I’m hungry AND single! But I knew she wasn’t available so I just went out on my own figuring that if I spotted some guy that was really worth it, I pull the same trick.
Like I said, standards.
Now I could make up this story about how I did all this research trying to find good Chinese by comparing places, taking notes and looking at reviews online, but that would be complete bullshit because my time is valuable, so I’m not going to waste it, even though it’s my job. Let’s just say I stumbled upon the place. Yep, that’s right, I stumbled upon the best place to get Dim Sum in the Conejo Valley simply by driving right past it!
Now I don’t want you to think that I didn’t do ANY planning ahead, because I did, and this is where the confidence part came in: I decided to drive through the “less desireable” part of town since I figured more Asians would live in those types of neighborhoods, and I’d probably find the place I was looking for. So as I was passing by a run-down strip mall that was soon going to house a brand new 99¢ store, I figured there must be a place really close by. I mean, Asians usually own those kinds stores too, right? Well thanks to my intelligence and sharp observational skills, I noticed a tiny little Chinese place smack dab in the middle of the run down strip mall!
Their sign read: Donuts Chinese Food. No joke, that’s exactly what it says, which tells me that for sure they’d have great Chinese food since real Asians don’t know how to master the English language either. Anyway, I walked inside and right away I was struck by how awful and cheap the interior was and I thought to myself “This is the right place!” Then I found out that the real name of the place is called 韓 餃 , or Han’s Dumpling for those of you who don’t read Chinese. I love dumplings!! They are the cornerstone of Dim Sum, and I figured since dumplings are part of their name, they must have really good ones! This place isn’t anything fancy, just a few tables and a take-out counter with some hot food you can order right away. The guy behind the counter was super friendly, he’s the “Han” in Han’s Dumpling, and he offers a big smile to everyone that comes in!
After perusing their menu, I decided to get an order of Steamed Dumplings, Crystal Shrimp Dumplings, and Red Bean Paste Buns. I wanted to order their Leek Fried Cake and Mushroom Spinach Buns too, but they were out. If you’ve ever had Dim Sum, you’d know that it’s all cooked to order, so expect to wait a little while. After about twenty minutes, my order was ready. Everything is served in styrofoam to-go containers so don’t expect real China *snicker*. Anyway, I opened the to-go container and I knew right away that these were the real deal! The dumplings were glistening pouches of soft dough filled with a mixture of juicy pork, scallions and ginger with just a tiniest bit of chewy texture, just like a steamed dumpling should be! The Crystal Shrimp dumplings were little purse pockets filled with minced shrimp and ginger with a delicate flavor. They each came with a soy vinegar dipping sauce that added brightness. For dessert, I had the Red Bean Paste Buns. They were perfect, puffy white domes and as I bit into the soft, fluffy dough, it was like biting into a cloud with a center of sweet bean paste that mixed with the puffy texture perfectly!
Just so you know, Han’s Dumpling only takes CASH, so don’t show up with your Amex card and expect to get any food. And this is strictly a take-out joint with good food, not a nice restaurant, so don’t expect ambience either. Han puts the word dump in dumpling!
I guess Mark Twain was partly correct in saying that all you need is ignorance and confidence and success is sure, because I had the confidence… but I still don’t see where the ignorance part comes in?
1032 Ave De Los Arboles
Thousand Oaks, CA