I'd been eyeing Tian Jin Dumplings for a long, long time. Essentially just a window with a very limited menu, I was skeptical at first. Then my friend told me that it was actually good and I made up my mind to give it a try.
Much easier said than done. It seemed like every time I wanted to go, it was closed. (Later, I found out that Tian Jin Dumplings is closed on Tuesdays. I guess I just happened to always try to go on a Tuesday.) Or, if I was in Oakland Chinatown with my coworker for lunch, it would be because she was having a craving for noodles and so we would end up at Shan Dong Restaurant instead.
Finally, there came a day when the stars aligned. I didn't pack lunch. My coworker wasn't in the office. I had cash. And it was NOT a Tuesday.
Hello, Tian Jin Dumplings:
I was tempted by the dumplings, but I wanted to try things I'd never had before. The pan fried cake was only $0.50 each:
I should have know that for that price, there would be nothing in it. Instead, it was very densely layered biscuit:
I would definitely recommend eating one of these with some kind of liquid handy.
The savory Tianjin crepe ($3.95) was what I was really curious about:
Think green onion and egg crepe wrapped around a Chinese donut (you tiao), parsley, preserved veggies, chili sauce, and some kind of sweet sauce. Quite subtle in flavor and very, very filling. It just felt like it was missing a little something to make it truly satisfying.
Oh yea. Meat.
While everything was good, I think I'll stick with the dumplings the next time the stars align.
Tian Jin Dumplings
989 Franklin St, Ste B
Oakland, CA 94607