The perpetually-crowded Dumpling Inn has a new home just steps away from their ever-popular eatery. Restaurateur and chef Mark Sun (Khan's Cave Grill & Tavern), whose brother-in-law runs Dumpling Inn, is taking over a now-shuttered market in the same Kearny Mesa plaza for a new dual concept.
Hoping to make a seamless transition by the end of the year, Dumpling Inn will occupy a third of the 9,000-square-foot space, which will give the restaurant about 25 more seats. The menu won't change, but the decor will have a traditional Chinese village feel.
The rest of the building at 4625 Convoy Street will house Shanghai Saloon, a new restaurant featuring craft beer, cocktails and an Asian fusion menu developed by Sun and his son Charles, also a trained chef. The 170-seat space, done up with hand painted murals to look like old Shanghai, will be dominated by a large U-shaped bar with 30 beer taps. In one section, a whiskey lounge will offer a broad bottle selection of the spirit, plus whiskey-focused cocktails.
Operating from 3 p.m. to midnight, Shanghai Saloon's menu will include steamed bun sliders filled with BBQ pork and stewed beef, sticky rice topped with braised pork belly and "Shanghai-style" hot dogs wrapped in scallion pancakes.