If you happen to be wandering through the Central Richmond, Dumpling Alley's rather plain exterior and ordinary name are unlikely to jump out at you. Peek inside, however, and you will witness a flurry of activity—behind a glass-fronted window and into the kitchen, where the skilled hands of expert dumpling makers pinch and pleat with elegant efficiency. The flavors here are Shanghainese, but beyond appropriately skillful renditions of the expected xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and sheng jian bao (pan-fried pork buns), you'll also find colorful specialties tinted with the likes of carrot juice, spinach, or squid ink. The springy handmade noodles draw praise for good reason, and the house-made soy milk can quench even those who live for lactose.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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