Dumplings take many forms in the culinary world. From the Italian ravioli and Eastern European knish to the Middle Eastern samosa; just about every culture on earth has a variant. Even an ancient Roman cookbook includes a dumpling recipe. While no one culture can claim its invention, food historians believe the earliest dumplings date to early Chinese culture 1,800 years ago, during the Han dynasty.

This brings us to Dumpling Depot, one of the newest entrants to enter the dim sum dimension. The Sunnyvale eatery promises to deliver authentic Chinese dumplings, with more than 20 different house-made dumplings that range from pork, chicken, lamb and seafood to a nice selection of vegetarian options. The Depot also has the standard soups, noodle dishes and stir-fries one would expect at a Chinese restaurant.

We ordered a selection of dumplings based on our waiter’s recommendation, including their Shanghai Soup Dumplings (aka XLBs, $5.95 for 6), Pork Dumplings with Chives ($8.95/12) and Pot Stickers ($6.95/6). I also couldn’t resist ordering my two “go-to” Chinese dishes: Green Onion Pancakes ($5.95) and the Mongolian Beef ($9.95).

My dining partner, who had never had an XLB, made the rookie mistake of grabbing one and plopping it in his mouth. This is unwise, unless first-degree tongue burns are your thing. The trick is to place the XLB on a soup spoon, bite a small hole, slurp the soup and then gobble it up. With that said, Dumpling Depot’s XLBs are on the small side, so I can easily understand the urge to down one. While all the dumplings were good, the clear winner was the Pork Dumplings with Chives. They were seasoned so well that it allowed a blend of pork, chive and gooey soft dumpling wrapper to melt in my mouth. I also couldn’t resist dipping them into a combo of their soy sauce and black vinegar. A nuclear orange hot sauce is also available and delightful—but it is not for the faint of heart.

My test dishes were also terrific. The Mongolian beef was tender and the green onion pancakes had a nice touch of oil to them, crisp on the outside and tender in the middle.

How modern-day and ancient dumplings compare to one another is anybody’s guess. But if all history lessons are this delicious, sign me up for another few courses.

Dumpling Depot
562 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale