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Arts & Entertainment

SF loses a Michelin-rated dumpling house—but gains a sushi bar

Until recently, this storefront on Clement Street and 26th Avenue in San Francisco belonged to Dumpling Alley. | Google Street View

Dumpling Alley, a Michelin-rated hidden gem in a nondescript storefront on Clement Street and 26th Avenue, closed earlier this year. It’s been replaced by a new eatery called Serendipity Japanese Restaurant. 

Anson Han, a server at Serendipity, told The Standard that Dumpling Alley quietly shuttered about two months ago and reopened as a sushi bar under the same ownership on April 18. Before Dumpling Alley, the storefront belonged to a Japanese, Korean and American restaurant called 100% Sweet Cafe. 

Han said the Richmond District restaurant will no longer serve the black truffle xiao long bao and shrimp donuts that first earned Dumpling Alley its Michelin guide cred. The dumpling house is still listed in the Michelin Guide as one of the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco with a review that highlights the restaurant’s Shanghainese handmade dumplings and housemade soy milk.

“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 anonymous reviewer wrote.

The new sushi bar offers nigiri, sashimi and omakase sushi, as well as donburi rice bowls.  When Dumpling Alley opened in the summer of 2019, Hoodline reported that owner Stewart Chen has a background in sushi, so perhaps Chen’s pivot to Japanese cuisine isn’t so abrupt after all.  

Serendipity Japanese Restaurant