Kung Fu Dumpling

I remember reading about Kung Fu Dumpling (https://www.kungfudumplings.com/) some time last year.  A new Chinese restaurant that specializes in dumplings and noodles sounded great, but it’s in Oviedo, at 7 Alafaya Woods Blvd #4000, right off Alafaya Trail — a direction I rarely drive in.  I tried it for the first time this past summer when I got home late from an out-of-town work trip, exhausted and hungry after dropping a co-worker off at home near there.  I figured I would end up with disappointing fast food, but when I drove by Kung Fu Dumpling and saw the lights on, you won’t believe how quickly I turned in there.

This is the inside.  There are several tables, but it was pretty quiet after 10 PM on a Sunday.  Since I didn’t even plan to stop by, I perused the menu and ordered at the counter, overjoyed that this long travel day was going to have a happy ending.   

The space is brightly lit with festive decor, and it’s sparkling clean inside.  I was relieved to hang around in the dining room while they prepared my food, after the stress of flying.  I was messing around on my phone, but it seemed like all the food I ordered was ready in about ten minutes.   

Kung Fu Dumpling offers many familiar dim sum dishes, and I couldn’t resist bringing home an order of homemade fried pork, shrimp, and chive dumplings (three for $6), since I know my wife likes those too.  If you’ve had these dumplings anywhere else, you know what you’re getting, and you’ll be very happy with them.  I figure some restaurants serve frozen ones, but these tasted very fresh.  

Pardon the shadows, but these were another dim sum favorite of mine, pan-fried pork buns (two for $5).  I wolfed these down, standing up in my kitchen, before I could even unpack my luggage.  We all know they’re never as good the next day!

I was thrilled to see my go-to standard Chinese restaurant dish, beef chow fun ($17), made with homemade wide, flat, chewy rice noodles, stir-fried with sliced beef, onions, and scallions.  Neither of us are huge fans of bean sprouts, so I asked them to hold those, and I was happy to not have to pick them out.  This was a shining example of beef chow fun.  In fact, one could consider it beef chow fun for the whole family.

I couldn’t help ordering a second dish I knew my wife and I could share: pad Thai ($15), a classic dish of stir-fried noodles (also homemade!) with eggs, chicken, shrimp, scallions, carrots, peanuts, and lime wedges to give it a little tangy tartness.  There is a mysterious sour-sweet flavor I often encounter in pad Thai that I love that might be tamarind, but it could also be lime.  Anyway, I don’t order pad Thai often enough at Thai restaurants, but I’m glad I ordered this version at Kung Fu Dumpling, especially with the homemade noodles.  My wife liked it too.

This is from the “Asian Wraps” section of the menu: a green scallion pancake wrap, with sweet red char siu barbecue pork stuffed inside ($10).  I’ve had similar scallion pancakes at Chuan Lu Garden, and this one worked well as a tortilla-like wrap.  I loved the combination of flavors and textures here.

This is a black sesame pancake ($5.50) that was very similar to a Malaysian paratha or roti, but not as buttery.  I know my wife doesn’t like onions or scallions, but she absolutely loved this, as I figured she would.  I resolved to return and bring her more, since I thought the pancakes and wraps were limited-time specials.  But looking at the Kung Fu Dumpling menu online, I’m pleased to say both the black sesame pancake, the green scallion pancake (also $5.50), and all the “Asian wraps” continue to be available.

So I returned to Kung Fu Dumpling a week or two later, bringing her two of those black sesame pancakes.  My wife also requested the teriyaki Buddha’s Delight ($14), a vegetarian dish with stir-fried tofu, broccoli, carrots, and onions (which I dutifully picked out and ate for her) in a lightly sweet teriyaki sauce.  I didn’t take a picture of it, but it came with fragrant jasmine rice.

And after over-ordering on my first visit, when I was delirious from travel fatigue, I stuck to one new dish the second time: Korean pan-seared braised pork belly over lo mein noodles ($16).  I hoped she would want to share this dish too, and I believe she liked the slice of tender pork belly she tried.  As for me, I loved it.  

So that’s my review of Kung Fu Dumpling, after two visits.  I’m still rarely in that part of Oviedo, where it approaches East Orlando and turns into UCF before you know it.  But even if you don’t live or work anywhere in the area, I still highly recommend Kung Fu Dumpling for your pan-Asian comfort food needs.  Whether you’re craving Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, or Taiwanese flavors, you will find something you love here.  If you want late-night dim sum, they have you covered.  If you crave tender homemade noodles (as I so often do), you’ll be in for such a treat.  As the great thespian Keanu Reeves said after a grueling training session in The Matrix (1999): “I know kung fu.”  Now you, constant reader, also know Kung Fu.

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