June Chow once referred to the east side of White Rock Lake as a Chinese food desert. Her solution? To launch Hello Dumpling at the happening corner of Garland and Peavy and create the kind of food her mother used to make at home.
Chow wants the East Dallas dumpling den to be a welcoming space for those ready to try what may be an unfamiliar style of Chinese food. Thankfully she has the pedigree to bring the succulent specialty to our neighborhood.
Her mother ran Chow’s, a traditional Chinese-American restaurant in New Jersey, and Chow worked in the restaurant in various roles throughout her teenage years. Her mother made dumplings at home, which was no easy task.
“It really requires a tremendous amount of effort for dumplings you eat in 10 minutes,” she says. “It’s a labor of love.”
Though her mother’s restaurant served mostly rice dishes, Chow wanted to open a dumpling house, which is more common in northern China where the climate is better suited to wheat dumplings, noodles and breads rather than the rice dishes of the south.
The menu at Hello Dumpling focuses on quality over quantity. In addition to pork, beef, shrimp, chicken and vegetarian dumplings, there are noodle dishes and soups. Fun small dishes include crispy basil chicken bites and zucchini noodle salad. The restaurant also serves rice dumplings for the gluten-free crowd.
Chow sees dumplings dancing through multiple cultures: pierogi, ravioli, tortellini, wontons. “It is a basic way to cook something,” she says. “The universal comfort food.”
Chow moved to Texas from New York when her husband, Tom Gillette, landed a research position at UT Southwestern. Having never lived in the South, she says she cried for six months but eventually found entrepreneurial inspiration. She designed leather coats for plus-size women and worked with her sister designing toys before opening the restaurant. She also helps run a Tex-Mex restaurant called Lucky Lopez Mexican Grill in Beijing with her brother.
Chow prides herself on keeping her dumplings authentic while providing all levels of customer service. During the Advocate’s visit, a customer called and asked Chow in Mandarin to find his Invisalign braces, which had been thrown in the trash when the staff cleared the table. Without hesitating, Chow stuck both of her hands in the garbage and found both the upper and lower retainers.
“The best part of the business is people being really happy about coming here,” she says. “It’s about helping people.”
Did you know: Hello Dumpling connected with Burmese refugees through the International Rescue Committee and now employs some of them in the restaurant.
Ambience: Welcoming, modern aesthetic
Price range: $8-$15
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday
Address: 1146 Peavy Rd.
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