Dough Zone, San Mateo

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Dough Zone

111 E 4th Ave

San Mateo, CA 94401

650-336-1888

Dough Zone Website

The Pandemic has brought Soup Dumpling or Xiao Long Bao quality to new heights!

Dough Zone, San Mateo

Why did we dine here? – Dough Zone dumpling house is a regional small chain of restaurants that started in the Seattle area (2014) and has now expanded into Northern California, at Cupertino and San Mateo. They specialize in dumplings and have a menu that is very similar to that of popular Din Tai Fung.

Dough Zone San Mateo Interior decor

The San Mateo location is located in a jinxed location that has changed ownership every couple years. Let’s hope this place stays here for a long time!

Insider Tip – Use Yelp Waitlist

Cuisine – Chinese
Location – Downtown San Mateo
Opened – May 2021

Service – Dough Zone was better than most Chinese restaurants, but not up to Din Tai Fungs.
Verdict – The food is good and reasonably priced here. Service was reasonable, with lots of servers passing by. The soup dumplings are just attached below that of Dumpling home and Din Tai Fung, while many of the other items are very good. We had to wait during Saturday dinner, about an hour via Yelp waitlist.

Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Maybe. 1 Hour? No

Dough Zone Signature Dishes – XLB, Pan Fried pork buns.

Dough Zone’s Menu is pretty wide ranging with lots of dumplings, noodles and more.

Website Dough Zone Menu

Dough Zone Food Picks:
Green onion pancake ($2.95) what is technically homemade, but lack flavor. 7/10

Dough Zone San Mateo Pork Soup Dumplings xlb

Pork Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings. ($7.50) how thin skin and lots of soup. Pretty darn good rendition here. Amazing that it took quite a few years for several newcomers to really challenge DTF! 8.5/10

Dough Zone San Mateo q bao pan fried pork buns

Q bao or Pan fried pork buns ($8.75) are good but not great. Dumpling Home in San Francisco is clearly better with more crispiness and density. Pan Fried Dumplings in Newark and Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale is also better. These have a light golden brown char, and are very circular. 8/10

Dough Zone San Mateo Wontons

Chicken veggie wontons with chili sauce ($5.25) are also well done. Not too spicy, and very well-made wontons. 8/10

Sweet-and-sour cucumber ($4.95) are featured on their yelp page, an interesting spiral sliced version. 8/10

Dough Zone San Mateo pot stickers noodles

Chicken potstickers ($5.25) are eggless, well-made, have some juice to them, and are crisp. 8.5/10

Hot and sour clear noodle vegetarian ($5.95) It’s a reasonable noodle dish. Not too hot or sour, just right. 8/10

Dough Zone San Mateo kale

Kale salad in sesame dressing ($5.50) what’s well-made, lots of tender tail and not overdressed. 8/10

Spicy noodle vegetarian ($5.95) is the only clinker of the night. They just forgot to put salt in this thing. Amazing we had to ask for salt! 5/10

OK: (Order if you like this dish)
None

Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
None

Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?

Restaurant Map:


Dough Zone Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Very Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Beer, Wine
Attire:Casual
Parking:Street
Reservations:Yes

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