Baos and dumplings at Yips
Yips Dumplings & Digg is located in Pedersgata, the “new” food street in Stavanger, and we went there on a Friday night. The place is split into a takeaway section and a restaurant and this concept seems to work great as it is no fun to have lots of people hanging around in a restaurant waiting for the takeaway meal. We got a bit of a strange welcome – we had booked a table and when we got there, a guy came to ask us if we had booked and I said yes and told him my name. He went to check and then we didn’t really get more information as he continued serving some of the guest. Then another one came over to ask us if we had book and under what name. But in the end, we were shown to our table and we got the menus.
The restaurant focuses mainly on bao (steamed buns), ramen, poke, noodles and dumplings. On Fridays and Saturday there is also a set menu. The waitress didn’t have a written list of this so she just mentioned all the dishes that would be served. I think it would be a good idea to have a small add on to the menu for this. We decided to go for one set menu and one à la carte. The restaurant opened recently and is modern – you can look into the kitchen and see the chefs in action. The restaurant has an open plan but seemed to miss a bit of atmosphere. Not that I’m able to pinpoint what was missing.
It didn’t take long before Nikki got her first part of the set menu: three bowls containing ceviche, seaweed and cucumber, and shredded duck leg. The ceviche was good, and the seaweed and cucumber certainly had a distinctive taste of the seaweed. The shredded duck leg was not the favorite in this batch as there was too much going on with the flavors. I also got my first dish and that was oxtail dumplings. According to the menu it was mixed with fermented soy, ginger and spring onion – I’m not sure that I tasted all of that, but the mix was excellent as I found the dumplings to be delicious. The rich oxtail mix in the dumplings reminded me of a rich ragu served on pasta in Italy.
Nikki moved on to a small tomato salad with tofu which was great and a beef tartare with lotus chips. I don’t have long list of experience with beef tartare but this one was probably the best I have had. It was tender and tasty and served traditionally in a way as there was an egg yolk on top.
My next dish was a pork belly bao which seemed a bit uninspired when it was served. But when I started to bite into it, the bao was really good and the meat was tender with lots of Asian flavors as it was made with Hoisin sauce. Then it was Nikki’s turn to get a snow crab and pickled daikon bao followed by pork dumpling with garlic. I’m not totally convinced about the snow crab bao but maybe that is because I prefer meat in the bao. The shrimp and pork dumplings that came next was served steaming hot and was also very good.
Nikki wrapped up her meal with Wonton in shiitake consume and Grilled pork with wild garlic sauce. The last portion was a bit too big in my opinion and the pork meat was not as tender as we were hoping for. I ended my meal with pork belly ramen that I enjoyed. It was served with pork belly (obviously), a pretty strong miso broth, homemade noodles, eggs etc. In the end we got a coconut soup with mango as a dessert. We were both full and this was not a favorite of ours.
Conclusion: it is a tricky to give a good conclusion on Yips. Some of the dishes were awesome and some were good. The set menu gave us the possibility to taste quite a bit which was good, and maybe this is being used to test out various dishes. The main menu is not that big with only 4 baos and 3 dumplings! Regarding the set menu: it would have been good to have this as an add on list to the menu or on a blackboard as it would have been easier to make the decision to have it or not.
My favorites this night was my oxtail dumplings, the pork belly bao and the beef tartare which were all outstanding! Yes, I would like to go there again but next time I think we will just stick to bao and dumplings and share them with my company.
Location: Pedersgata 33 - see this Google map
Price: 600 kroner (68 USD) for the set menu. Bao and dumplings are about 90 kroner (10 USD).