Serious Dumpling Restaurant

Serious Dumpling is a new fast-casual concept in San Jose that celebrates the craft and process of making Shanghai-style dumplings, with an open kitchen design that allows customers to witness and engage with the dumpling production, completed by Studio BANAA.

  • area / size 1,800 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Serious Dumpling is a new fast-casual concept in San Jose, California, located in the increasingly popular San Pedro Square and within downtown San Jose’s “restaurant row.”

    Studio BANAA collaborated with Restauranteur Chris Yeo, Cheng Ye, and Phebe Shen to bring their new concept of Shanghai’s increasingly popular dumpling cuisine to life.

    A specialty rarely seen outside of Shanghai, the XLB dumpling is a very technical dish to create. The design concept celebrates and showcases the process of craft required to make these specialty dumplings and allows the chef’s passion to become the star of the show. An open kitchen concept will enable customers to engage directly with dumpling production and gives them insight into the methods in which they are produced.

    Dumplings have very distinct and recognizable forms; they are, however, very malleable and handcrafted. Like clay that turns into ceramic, the dough is formed and folded by hand into various shapes and forms. Inspired directly by the ingredients of dumplings and the process of handcrafting them, the process becomes tangible, with a visual mimicry of the ingredients used to make dumplings via a custom ceiling and light piece that leads the customer through the space into the production area, a perfect sync between front and back of the house.

    Serious Dumpling’s method of using traditional Chinese cooking techniques, combined with modern and eclectic flavors, is reflected in the space’s moody yet playful interior design. Custom millwork, quartz countertops, concrete, and hot rolled steel juxtaposed with bright neon accents and colorful furnishings create a fun and modern space that is inviting and casual with functionality at its core. While the flavors may be bold and deep-rooted, the experience will be “seriously” approachable and one-of-a-kind.

    Design: Studio BANAA
    Client: Chris Yeo Restaurant Group, in collaboration with Cheng Ye and Phebe Shen
    Photography: Mikiko Kikuyama