After just six months serving noodles as Udon Time, the Omakase restaurant group has closed and reopened its quick-service restaurant at 55 Division Street as a spinoff of more successful nearby sibling Dumpling Time. The former Udon Time is already back open as Dumpling Time Express, serving both a variety of dumplings and an abbreviated menu of udon noodles, with full-service, take-out, and delivery options.
The Omakase Restaurant Group, also of Michelin-starred sushi spot Omakase and neighbor Okane, opened Udon Time this spring. It debuted alongside a wagyu beef-focused butcher shop and steakhouse, Niku.
But udon noodles didn’t pull in customers quite like dumplings or wagyu did, so the team decided to change gears, adding dumplings to the menu and doubling down on the Dumpling Time name with “Dumpling Time Express.”
“We’re still holding onto the Udon Time brand as there is demand for it,” says Edgar Agbayani, executive chef of both Dumpling Time and Udon Time. “But at this time, we felt the Express concept would be a better fit for the space.” The Udon Time logo remains on the new menu beside two udon options: classic sanuki udon and sanuki udon with beef.
The new, pared-down menu at Dumpling Time Express is also a good exercise for the restaurant group, Agbayani says:. Another Dumpling Time spinoff is bound for the Chase Center, and the new restaurant could be a case study for that location and future spinoffs. The shortened dumpling menu is still expansive, with siu mai, gyoza, savory and sweet bao, and classic pork XLB soup dumpling, plus their “tom yum” version in a beet red skin.
The layout and design of the new 55 Division Street restaurant remain roughly the same as before. But rather than lining up for a tray, cafeteria style, customers will take a seat, and can see staff making dumplings (as well as noodles) behind the counter.
Dumpling Time Express is open now from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with dinner coming soon from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Beer, sake, and Japanese whiskey are still available as well.