This week, two restaurants opened in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. They serve very different foods and share a single space. The one that serves salads, pastries and toasts is modeled after Copenhagen’s cafe culture. The other, which hails from Weston, brings a popular Chinese dumpling daughter restaurant to the city.
Vester and dumpling daughter Girl are headed by Nadia Liu Spellman and Nicole Liu Spellman, the sisters. They took over the dual space at 73 Ames St. where they were previously Ames Street Deli and Study. These spaces had been owned by the team behind Backbar and now-closed Journeyman in Somerville.
The new restaurants operate in their own separate spaces. Vester, which opened earlier in the week, will operate a limited schedule right now. It will close Monday for Labor Day and resume operations on Tuesday at 7 a.m.-7 p.m., with Saturdays open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Vester closes Sundays.
Liu told Eater previously that she fell in love with Copenhagen’s cafes on a solo trip several years ago, and was inspired to bring the same spirit to Cambridge.
She said that she loved the city’s cafe culture and its mindful approach to eating, as well as their emphasis on freshness, seasonality, and enjoyed “the cafe culture”
Vester’s menu includes croissant sandwiches with prosciutto, cheese, kale salad and lemon dijon vinaigrette as well as grilled cheese with Mike’s Hot Honey, shaved Brussels Sprouts salad and avocado toast. Vester uses Counter Culture Coffee for its coffee. There will also be some specials like coffee blends with coconut milk, condensed milk or milk tea. Teas and tea lattes are also available at the cafe.
Dumpling Daughter Brings
Dumpling Daughter, on the other hand, brings a dumpling-laden menu and a rich history into Kendall Square. Spellman opened Weston’s first Dumpling Daughter in 2014 with the help of her mother, Sally Ling. She was the owner of the original Sally Ling’s restaurant on Boston’s waterfront from the 1980s. This high-end Chinese restaurant, which was first in Boston, featured a cart-service, white-tablecloth dining experience. Spellman’s Dumpling Daughter restaurant focuses on fast-casual delivery of a variety of Chinese dishes.
Glass noodle salads are available, as well as steamed buns and scallion pancakes. These can be stuffed with soups, beef shanks, chicken wings and kims seafood dumplings. You can fill the dough pockets with anything from vegetables to pan-seared chicken, and even chicken. Daily specials include Mike’s Hot Honey chicken wings and kimchi-fried rice.
Dumpling Daughter was two generations ahead of me. Sally Ling’s, Boston’s best-known 5-star Chinese restaurant, was owned by my parents. My favorite food, despite all the fancy food, was my mom’s homemade food. After school snacks of steamed buns and huge plates of dumplings were always a favorite treat. Sundays were the most exciting day. Grandma would wrap dumplings for us and we would go to her house. Dumplings were a family favorite. My childhood comfort food was dumplings.
Dumpling Daughter is a restaurant that serves authentic, time-tested dishes as well as my favorite: dumplings and buns. My mission today is to make people happy, one dumpling at time. Dumplings are comforting and fun, but they also make us feel light and happy.
Dumpling Daughter allows us to share our dumplings, buns, and other goodies with people all over the country. It makes me happy. I hope that you enjoy your Dumpling Daughter experience in any of our restaurants, or at your home. Enjoy the delicious dishes we offer today, and be happy that our recipes have been a source of happiness for generations.