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It’s an all-day cafe! It’s a Chinese restaurant!

An interior shot of Vester.
An interior shot of Vester.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Where to Dumpling Daughter and Vester, an adjacent fast-casual Chinese restaurant and Danish-inspired cafe.

What for Family time. The concepts may not seem related, but the people behind them are. Nadia Liu Spelman runs Dumpling Daughter, the second branch of her Weston restaurant. Sister Nicole Liu operates Vester. Mother Sally Ling, the eponymous cofounder of longtime Chinese restaurant Sally Ling’s, is also in the house, helping out at Dumpling Daughter.

The scene Dumpling Daughter is decorated in red and black, a menu at the door detailing the options. Helpful photos of the dishes hang alongside. Decide what you want and proceed to the counter, where you order and take a number. Staffers bring food to the tables. Two friends share pork buns and study. People slurp rainy-day soup and mugs of tea. At one table, a staff member fills and folds dumpling after dumpling. Techno segues into French pop. You can wander into Vester directly from Dumpling Daughter or arrive through a separate entrance. The cafe is a study in grays, with bell-shaped lights and a marble bar where bottles of wine sit beside glasses of ice water: Which potion will you pick? There are treats in a glass case, and a barista makes lattes. At a communal table, a business meeting is taking place; solitary sorts hunker down with laptops.

What you’re eating At Dumpling Daughter: dumplings, of course, filled with pork, vegetables, and more. Steamed buns and snacks such as sticky rice in bamboo leaf and wings glazed in spicy honey and soy sauce. Noodles dolloped with Grandma’s Beijing Meat Sauce, made with pork and tofu; braised beef noodle soup; Sally Ling’s wonton soup. Wraps and rice bowls. At Vester: All-day breakfast, including pastries, egg and cheese on brioche, and avocado toast. Prosciutto and fresh mozzarella sandwiches, kale salad, and more. Specials such as smorrebrod, the Danish open-faced sandwich, and butternut squash soup. Cookies and other treats.


Care for a drink? At Dumpling Daughter, you’ll find assorted teas, Mexican Coke, lychee juice, and other nonalcoholic beverages, including bubble tea. At Vester, the usual tea and coffee drinks are here, as well as turmeric lattes, Hong Kong milk tea, and the signature camo, which incorporates matcha, espresso, and white chocolate. Beer and wine are also available.


Overheard Talk of dumplings, Copenhagen, and cookie preference. At Dumpling Daughter, a helpful staffer approaches a customer perusing the menu: “Would you like some advice? I usually ask myself when ordering: Do I want salty, spicy, savory, or sweet?” Someone eyes an order on another table: “What are those buns that look like tacos?” A couple peeks into Vester. “Is that a bar?,” the woman asks the man. At Vester, a woman arrives in a daze. “I need a pick-me-up!,” she announces. “The camo is our signature beverage,” Liu tells a customer. “It’s somehow not sweet.” A staffer brings a woman her avocado toast and camo. “I’m eating all green,” she says with a laugh. He smiles knowingly: “It’s one of my favorite colors.”

73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-8886, www.dumplingdaughter.com, www.vestercafe.com

Devra First can be reached at devra.first@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.