Dumpling Sultan

Tuba has a lock on Turkish dumplings

There are sublime dumplings, and then there are Coskun Bektas' manti.

The chef-owner of Tuba, a new Turkish restaurant in the Mission, hails from Kayseri in central Turkey, a city lauded for its miniscule dumplings (pronounced mahn-tuh).

Bektas begins by assembling his manti ($16), stuffing ground beef seasoned with chile flakes and onion into thumbnail-size dumplings. Then, rather than plopping them straightaway into boiling water, Bektas first bakes them gently in the oven (a style known as firinda manti) so the wrapper becomes lightly toasted. The extra step also ensures that the manti remain intact and do not stick together when served.

To order, the manti are finished with a whir of garnishes, including melted butter, mint, red chile, spicy tomato sauce and thick house-made yogurt spiked with garlic. Tang, fire, herbal sweetness, beefy chew: A plate of Bektas' manti is a polyphonic spree of deep flavors.

Tuba reopened on Wednesday after a quick remodel, and the manti are now a menu fixture–a unique boon for dumpling hounds.

Tuba, 1007 Guerrero St. (at 22nd St.); 415-826-8822