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What a gem - Mother's Dumplings

I can't believe I didn't know about this place before. We were wandering around Chinatown this evening and happened across a place called Mother's Dumplings on Huron, north of Dundas.

It is a clean and quaint subterranean space with around 8 tables. the menu is a hodge podge of different items, from various steamed dumplings to panfried onion pancakes.

We ordered 4 items:

- steamed vegetarian dumplings with bok choy, tofu, and mushrooms
- pork and bok choy potstickers
- panfried green onion pancake
- da-lu noodles

The green onion pancake was the first to arrive to the table. I don't generally like this dish (my partner loves it though) but this one was very well done. The pastry was adequately thin and layered nicely with a good amount of green onions in between. It was pan-fried to a perfect crispiness and golden colour. Quite lovely indeed.

Next came the noodles. They were hand-pulled noodles in a thick broth with ground pork, woodear mushrooms, and nappa cabbage. Not at all salty and we detected little to no MSG. The noodles could have been cooked a little less, but otherwise, I can imagine this becoming another comfort food favourite for me.

Next to the table were the potstickers - 10 in an order. Just slightly more oily than I like them to be, but the wrapper was just the right thickness with the right amount of chewiness and they did not skimp on the filling. The dumplings were nice and crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Very nicely done.

By the time the steamed dumplings arrived, we were full but we had a couple to taste anyway. There are a dozen of the steamed dumplings per order. Again, the wrapper was great - good thickness and good texture. And again, there was a good wrapper to filling ratio.

Service was slow, but very smiley, apologetic, and gracious. We truly enjoyed our experience here. This is a very unique place - we literally felt like we were eating at someone's house. Good, honest comfort food.

The best part is that we walked out of there, completely stuffed, for $20 including taxes and a generous tip.

This place will definitely become a regular haunt for us.

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  1. There was a review for this place on CBC radio awhile back. I've gone a couple times and enjoyed it. Last time I tried the whole wheat steamed dumplings, they were delicious.

    1. Do they have any chicken or seafood dumplings? I don't eat red meat. thanks

      1 Reply
      1. re: Teep

        I don't remember exactly if there were chicken dumplings, but I do recall that the only seafood dumplings they had were "pork and seafood" which doesn't really fit your needs. They had at least 2 vegetarian dumpling options, however.

      2. This place is a real gem, though I haven't been there in months. The pork and chive dumplings are sublime.

        1. After gym, I was struck with a dumpling craving and headed over to this joint. It is a nice little place! I had the pan fried pork and bok-choy dumplings which were great doused with lots of vinegar and red chilies. Crispy on the outside and fairly juicy, tasty filling. I also had the vegetarian dumplings with mushrooms, tofu and bok choy and they were not bad but I think the meat dumplings are better. Glad I found this place!

          1. I'll have to check this place out next time I'm down there, how late are they open? If you're up north and want excellent shanghai dumplings, try Ding Tai Fung, in the First Markham Place plaza at Woodbine and Hwy 7. And don't forget to order the chicken with baby bak choi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: doubledown

              I believe they are open till 11:30 at night. I went again tonight with a friend for the dumplings and tried the da lu noodles. The da lu noodles were a little bit oily for my taste but I liked the texture of the noodles. Just thought I'd add a word of advice for those eating in: it's a small operation sometimes with only one person manning the tables and the cooking in a small kitchen so don't be in a hurry if you are eating in.

            2. Do you know if they sell prepackaged dumplings? I'd love to be able to buy some to reheat/steam at home.


              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsleny

                I've bought some frozen by the bagful. All you have to do is ask to take some home and they'll tell you what they have on hand. Good green onion panckaes too!

              2. We went back again a few nights ago when we had the crazy heat wave and tried the Korean cold noodles. Wow... what a great summer dish! Buckwheat noodles, with lots of shredded cucumber and cilantro, a bit of kimchee for spice and salt, a few slices of pork and half an egg for protein. So refreshing.

                We also tried the seaweed salad. This was quite good, if a bit on the salty side (too much soy sauce in the dressing). But the loads of garlic and sesame oil made up for it. This was tangy, nutty and spicy all at the same time.

                We also had the pork and melon dumplings... again the wrapping is good, but we couldn't tell that there was melon in the dumplings. We assume they used winter melon since that is rather common to see, but we couldn't be sure.

                We had another set of dumplings, but I don't recall what they were - we were there over a week ago. But I don't recall being at all disappointed by them, so it must have been good! :)

                Oh, and Teep, I checked the menu again and they do have one type of chicken dumpling and one type of seafood dumpling in addition to three types of vegetarian dumplings.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Juniper

                  Thanks Juniper, I'll definitely go try then!

                2. Went last night, and it was great!! I'll definitley go back to try more, since it was supposed to start out as a before-dinner snack...
                  Got the steamed pork & chive dumplings, the egg & green onion pancake, and the simple bean sprout salad.

                  It was great, especially for the price! Also, what's going to keep me going back are the sweet little ladies in the kitchen who are quite talkative, and really really care about the food they make. Apparently they opened last July, and were worried they would close, when they'd only sold 500 dumplings for months...
                  They make yummy, cheap dumplings, you can buy them frozen, and I know I'm going to support them, and start a new dumpling diet.