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Mother's Dumplings - A Real Chowfind

Fwagra Dec 29, 2006 05:40 PM

Thanks to all who recommended this place. This is yet another place I never would have tried/found but for fellow Chowhounds. And, man, was it good.

I ordered enough for 2. And ate almost all of it, I am embarrassed to admit.

I started with the pork and chive dumplings. To my surprise, there were 12 of them. Real nice, thick, homemade wrappers enveloping succulent, moist filling. Dipped in a concoction of soy, vinegar, and chili sauce (all available at each table). Mmmm... I finished them, no problem. They are surprisingly light, too.

Then, I had the green onion pancake. When it arrived, I realized that I should have definitely brought a friend along. But, anyhow, the pancake was quite good: crispy & comforting. Again, I couldn't help but finish it.

Finally, Da Lu Noodles: a very large steaming bowl of light broth with handmade noodles, minced beef, egg, cabbage, and woodears. Perfect December food.

All dishes were served PIPING hot, and with a hurried smile and complimentary hot tea. It was plenty for 2, and all for $13.65 plus tip.

Go to this place.

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  1. TorontoJo RE: Fwagra Dec 30, 2006 06:55 PM

    Great place, isn't it? And you can buy frozen dumplings to take home, too. A nice substitute for my mom's homemade dumplings.

    1. Fwagra RE: Fwagra Dec 30, 2006 08:31 PM

      I know. And the price for take-out is even more unbelievable than their already low prices.

      30 frozen dumplings? $7.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fwagra
        f
        Furby RE: Fwagra Feb 3, 2007 09:00 AM

        HI!
        read your story on Mothers Dumpling.Where are the located?
        Furby

        1. re: Furby
          Fwagra RE: Furby Feb 7, 2007 07:44 AM

          On Huron Street, just north of Dundas (east of Spadina).

          They are downstairs.

      2. sensualspirit RE: Fwagra Dec 31, 2006 11:13 PM

        Can I get a site and/or address/phone number.

        Thanks : )

        Michelle

        1 Reply
        1. re: sensualspirit
          num nums RE: sensualspirit Dec 31, 2006 11:55 PM

          here you go:
          http://www.mothersdumplings.com/

        2. spaetzle RE: Fwagra Jan 1, 2007 11:19 PM

          I finally tried Mother's Dumplings today. I ordered the boiled pork and bok choi dumplings, and the chive and egg pancake. Talk about a generous serving sizes. The chive and egg pancake was different than I expected.It was more like a flat half-moon shaped dumpling than a pancake, filled with a delicate egg and chive mixture. Everything was very fresh tasting. Much more than I should have eaten, for $9.96.

          1. xtal RE: Fwagra Jan 2, 2007 03:33 PM

            I've had the exact items that Fwagra ordered many times, and they remain excellent with each visit.

            Definitely a great place, let's hope they have a fabulous 2007.

            1. Brain of J RE: Fwagra Jan 2, 2007 07:13 PM

              Did you have them pan fried?

              1. sweetie RE: Fwagra Jan 3, 2007 04:02 AM

                I too finally tried Mother Dumpling after all the raves on Chow. The food was very good, but I have to say that there are at least 2-3 of these types dumpling places in Markham that are just as good (not better). Having said that, they make the best Da lu noodles I have ever had. It is also unusual to find the type of chili they have on the table. Mouth numbingly good!

                1. l
                  lovemyfood RE: Fwagra Jan 4, 2007 03:50 AM

                  I love this place too. Dumplings are flavourful. Service is friendly. The only problem is that the restaurant gets very smokey when they are pan frying the dumplings.

                  1. p
                    Peechie RE: Fwagra Jan 8, 2007 01:28 PM

                    I tried this place yesterday and wasn't as excited about the experience as many of you are. The dumplings are good, but not really worth the trip for us (we're in Scarborough & Markham). There are places around this end of the city that offers similar quality dumplings.

                    In addition, many of the dumplings we ordered they didn't have (the server came back 3 times with apologies!). That's not really acceptable for me, sspecially when one of us is a vegetarian and they only had 1 vegetarian dumpling remaining at lunch time.

                    I must say, I liked the roasted beef noodles. It's better compare to the other places I'm thinking about.

                    Overall, if i'm in the area and craving dumplings, I would go back but won't make the trip especially for their dumplings.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Peechie
                      pinstripeprincess RE: Peechie Jan 8, 2007 01:41 PM

                      i feel the need to defend them, not because they're greater than what you experienced but because i think all the "rave reviews" have greatly spun what mother's dumplings is.

                      for the most part, chinatown generally encompassed in the spadina st area does not compare to what can be found in scarborough, richmond hill or markham. quality has been declining for over a decade now and for those who tend not to hound in the GTA... tasty cheap food sans msg is becoming a rarity downtown.

                      for a restaurant that is only recently coming to grips with their popularity (they sold maybe only 2000 dumplings in their first 5 months)... they have sweet servers, tasty food, cheap prices and is a fantastic find for downtown public transit accessibility.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        p
                        Peechie RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 8, 2007 02:13 PM

                        I agree that Chinatown isn't what it use to be and quality have been declining steadily. The server was friendly and I expect them to be considering this is a family run business. They certainly have more vested interest in being nice than the $7.75 hired help. That said, there is a place for restaurants such as Mother Dumplings in every neighbourhood. And you're right, the food was tasty and cheap. If I am in the area and wanted dumplings I would go there again.

                        Sometimes, these "rave" reviews may be the downfall of smaller restaurants because they can't handle the extra out-of-area customers while maintaining their quality. In the end, everyone suffers.

                        So I am saying, don't make the trip just to go there, but if you're there, go for it.

                        1. re: Peechie
                          HarryLloyd RE: Peechie Jan 11, 2007 02:21 AM

                          I believe that the server is actually hired help. So she might just genuinely be nice.

                          Chow!
                          HL.

                    2. g
                      ghetto_scarlem RE: Fwagra Jan 8, 2007 02:59 PM

                      I think we were there at the same time on SUN afternoon as "Peechie".

                      We really wanted to try out the Green-onion pancake, but they were out. However, the Chives and eggs filled pancakes were very good, although more expensive. Since it was made from scratch, they tasted great, but took a long time to come out. We wanted to order another one, but since it would take approx. 20 mins, we decided against it.

                      The Stewed beef noodles were very fresh and tasty. I would definitely order them again.

                      I am not too sure why it took so long for the dumplings to come out, since they were frozen. I agree with Peechie that although the dumplings were good, not to the "rave review" quality I was expecting.

                      As for the Kimchi, it wasn't very good. There is a comment on the website "Best Kimchi Ever!" - but since this is not a Korean place, I didn't expect much. If you want Kimchi, go to a Korean restaurant somewhere on Bloor & Christie or Yonge & Finch.

                      I will go back to Mother's Dumplings for the noodles and pancakes since they were great. I will give them another chance on the dumplings.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                        p
                        Peechie RE: ghetto_scarlem Jan 8, 2007 03:21 PM

                        I didn't even get to try the green onion pancakes (sold out). So was the Chives and egg pancakes =( I did try their pork green onion roll though, wasn't bad.

                        Small world for you to be there at the same time. LOL. I wonder if I can guess which table you were... let me think.. We ordered the Chive and Egg pancakes but they didn't have any. So you must be there before us. So, if you were still there when we were there, you would be the table in the middle of the room(a couple) who was eating Kimchi... I thought it weird that they were eating kimchi at dumpling house (didn't go to website so didn't see the claim to "best kimchi ever").

                        Am I right?

                      2. g
                        ghetto_scarlem RE: Fwagra Jan 8, 2007 05:53 PM

                        You are right! I guess we got the last chives & egg. Sorry.

                        SHE was the one who said we had to order the kimchi, because of the website claim. Since it was only $2, you can't really say no. We both agreed that Korean places are much better, and plus, the kimchi is free.

                        We said that we would much rather go to Koreatown and get 10 pan fried dumplings (mandoo) for $5.

                        But we'll head back to Mother's Dumplings for the noodles & pancakes.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                          p
                          Peechie RE: ghetto_scarlem Jan 8, 2007 08:54 PM

                          LOL, small world indeed. I normally go to the dumpling house at Midland and Finch (not sure what the english name is). They serve similar things with a wider variety of northern chinese dishes. The best part is, they have juicy pork mini buns. Although, some things are a bit skeptical but their dumplings have been consistently good. The soups for the noodles tends to be too oily for my taste though. So yeah, the noodle soup at Mother's Dumpling is much better. As for the pancakes, you ate them all so I won't know =).

                          Mandoo are different from the dumplings offered at Mother's Dumpling though - not a very fair comparison.

                          1. re: Peechie
                            g
                            ghetto_scarlem RE: Peechie Jan 8, 2007 09:44 PM

                            Midland & Finch? Are you talking about the plaza right on the NW corner? I think I remember seeing a dumpling house there before, the opposite end of the KFC/Taco Bell, at the very eastern part of the plaza?

                            Can you tell me what colour sign it has (if you can't find out the English name) - and I will be sure to check it out.

                            Fine, fine....mandoo is different. I am sorry.

                            1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                              p
                              Peechie RE: ghetto_scarlem Jan 9, 2007 02:38 PM

                              Hiya, yup at that plaza. I can't remember what the colour is.. maybe green, maybe red? They have a "feature" table in the front window that resembles the japanese style of sitting.. your foot is in the pits and looks like you're kneeling. I'll drive by there sometime and let you know.

                            2. re: Peechie
                              g
                              GeoNit RE: Peechie Jan 9, 2007 05:00 PM

                              Peechie, can you pick out the name of the Midland/Finch dumpling house from this list of Midland/Finch neigborhood restaurants?

                              http://foodpages.ca/?SearchDD=1&l...

                              1. re: GeoNit
                                p
                                Peechie RE: GeoNit Jan 9, 2007 05:09 PM

                                From the list? Probably Dumpling King.. In Chinese it's (Dong Pik Gai Gee Wong) North East Dumpling King.

                          2. t
                            Tboy RE: Fwagra Jan 8, 2007 06:38 PM

                            I also went to Mother's Dumplings on the advice of this board.

                            To be honest, although it was good, the dumplings were tasty and the service was very friendly, I wasn't blown away by the place. It was "cutesy", and different to all the other current chinatown place though.

                            I'm still a huge fan of Dumpling House around the corner on Spadina - I love their dumplings just as much, and their main dishes (especially their chicken and veggies in a white wine sauce) are excellent.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Tboy
                              orangewasabi RE: Tboy Jan 11, 2007 08:27 PM

                              I went to Dumpling House on Tuesday, after hearing about dumplings forever on this board and having a massive dumpling interest but not having Mother's address with me.

                              Could you compare Mothers & DH?

                              I really liked the dumplings at DH (I had the 12 piece selection of three types boiled pork & chive, shrimp, seafood & pork). But I got a bit of what I thought was MSG faints after the meal. I didn't think to check if they used MSG pre-meal but those heart palpitations were pretty unmistakeable. They tasted great going down.

                            2. Brain of J RE: Fwagra Jan 8, 2007 10:03 PM

                              I've been to The Dumpling House twice quite recently. I love this place. I have yet to try Mother's, but I can't imagine they'd be better than The Dumpling House. I'm a pan-fried kind of guy. I loved their pork with chive and their pork and shrimp dumplings. Nice service too. For 12 pan-fried dumplings, an order of beef fried rice, one pop and one green tea, the damage was $15.80 or so.

                              1. f
                                fickle RE: Fwagra Jan 9, 2007 02:10 AM

                                We tried Mother's Dumplings on the advice of this board also and we prefer the dumplings at Chinese Traditional Bun instead. Mother's was too doughy for our liking. We had sampled both the steamed and pan fried ones. I also found the pancake too dense and cakey for my liking. It's a cute spot and I was happy I tried it but I'll stick to CTB for my dumpling cravings.

                                1. koknia RE: Fwagra Jan 11, 2007 04:47 AM

                                  Dumpling House was great when it opened, but went downhill very quickly. Their dumplings are tiny!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: koknia
                                    orangewasabi RE: koknia Jan 11, 2007 08:28 PM

                                    tiny? seriously!? lordie, I'd be dusted if I had to eat bigger ones!

                                  2. d
                                    Danybear RE: Fwagra Feb 11, 2007 01:34 PM

                                    I'll bite, dont understand wht folks are raving about! Just there for late lunh this afternoon. I guess all thetwee things were in order: an incredibly small room, a waiter that doesnt understand English. But we ordered anyway. Dumpling were thick and pasty, not particularly tasty. Choice of vinegar or soy sauce or sugar for condiments. A sugar bowl full of dried red chili flakes was there, but too scary. We had a table for two by the door, next to the wall of dusty red plastic tomatoes hanging on the wal. Sure it was inexpensive. The place was full tot he brim with University geeks discussing how to split the bill. What did I miss?

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