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Jan 19, 2007 04:44 PM

Mother's Dumplings - kiss of death?

I finally got to Mother's Dumplings yesterday. I was tired and hungry and I was right in the neighbourhood. I would have loved to try a wider variety or dishes but I was alone so I only ordered the boiled dumplings with pork and bok choy and da lu noodles. They were both delicious and perfect for a chilly evening. I'll be back. (I took home enough leftovers for my husband to have a very substantial lunch today.)

BUT I have a teensy concern. All of a sudden this tiny little place is getting all kinds of attention. I'm sure it's great for their business, but I can't imagine how they will manage to keep up the quality of their food, now that they've been discovered. On the back of their order form there's a spot where you can indicate how you heard about the place - one of the choices was Chowhound. Are we destroying the place? I realize this is partly a selfish concern, but is Chowhound attention the kiss of death to a charming little hole in the wall?

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  1. sorry i'm going to be slightly off topic....
    ...does Mother's serve the steamed buns, I believe they're called bao tse in chinese; they're not dumplings but buns, steamed with sweet bean paste inside, or pork...

    1 Reply
    1. Yeah. At first you want enough people to go there so it can succeed and stay open. Then, you're hoping that it won't affect the production and that you'll still be able to get the same quality of food and service. Quite a dilemma.
      Kind of like finding that unspoiled beach and not wanting to tell people, so that there won't be a Club Med and McDonald's there the next time you go.

      1. It's an inescapable aspect of celebrity and,ultimately, Mother's problem, not ours.If they keep the "old shoe" homey vibe intact and their sometimes variable quality up, they'll do fine.It's when places like this go apeshit with expansion of physical space, menu, and prices that disaster comes calling.At first blush, Mother's doesn't induce high expectations until the food hits the table.It reminds me of the old "walk-down" seafood hole on Dundas, Tao Yuan("Peach Garden")that everyone knew as the "Green Door." It cranked out stellar food from a cramped open kitchen.Line-ups were part of the game and the food remained good till they called it quits.I suspect Mother's will be enjoyed for a long time.

        1. That kind of attention/success doesn't seem to have hurt Yung Sing Bakery. They are still cranking out fabulous buns from their basement after 30+ years.

          1. Has anyone compared it to the many other Northern China/dumpling restaurants that are scattered throughout Scarborough?

            Being Chinese, I get to sample a lot of difference places north of the 401 and have found many gems that have similar menus and prices and are very authentic and truly addictive.

            But not sure if it's worth the trip all the way downtown to try MD as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Royaljelly

              I'd love to do the comparison, but I don't make it to Scarborough that often. A definite disadvantage of working and living downtown. Any tips on which places to try if I'm ever in the neighbourhood?

              1. re: Royaljelly

                Don't even bother! Not that the food was bad, but it was just not worth trekking all the way downtown. The one at Midland and Finch,(sorry I forget the name of this dumpling house)is way better than MD.