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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.

              2. Went to MD for the first time last week and I thought it was very good. However, I don't think you should go there with the expectation of being wowed... IMO, dumplings aren't the type of food where you can ever be wowed. However, it's a solid, reasonably priced choice in Chinatown. To me, the fact that there are several good dumpling places to choose from the in the GTA speaks volumes about the diversity of the city.

                1. Hehe, it's not that I don't want to share with you guys, it's that sometimes I never catch the actual English name of the restaurant, since it's my wife that does all the ordering. Even though I'm Chinese, I can't read any of it and depend on my wife to decide what to eat (and she's from Mainland China, so she knows what's authentic).

                  As for the places that we frequent in North Scarborough, I'll start a new thread so as not to hi-jack this thread about MD. :)

                  Hey mimiwhite, thanks for the comparison update. I guess if I'm ever downtown, then I'll pickup a few of their premade dumplings to try at home.

                  1. Kiss of death? Well then, at least give me some tongue before I go.

                    A friend and I had lunch there last week and left with absolutely nothing to complain about.
                    Pork and radish dumplings (12 pieces - in a corn dough wrapper) with the addition of a bowl of soup (enough for two; chicken broth and seaweed and tiny shrimp), pork and pickled cabbage dumplings (12 pieces), and da-lu noodles (enough to share among four). A hearty and delectable meal for two strapping men. $18, not including tax. Zhen (owner/cook/hostess) was the epitome of graciousness. I'll be back.

                    In fact, my Korean friend and I will be there after we view the Ansel Adams / Alfred Eisenstaedt exhibit at the AGO this weekend. Another review forthcoming.

                    Meanwhile, rave on, and enjoy!