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Oct 2, 2007 06:14 AM

Suggestions for Ma's dumplings?

Hi, I'm looking forward to coming to Toronto and trying Ma's Dumplings over the Thanksgiving weekend -- has anyone been there and what did you enjoy? I pretty much grew up on northern chinese style cooking, so I'd like the real deal.

If you have other recommendations for noodle joints or congee houses nearby, that would be great too. Thanks =)

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  1. The da-lu noodles, with the handmade noodle option. yum!

    6 Replies
    1. re: sleepymiffy

      Thanks for the tip--I just scrolled down to see the excellent recommendations for Mother's dumplings in the previous posting (I can't believe I missed it).

      I can't wait to go to TO this weekend!!! I'm planning on trying the tomato and egg soup, the da-lu noodles, pork and chive steamed dumplings, and the onion pancakes=) I'll have at least 2 dining companions to share the lovely food...thanks all.

      1. re: meandtarzan

        another fan of the lamb shui mai.

        I must be the only person who finds the da-lu boring. But there is soya, vinegar and chili on the table to help pump it up

        1. re: orangewasabi

          I agree (written in another thread) that the da-lu noodles were boring, but that with the table sauces it was tasty...though I wasn't able to try it with the handmade noodles, I doubt it would've altered it in that way...

          1. re: Recyclor

            we had the handmade noodles, and still needed the condiments.
            I can't tell my husband that I got the tip off CH or he won't go, these days. So I had to dance fast to explain why I was interested in trying the da-lu noodles.

            1. re: orangewasabi

              on my last visit i found the da lu noodles incredibly lacking. the topping was barely there and the soup broth watered down. i also noticed that two girls were in the kitchen this night (and i do mean to point out girls, they were rather young) and wonder if the care put into the food is now missing.

              the reason i love these noodles so much is because of their deft richness in flavour and beautiful subtleties that i find would be masked with any addition of sauces. my grandmother would often make an amazing congee with long stewed pork bones that were more bone than pork. it was garnished with peanuts and a few fresh herbs with maybe a touch of sesame oil. the refreshing herbs with the silky congee and the superbly tender and rich pork were simple yet transcendent. i would spend hours picking out every single piece of meat and crunching on any tendon. all my previous visits to mother's and eating their da lu noodles is the closest thing i've ever reached to having that feeling outside of my grandmothers kitchen.

              i would be very disappointed if my last visit is what i should expect in the future.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                I have to admit that soup noodles are rarely my thing, but I did like the lamb siu mai.

    2. I'm a big, big fan of the steamed lamb shiu mai and the steamed pork and dill. I've posted photos of them (and a bunch more) here:

      3 Replies
      1. re: tbonetak

        it really is the luck w/ the draw in light of the new hires.

        last time I went one dish of dumpings I got appeared to be wrapped by an 8 yr old kid. They did not seal up at all, totally inexcusable.

        I however, do go back again and again for their mushroom, bak choy & tofu (#16). They're simply heavenly.

        1. re: tbonetak

          Checked out your flickr photos... very beautiful. I ate at Mother's on the weekend as well for the first time and we rolled out of there stuffed and pretty satisfied...

          We had the da lu noodles - they were okay. Delicious but the "weakest" of our dishes. we also had the beef pancake - yum! The chicken & chive as well as the veg dumplings. We also had steamed beef buns. whew! We loved it. num!

          1. re: Apple

            Had a terrifc meal at Mothers--Thanks for the all the great recommendations and I will definitely be back. We ordered 5 dishes altogether, I wished I ordered panfried dumplings (then we could see how it compres to Dumpling house, ah well next time). Here are my rankings:

            ***1) Pork and chive dumplings...these dumplings tasted like they never knew the inside of a freezer...heavenly

            2) We also ordered the beef roll (Yum), lighter than Asian Legend I think too.
            3) Onion pancakes tasted pretty homemade to me, more onions than others
            4) Noodles (peanuts, cucumbers, the one above Da-lu on the menu) alright
            5) Lamb shiu-ma, okay

        2. A couple of people I know claim that this place is MSG-free. Anyone know if there's any truth to that?

          2 Replies
          1. re: vorpal

            A friend of mine who is MSG-sensitive checked with them. Following is the owner's email response to the question - do you use MSG?:
            We did during our first 4 or 5 months but were convinced by a Chinese lady that we didn't need to since our dumplings tasted so good.
            We have been accused of this by one person on chowhound but we don't.
            I feel our dumplings have been getting better. We don't need msg.
            I hope our customers agree.

            1. re: JamieK

              Thanks tons, JamieK! I've been drooling over the thought of this place for awhile, and now I can go satisfy my craving!