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Great dumpling place in North York (Dumpling King)

My SO and I finally decided to give this dumpling place a try after it's been opened for few months. Menu is minimal, with the main focus on dumplings and few side dishes. We ordered the tofu noodle with green onion as a starter and egg with chive dumpling and pork with nappa dumpling as the main. The starter was perfectly balanced with salt, vinegar, and chilli. Dumplings were firm and juicy. Chilli sauce prepared in-house was excellent for dipping. From talking to the owner, his wife (the chef) used to work as a Level-2 chef back in China. Since the couple was from Da-lian, China (famous for the seafood apparently), the couple incorporated the fish dumplings in their menu. That will be definitely on my list for my next visit.

Most dumplings can be prepared 3 ways, steam, boil, or fry. 16 pieces for 5.99 to 6.99. It's located at 15 Northtown Way (south of Finch, off Yonge).

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  1. Ooh, thanks for this, oohlala! Do you know if they sell frozen dumplings? This could save me my trip downtown to Mother's Dumplings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      yes they do~ it's $1 less if you want to buy them frozen.

    2. Thanks for the tip! This is just down the street from me! I'll be checking it out this week. The fish dumplings sound interesting.

      1. interesting. do they do take out?

        1 Reply
        1. re: s0memale

          they do takeout for sure. The owner even told me that I can call ahead of time if i don't want to waste any time~

        2. How do they compare to Mother's?

          1. We tried this place out tonight and it's very good dumplings! We tried 4 different kinds, the fish (it was ok, another friend found it too "fishy", egg and chive, pork and nava and a mixed seafood (my favorite). They even did one that was fully deep fried, but it took away from the filling flavour. Their cold dishes were very good too. Had the thinly sliced potato strings and a crunchy celery w/ woods ear fungus,, peanuts and carrots. The place is tiny, only seats 18.

            I don't think they have an affiliation to the other 2 dumpling kings in the GTA (one at first markham place, another in scarborough). I think the Scarborough one has similar quality dumplings. I haven't tried Mother's dumplings, so I can't compare.

            Keep in mind that these dumplings are from the mainland China variety, not the typical pot stickers that a lot of other chinese restos serve.

            14 Replies
            1. re: Royaljelly

              Tried this place as well last week. Enjoyed the steamed pork and napa very much. Nice mainland style, worth repeat visits, especially at the price point. Soup noodles with meat were also appreciated. Just a note that there's no a/c, and it was muggy as heck last Monday. Owner seems very nice and eager to please, but speaks limited English.

              For dessert on a hot day, drop by the convenience store across from the restaurant. In the freezer on the left, there's a wicked Korean ice cream snack in the shape of a fish - it's a sort of chewy thin dough wrapping the vanilla ice cream and red bean jelly. Only like $1.19, and it's big and refreshing! Ah, here it is: http://www.uglyfood.com/2007/07/03/ko...

              1. re: Chester Eleganté

                The fish snack looks very interesting! Question to all about the dumplings. I have been to the location in Scarborough and found the dumplings to be VERY pork heavy (Royaljelly had noted that they are not affiliated, but this is my only dumpling comparison). I always tend to avoid pork as I find it too salty, heavy and fatty for my tastes, especially when in dumpling form. I noted that you guys mentioned a lot of non-pork options as well (seafood, fish) - are there many non-pork items on the menu as well? It was very difficult last time for me at the Scarborough location in terms of ordering and ended up getting about 4-5 pork dumplings (all of which ended up tasting very similar to me).

                TIA

                1. re: BokChoi

                  I really liked the dumplings at the dumpling place located on the outside perimeter of Metro Square (beside the Vietnamese restaurant). Remember them to have a number of different varieties that did not have pork (these are steamed dumplings). I had lunch there about 2-3 times a week when I use to work across the street. I liked the leek dumplings best as they balanced out the heavier side of my meal (usually ordered the fried eggplant, onion pancake, and ma-po tofu)

                  1. re: ndawg

                    Ahh. Good to know. Thanks.

                  2. re: BokChoi

                    Also, going to give Dumpling King a try in the next two week. Have been looking for a dumpling place that's closer to home!

                    1. re: BokChoi

                      Here's a scan of their menu. You can get their dumplings cooked 3 ways... steamed, boiled or fried (and it's completely deep fried!).

                      The owner told us that next time we go, to call ahead and he'd get the dumplings cooked ahead of time for us when we arrive. Of course, my wife speaks Mandarin, which helps.

                      http://img364.imageshack.us/img364/85...

                      1. re: Royaljelly

                        Much appreciated, Royaljelly. Of the dumplings you've tried, you mentioned them to be a bit 'fishy', but you loved the seafood one. Any other recommendations to try?

                        red_dragon and Royaljelly, are the dumpling kings affiliated (Royaljelly says no, red_dragon says yes) ? The menu appears different than the Finch/Midland location (but I have not returned to the Finch/Midland one in a few years). I found that I did not enjoy the dumplings they served (too much pork). Also, I am shocked – fried usually equals pan-fried with respect to dumplings. Thanks for the heads-up.

                        1. re: BokChoi

                          i talked to the owner why he decided to make a "deep-fried" version since Chinese only either steam or boil their dumplings. He told me because lots of non-chinese loves things deep-fried. Hope that answer ur question, bokchoi

                          1. re: oohlala

                            Interesting - so deep fried to satisfy non-Chinese, but no 'wah-teep' style to satisfy the ghetto-ness of Chinese dumpling goodness? I am just trying to cause trouble now probably. Thanks oohlala

                            1. re: BokChoi

                              I was also expecting the fried version to be pan fried on the bottom, but surprised to see it fully fried. It just didn't taste right dipping in vinegar or soy, and I ended up having to dip it into the sweet sauce that came with our fish appetizer.

                        2. re: Royaljelly

                          Thanks for the menu Royaljelly, now I know what to order before I get there!

                      2. re: Chester Eleganté

                        it's frozen bungeoppang!

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          yess...they're good times. they have them at Galleria, etc. as well.

                        2. re: Chester Eleganté

                          I love those things. They sell those for dessert at Manpuku. I order like, two.

                      3. This place sounds interesting, I love a good Chinese dumpling.

                        1. They also have a location at Finch/Midland, about a block North of Finch.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: red dragon

                            Are you sure it's the same chain? I know that the original "Dumpling King" has 2 locations, Scarborough (finch/midland) and Markham (hwy 7 and woodbine), since they both have identical menus.

                            But this new one in North York seems more like a mom and pop kind of setup (my wife and son had to "borrow" their private washroom and their kitchen setup is tiny). Plus the Chinese names of the 2 restaurants are quite different.

                            1. re: Royaljelly

                              I'm not sure, I can't read Chinese. I just know the one I go to is called Dumpling King and they have a second location in Markham, as you had mentioned.

                              How strange they would have the same English name.

                              1. re: red dragon

                                I'd bet it's the only location. And that name isn't altogether unusual.

                                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                                  FYI, the Dumpling King up in Markham (First Markham Place) is now closed. Just drove by on my way to Peaktop and noticed the windows were all papered up. Maybe that's why I couldn't find that location's address on their website.

                          2. I tried it today. Very good. I had chive&egg dumplings boiled and potato strings. Both were delicious. Will definitely go again. But they really need to put at least a fan in there, if not A/C.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fei

                              Definitely a great dumpling place. I found that getting the dumplings steamed is much tastier than getting them boiled. The steamed dumplings retained all the juices inside and comes out with the first bite (its hot!), whereas the boiled ones fell apart easily. Had the Pork and Napa steamed, and the Seafood boiled.

                              picture: http://flickr.com/photos/ndawg/283387...

                            2. minor quibble, where's the soy bean drink at???

                              I'll give this spot a try now that it's getting chilly at night. What kind of seafood is in the 三鮮餃子?

                              I also wish places would leave fine julienne ginger at tables to go along w/ the black vinegar.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: aser

                                I'm embarrassed to say that I was very hungry when I got the seafood one and gobbled them up. I'm pretty sure there was shrimp in it.

                                1. re: ndawg

                                  I really enjoyed the pork/napa dumplings and seafood dumplings - they taste like the ones my mom makes, full of fresh ingredients. from my recollection, the seafood dumplings contain chopped shrimp and squid with some veggies and a hint of coriander. very light and not greasy at all - course, i had it steamed....

                              2. Thanks for the tip on this place - had an enjoyable meal there.

                                Posted some pics on this new thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559889

                                Cheers guys. And keep up the great finds.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: BokChoi

                                  i checked this place out...as its not far from my house and I wanted to compare it to mother dumplings.
                                  We started off with an appetizer called celery and sesame..and we loved it. Beautiful crisp slices of celery, with some beans, dressed in a wonderful light sesame dressing.
                                  Then we had a wonton soup.
                                  The broth wasnt as flavorful and the size of the bowl wasnt as big, as mother dumplings..but the wontons were nice.
                                  Then we shared the steamed seafood wontons and the steamed chives/chicken.
                                  The steamed seafood wontons were the winner.
                                  I will definetely return when im short of time..otherwise Im going to drive the extra 20 minutes to go to mother dumplings.

                                  1. re: domesticgodess

                                    Being to both places mutilple times, I would prefer Dumpling King in terms of food quality overall, fresher and tastier than MD IMHO, particularly the pork/napa, seafood, egg/chives, pork/chinese carrot steam dumplings and the small dishes. The only exception will be the beep and chinese green carrot/turnip steam dumpling (I apologize as I did not recall the proper description) . However, MD does have more variety.

                                2. Great place...i've been a few times...server doesn't know a lick of english but the dumplings are gr8.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: good_eats

                                    I forgot to mention something else:
                                    Dumpling King..is spotless.
                                    Also, the restaurant had two other tables of diners. We were eager to ask the server a question but no one came out from behind the curtain..so I asked one table "is this your first time here"..he replied "yes".
                                    Then I asked the next table...and a group of 4 women said "yes".

                                    I swear, during the course of the meal I overheard the word "chowhound"...
                                    so on our way out, I asked them.."did you hear about this place on chowhound"..and
                                    sure enough...they were there because of chowhound. I told them "that I also had been reading the posts".
                                    It was pretty funny.

                                    1. re: domesticgodess

                                      This is quite funny that this place is turning into a "CH" place - I wonder if anyone was there the evening I dined there.... Interesting to find out. I would have never thought that this would have been a "CH" type of place, due to the type of food. But I guess good food gets people talking and coming out of the wood-works.

                                      Cheers!

                                  2. We just ate at this restaurant, and it's the best we've had in Toronto (been to a few other dumpling places, in Markham & on Spadina). We had the seafood (shrimp), pork & napa, and egg & chives. Steamed is recommended (not the fried, which was actually deep fried - to our surprise.. we were expecting pan fried). The restaurant is cozy, and clean and simple. Likely the cleanest chinese restaurant we've been to. The server was extremely friendly, our complimentary tea was filled promptly, and the price was right. Our highest recommendations to any dumpling lover. Thanks for the tip!

                                    1. Just chiming in with another rec for Dumpling King... Went as a group of 4 and we all thoroughly enjoyed the dumplings and tofu noodles. Everything seemed remarkably fresh, and different dumplings had nicely discernable flavours.

                                      1. On their website, they say Scarborough; I am assuming the above location is new? Stil as great? Can you just walk in and buy frozen?

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: itryalot

                                          I don't think the Scarborough location is related to the Yonge and Finch location. Could be wrong, though!

                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                            u're right, Jo, this "dumpling king" has absolutely nothing to do with the one from Scarborough. I asked the owner why he named "dumpling king" and he told me the word, KING, sounds nice, that's all, ha~

                                            yes, you can buy frozen anytime (assuming they still have left for that day), it'll be $1 less from the menu

                                            1. re: oohlala

                                              I will be traveling to Toronto tomorrow from Chicago and wanted to know the address of this dumpling place.

                                              1. re: baileybonger

                                                The address was included by the original poster: 15 Northtown Way. Here's the Google Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&...

                                                Not too hard to get to by subway.

                                                1. re: Yongeman

                                                  Thats right,its just a couple of blocks from Finch station.....

                                                2. re: baileybonger

                                                  And if you're downtown and don't have time to head uptown, another option for you is Mother's Dumplings on Huron St.

                                                  http://www.mothersdumplings.com/

                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                    based on the original review -- 4 of us went last night rather than going to SushiBong like planned -- it was great and we'll be back for sure.

                                                    the hits of the night were the steamed chicken egg and chive dumplings as well as seafood wontons

                                          2. Darn it already. We never made it past St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market and sine retail therapy again before having to return home for a function. It is on my places to visit next time I am in town. Too many places, not enough chow time. I am making a plan of attack. I will call in my order for frozen and I can run in and pick it up.

                                            1. Not a big Dumpling fan but based on recs decided to try it as it is close by......Tried it yesterday,had the Fish (Steamed) & Beef with onions(deep fried)...surprisingly no one in the board has mentioned the beef one..Fish was nice,but preferred the Beef with onions,wish it was pan fried instead of deep fried......what impressed me was the fresh taste and flavour and place,though small,was very clean.......Owner was very nice,gave me the order menu and asked me to call ahead the next time......Would go there more regularly if they had pan fried ones,but definitely worth a visit.....

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: warlock

                                                Just finished my supper which included 3 kinds of dumplings....beef, pork and seafood. We took them out steamed, then pan fried them to reheat when we got home. We had on a previous occasion eaten in and had the seafood wontons (soup) and fish dumplings (boiled). Place definitely lives up to the praise on this board. Owner is very friendly, but struggles with English....I think he tells everyone to phone ahead next time. For me, this place is a much better option than Mother's Dumplings downtown.

                                                1. re: warlock

                                                  I will make the suggestion of pan-frying instead of deep-frying the dumplings next time i go. Hopefully the kitchen will be able to accomodate. Will update after my next visit.

                                                  1. re: oohlala

                                                    talked to the owner last night about pan-frying the dumplings and he said since there's only one person in the kitchen, it will be very difficult to control the time with one person running around. He wants his customers to have their food fast, i guess pan-fried version will not be possible at the location.

                                                    1. re: oohlala

                                                      Too bad - but good for them for staying true to what they know they can execute well. With only one person handling the kitchen, it's amazing they can have such tight control over quality as it is! Quite industrious on their part. Thanks for asking anyway, oohlala.

                                                2. I finally tried this place Saturday evening.

                                                  I must say, I don't think I'd put it in nearly the same league as Mother's Dumplings. The steamed dumplings were good. Not great. The deep fried beef and onion was pretty bad. I ate one and didn't have a second. First off, they looked awful, it must have been dirty oil. It was 7:30 at night so I'm sure the oil was not clean. Nothing like eating a black-specked dark brown flavourless deep fried beef dumpling.

                                                  Even worse was the soup. Easily the blandest, least flavourful soup I've ever had in my life. It wasn't even soup. It was hot water. No trace of seasoning, stock, or flavour agents. I gotta say, I wonder who on earth would tolerate this enough to order it a second time. Talk about taking the mickey. Calling this soup and serving it to people is not cool. The pork in the soup had just as much flavour as the both. It was awful, bland, chewy, sad. When I think about some of the beautiful soups I've had at Mother's Dumplings I shake my head.

                                                  The steamed dumplings were the best part of dinner, and I would go back if I were in the area and just stick with those. We ordered steamed seafood dumplings (which I liked best), steamed fish dumplings, and steamed pork and napa dumplings. Maybe another kind of steamed dumpling as well which I can't recall at the moment. All the steamed dumplings were pretty good, but not great. Not in MD's league. That said, they certainly were good enough to return for. I would just stay away from the "soup" and anything deep fried.

                                                  The owners are incredibly sweet and lovely. I really liked them. Don't like the fact they do cash only, and the fact we could not speak each other’s language was a real challenge and turned asking for a glass of water and plates into a 2 minute excruciating ordeal. We never did get those plates. But again, what sweethearts. I might get there again, but I’m not going to run.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: magic

                                                    Huh. Didn't even see a soup there before. Just as well.

                                                    As an aside, dunno if anyone has noticed, but around the corner from Dumpling King is a tiny Jamaican spot called Sue's Place. She does most of the standards -- curry goat, jerk pork/chicken, jerk, oxtail (not every day though), etc. Plus she throws in some various ethnic stuff (i.e. Sri Lankan) from time to time. Does catering as well. Only thing I tried so far is the mutton roti snack, and it quite well made, and with a good heat to it.

                                                    It's in a pretty nondescript spot, and it's too bad I haven't noticed it until now (it's been around for a couple of years apparently), what with the lack of Caribbean spots in the area. Watch out though for the meter maids if you park out in front!

                                                    15 Northtown Way - Unit #35
                                                    416-223-5867
                                                    Open Tuesday-Saturday

                                                  2. Finally got a chance to try Dumpling King. Very nice people and very good food. Two of us shared pork and napa, chicken and vegetable, and seafood dumplings (all steamed). We also had the delightful sesame &celery side dish (raw). All in, it was $25 for both of us. Thanks for all the tips, CHers.

                                                    1. Went here on Saturday, had the shredded potatoes for starters and steamed seafood dumplings.

                                                      Potatoes were great, had some kick to it which I was guessing was some sort of Chinese chive or leek shredded in (no sauce or dressing I could see, or somehow it was integrated into the dish because no evidence of it on the plate). I am saying leek because that is what I was getting as I savoured what I was eating. Anyway, it made a great palate cleanser as well.

                                                      Dumplings were also very nice. Lovely dough steamed just right and a nice fresh seafood taste. Perfect for dipping in soy sauce/chili oil. Will definitely be returning again.

                                                      1. Great spot - we go here at least twice a month - the owner although I do not understand a word of what he says, is so nice, and hates it when I leave a tip (although I do every time).

                                                        Try their cucumber salad, its a great refreshing salad with wedges of cukes, raw garlic, chillis, and a bit of a dressing, works as great contrast to the hot filling dumplings.

                                                        Love this place.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Sadistick

                                                          Whenever we go, when we get the bill, I look it over for a moment to calculate the tip, and the owner always thinks I'm confused by the sales tax because he'll print off a $1.00 receipt on the cash register showing 5 cents GST and 8 cents PST, and hands it to me.

                                                          Nice guy, though. If you order a type of dumpling made in a way he doesn't approve of, he'll say "no, that one boiled, much better" and won't make it for you any other way.

                                                        2. So, which is better? Dumpling King or Mother's Dumpling?

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: itryalot

                                                            Opinions differ on this one....you will have to try it yourself once. My vote is for the King.

                                                            1. re: itryalot

                                                              Both are quite good - for me, convenience factor (5 min drive) makes King the #1 go to in my book.

                                                              Questions - what sides do you guys usually order there? We frequently order the cucumber side, which comes with raw chopped garlic, chili, and some light sauce - quite a nice contrast to the hot dumplings - and the tofu salad - -

                                                              I have heard good things about the potato salad, may try that tonight...

                                                              1. re: itryalot

                                                                while i didn't entirely love my one and only experience at dumpling king (this was mostly because of a translation misunderstanding), i would say dumpling king was better though still not quite destination enough for me.

                                                                the problem is that mother's dumplings has been steadily increasing their prices to take them out of the cheap and cheerful category. on top of that they're constantly out of items. the food was fine but certainly not excellent (though the da lu noodles quite delicious) and for the neighbourhood, a find... the whole love of mothers to me was based more on the experience and price/value rather than amazing product.

                                                                1. re: itryalot

                                                                  They've hired someone new to work at DK. Looks like The King realized that his English skills were lacking, and hired a young Chinese guy that can speak English. We'll call him "The Dumpling Prince." So if the language barrier was keeping you from returning, don't let that stop you any more.

                                                                  By the way, I love how their sign outside is of a photo of The King's Countenance. Well played, King. Well played.

                                                                2. I went to Dumpling King yesterday with my boyfriend and we ordered the wonton soup, chicken and vegatables dumplings and seafood dumplings. The dumplings were steamed. We enjoyed everything and will be back. The owner was really nice and it was pretty crowded, some people had to leave and come back and folks were coming in to pick up their orders. This place is really close to home so we will be back! I strongly recommend Dumpling King.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mevans50

                                                                    While it's still tasty, I find the dumpling skins now are noticeably thicker than when they first opened.

                                                                    1. re: Royaljelly

                                                                      We tend to go about twice a month - the last time we had DK we took it home - which I thought may have attributed to the thicker skins (steaming more and all etc) so it is interesting to hear this - I will have to keep an eye out next time.

                                                                      I still really enjoy their dumplings - much better if you eat there - and their sides as well (Tofu salad, cucumber, and potato salad) all very tasty and so reasonably priced!

                                                                      1. re: Sadistick

                                                                        I agree, I also enjoy their sides.

                                                                        I didn't love their wonton, though. I would definitely stick to the dumplings.

                                                                      2. re: Royaljelly

                                                                        Being a huge advocate for this place, I do have to put a negative note on their wonton. The skin is so thick that u can't really taste anything other than flour. Definitely sticking to their dumplings and sides only.