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Mother Dumplings - new location

domesticgodess Feb 14, 2010 05:46 PM

Wow..what a great large space.
Im so happy for them.
Still have hiccups though.
I went today (sunday) at 4 p.m.....still lots of people in line, and they were out of my fav. dumpling.
(#14..boiled veg. dumpling). Ordered the soup to go and I was a happy camper.
Hoping to return when they have more staff and more dumplings. LOL

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Mother's Dumplings
421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

  1. shelleypascual Feb 14, 2010 07:02 PM

    NEW ADDRESS - Mother's Dumplings
    421 Spadina Ave. (just south of College)

    Phone: 416-217-2008
    Monday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 10:30 pm

    The steamed vegetarian dumplings (bok choi, mushrooms, tofu) are plump, hearty and mm-mm-good. Been longing to try the other variety of steamed vegetarian dumplings (melon, tofu, vegetable noodle)... but they weren't available the last time I went. Boo-urns.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shelleypascual
      jennjen18 Feb 15, 2010 05:03 AM

      So ... no more Huron Street? Just one location and it's at 421 Spadina?

      1. re: jennjen18
        shelleypascual Feb 15, 2010 01:52 PM

        Only one location, 421 Spadina.

    2. food face Feb 15, 2010 04:07 AM

      I have been going to Mother Dumplings for years. Long before it became everyone's Dumpling Darling. I really like their product especially the bountiful fillings and whole wheat dough.

      I have a probleme wtih the place as of the last year I've been going. Domestic Goddess brushed upon it in her original post..... They run out of many items on their menu. It is a consistant problem. The fist time it happened it was a Friday night at their old small location on Huron. I was dissapointed because they even ran out of my second favorite too. I wanted to leave but decided to make the best of it and went with something I would never ordinarily order. Luckily I (sort of) liked it. I have returned twice since then and they simply didn't have what is offerred on their menu. One time was in the middle of the day and it was not busy. Don't get me wrong, I love the place and wish them all the best but it is frustrating to always be let down when you look forward to your favorite kind of dumpling all day to be told "We sold Out". Even worse for the vegetarians in the place who went from having 2-3 options to 1 (the bitter melon option always seeming to be left for them!).

      If the owners are reading this please get it together! Hire more chefs and buy more ingredients or nix your current permenent menu and create a daily menu board that can be changed as needed to avoid dissapointment. I don't think they can keep up with their demand right now which is great and all but they are going to lose one long time customer. One more chance is all they have with me.

      I will be reluctantly going to the new location.

      15 Replies
      1. re: food face
        t
        tinybites Feb 15, 2010 10:37 AM

        Had to smile reading this as friends of mine went last night and commented that by 7pm half of the menu was sold out, and at 8pm they put a sign on the door saying they weren't letting anyone else in (I assume due to the dumpling shortage). Apparently this sign went up beside a 'help wanted' one, so perhaps things will get better!

        1. re: tinybites
          5
          5andman Feb 15, 2010 12:58 PM

          Good to know they've a new location.
          Can't wait to check it out!

          (Hopefully during off hours)

        2. re: food face
          kayehm Feb 15, 2010 05:48 PM

          We went this morning shortly after opening. Group of 6. We walked in and got a table right away as the place was half empty that early. The space is definitely much nicer and quieter than the last one, but the food availability (not quality) is really an issue.

          When we arrived we were given an ordering menu with more than half the items crossed off. No green onion pancakes and no steamed buns. Really very disappointing. But we ordered from what was left and they were able to get us the pancakes after about 30minutes, after we asked.

          We also noticed that after about 12:30pm, suddenly there were steamed buns appearing for other tables. Quite annoying since we were already plenty stuffed by then. I think that item availability varies during the day based on factors I have yet to figure out.

          We then noticed that the salads we'd ordered had not arrived after an hour. We asked a server so we could cancel them since we were so full. We were then told they did not have the salads today. They could/should have easily informed us of that when we ordered them, or before we asked - especially considering the fact that the place was mostly empty and staff not at all overwhelmed when we arrived and ordered.

          There is a "help wanted" sign on the door - so obviously they are trying to staff to meet the demands, but perhaps they jumped the gun moving until they were truly ready.

          When we left at 1pm there was a line formed, waiting for tables. "Off hours" me thinks, is before 12:30pm - but your menu selections will suffer.

          1. re: kayehm
            m
            magic Feb 15, 2010 06:10 PM

            MD has always had issues with availability. While slightly annoying I always felt that at least they weren't overproducing and serving garbage, and I've been patient with them and forgiving, especially since there was always something fantastic still available.

            However, this sounds very different. If anyone reading from MD reads these comments I'd encourage them to sort out their (production??) issues as soon as they can. It sounds as though things are getting a little out of hand. Even for them.

            1. re: kayehm
              h
              h3llbringer Feb 15, 2010 06:38 PM

              Just got back from a visit to Mother's Dumplings.

              I had a pretty disappointing experience. My family of 4 arrived at 6:15. With 3 waiters dealing with about 10 tables, the service was horrid. While we were waiting, there were two tables that were left for more than 15 minutes waiting to be cleared. One of the waitresses, was just casually walking from place to place as if she didn't care at all.

              Once we were seated, the waitress left us for some time before we asked to see the menu. The menu and order form arrived with half the items crossed off. Luckily all of the vegetarian dumplings were still available. After being ignored by the waitress several times, I went up and handed the order form near the kitchen.

              The dishes came out extremely slowly, with the last plate taking over 45 minutes to arrive, after the previous dish. We also had one more dish, but after inquiring several times about the status of the dish, the front of the house came and told us that all our dishes had been marked as completed already, so we just gave up, paid the bill and left. Another issue was that they never gave us dipping dishes, after asking two of the waitstaff, we finally asked the third one (the only one who actually seemed like she knew what she was doing) and she explained to us that they ran out and were currently washing them. The final incident, that just made me completely go WTF was the waitress that didn't seem to care, asked some kid customers at a table to move the chairs back to the rear of the restaurant when they finished their meal, ridiculous...

              In all fairness though, the food was delicious, and everyone at my table enjoyed the food. This was my first time at the restaurant and as much as I really liked the food, as much as I want to give them a second chance, I'm not sure if I'd go back...

              -----
              Mother's Dumplings
              421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

              1. re: h3llbringer
                Charles Yu Feb 15, 2010 07:51 PM

                For a much better alternative, do give 'Norther Dumpling House' inside Time Square on Hwy#7, Richmond Hill a try.
                The dinner I had there last week was nothing short of superb and value for money. The pot stickers with tons of flavourful broth inside the dumplings were grease-less and have perfectly crisp bottom. The Xiao Lun Bao with its ultra thin skin and wonderful soup filling was so good that my wife commented that they were almost as good as the ones she had at Shanghai's Ding Tai Fung a few weeks ago!!! That's quite a compliment! The stirred fry lamb with scallions and leeks was extremely delicious. Lastly, the sliced pork with spicy garlic pepper sauce and shredded cilantro appetizer is a dish not to be missed! Very very addictive!

                1. re: Charles Yu
                  l
                  LTL Feb 16, 2010 06:50 AM

                  That sounds delicious, especially the lamg and xio lun bao dishes! Too bad I'm never in the area and don't have a car. Any recommendations on other options accessible by TTC? I used to love Mother's Dumplings as well but for the last while, ran into the same shortage issues at the Huron location. Can't imagine how crazy things are now that they've moved to Spadina.

                  1. re: LTL
                    m
                    magic Feb 16, 2010 09:12 AM

                    Northern Dumpling House is quite delicious, but for dumplings I prefer MD.

                    Let's just hope MD's gets their act together. Since the move it sounds like they are totally lost.

                    1. re: magic
                      Charles Yu Feb 16, 2010 04:08 PM

                      I guess the trick to eating successfully in any of these 'dumpling houses', with dozens of dumpling varietals, is to know their forte and order accordingly. MO though good, but I have had a few of their dumplings that were simply not up to snuff! The raw pan fried pot sticker bun for one has too dry a filling IMO.

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        m
                        magic Feb 16, 2010 05:22 PM

                        That's fair enough. I have not had that pot sticker bun. Both places do many things very well I think.

                      2. re: magic
                        Dimbulb Feb 16, 2010 04:14 PM

                        As opposed to "lost," I'd suggest overwhelmed by the response to the Toronto Star Food feature, a new incomplete kitchen, inexperienced new staff, and unexpected crowds. Some slack is do, no?

                        1. re: Dimbulb
                          food face Feb 16, 2010 04:33 PM

                          I'm not sure I understand this idea of cutting restaurants "slack" Dimbulb? I don't expect perfection but I do hope for an experience that's less stressful and/or frustrating than cooking a meal at home. Furthermore, if you have been to the old restaurant, it was clear that they are a popular place. These crowds are not "unexpected" at all especially with them openning around the Chinese New Year. I would agree that they are overwhelmed that's very apparent. I really hope they smooth this out as I think that the owner and her core staff are lovely and hard working.

                          In the mean time I will go to The Dumpling House at Dundas as Spadina. Their spinach dumpings are out of this world and I like them just as much as MD's. Tastier well seasoned fillings. Their traditional way of panfrying them also gives them amazing texture.

                          1. re: food face
                            aser Feb 18, 2010 06:37 PM

                            This isn't exactly a new problem w/ them, I've experienced things running out there, for several years now.

                            Yes I like the place, but having your favourite item run out on repeated visits dampens my enthusiasm for returning. Looks like it's even worst now. I'll wait a while for the kinks to be worked out before attempting.

                          2. re: Dimbulb
                            m
                            magic Feb 16, 2010 05:20 PM

                            Don't get me wrong, I love MD. I was a regular at the Huron location. I WANT them to do well! And although I must stress I haven’t been to the new location it sounds as though they are definitely not prepared and yes, overwhelmed. But if I were one of the above posters who had a horrible experience, and had to pay for it, I would be rightfully miffed. Slack would probably not something I'd be interested in doling out, no. And I'm a fan of the place!

                            I want them to do well. But it does sound like the need to quickly re-evaluate how they are organizing their entire operation, front and back of house. I mean, I think that is pretty obvious. I'm sure if they do, these growing pains will pass. Until then, it's up to them to install change. Not up to paying customers to exhibit unending patience when faced with bad service and consistently sold-out menu items.

                            1. re: magic
                              pinstripeprincess Feb 26, 2010 08:51 AM

                              that's pretty much the same feeling i get. i think their operations need so much help that it's not about fixing kinks but actually overhauling their whole system. it doesn't appear like they're using any experienced servers and not even stock piling enough frozen dumplings to satisfy the needs. even in the smaller space on huron they were constantly running out of items (early evening) and now somehow they're going to keep up when they've effectively tripled their space? big changes need to come about.

              2. Underdog Rally Feb 16, 2010 04:23 PM

                I stopped by for lunch, and I think it's safe to say that the new space is about 3x more then they're currently equipped to handle. The food was good, but the service was stressed out to say the least. Not rude at all, just frantic as they tried to meet orders. There were two people working the dumpling station, two cooking, a back room prep and two waitresses, with everyone firing on all cylinders. Half the menu was unavailable, which was probably a good idea with the limited staff.

                I think that even someone to bus tables will make a huge difference, so I'm hoping that their Help Wanted sign nabs them a couple more staff members soon. I'd really like to eat something from the other half of the menu.

                1. s
                  samanlee Feb 18, 2010 11:13 AM

                  After their introduction in the Toronto Star , I decided to call and order their frozen dumplings for Chinese New Year. To my dismay, they were not selling them anymore as afraid there would be none left for the restaurant patrons. So I asked if I could order the large portions of the the cooked dumplings and was denied. I was very disappointed.
                  On another occasion,.I decided to try the restaurant by getting take out . The "famous" Dalu noodles was nothing to rave about. The onion pancake was different as it was stacked and thick but couldnt really taste the green onion flavor. The pork and cabbage dumplings was fine. Maybe the taste differs a bit when you get it take out esp on the dumpling items.
                  While I was there, I notice that people were asking about when they were getting their dishes and some where told that certain items were sold out.
                  I want to try again but need them to bring in more food and better ( quicker) service.

                  1. always_eating Feb 18, 2010 01:57 PM

                    I tried to go for lunch at the new location yesterday but there was a sign on the door that said "closed - sorry". I guess they are still having operational issues. Hope they are able to hire more staff soon. I guess I'll wait a bit before going back again.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: always_eating
                      jennjen18 Feb 18, 2010 06:57 PM

                      Pity. They really had good food. Hopefully things work out!

                      1. re: jennjen18
                        domesticgodess Feb 18, 2010 08:49 PM

                        I went with a friend visiting from San Diego for dinner tonite (Thursday at 7:30 pm.).
                        Naturally...a line up.
                        We cut threw the line and decided to get take out. Service was great and in no time we were enjoying our dumplings and wonton soup in the car. We didnt care.
                        As we were waiting we noticed the 12 tables of TWO - sitting at tables for FOUR.
                        What a shame.
                        Plus we noticed the huge amount of space at the back of the restaurant that is currently under utilized.
                        No question - they are in need of a lot more staff and perhaps a better layout of tables.

                        1. re: domesticgodess
                          g
                          Gritseeker Feb 19, 2010 03:31 AM

                          One thing that may be confusing people is that although the space is way bigger, the seating has only gone from 23 (Huron St.) to 39 (Spadina). They can't currently afford to be licenced for more than 39 seats (need more washrooms and to comply with other city regulations) -- even though there seems to be a huge amount of wasted space at the back and an inefficient table layout. I, too, hope they rise to the new location, get more staff and return to focusing on great dumplings (including frozen)

                          1. re: Gritseeker
                            food face Feb 19, 2010 03:19 PM

                            In the meantime I'd lke to take an opportunity to give props to another mom and pop's shop dumpling house that rivals (and in my opinion) exceeds Mothers Dumplings. It's called "Dumpling King". Bok Choi has done some outstanding detailed pictoral reviews of this place. I just went today and took some hounds who all agreed that the food is outstanding. Small well made dumplings with lots of love and seasoning. More flavorful and liberal use of chives and onions. I usally don't enjoy deep fried dumplings but Dumpling King's Beef and Onion ones where AMAZING!. The dough is so fresh and tender with the perfect balance of chew and crisp. Finely ground beef and onions. It was so lovely with the soy/chilli sauce. The pork/nappa is my usual stand by. The owner is sweet and caring and will see you out waving and thanking you. No waiting, no dissapointments. Worth the drive to Yonge and Finch.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559889

                            Dumpling King15 Northtown Way, North York, Ontario

                            1. re: food face
                              vorpal Feb 25, 2010 03:34 PM

                              Do you know if they use MSG? Part of the allure of Mother's Dumplings for me is that they do not.

                              1. re: vorpal
                                food face Feb 25, 2010 05:51 PM

                                I haven't asked and don't know for sure if they use MSG but I really don't think they add it. My usual insane urge to nap after eating it doesn't happen with any of the dumpling houses I've eaten at including Mothers Dumplings.

                              2. re: food face
                                g
                                girlstar May 4, 2010 05:18 PM

                                +1 for Dumpling King! The dumpling wrappings are very nice. We enjoyed the dumplings we had and the owner is truly very nice and he did say goodbye to everyone! Will go back :)

                                -----
                                Dumpling King
                                15 Northtown Way, Toronto, ON , CA

                      2. kayehm Feb 27, 2010 10:51 AM

                        I did something perhaps crazy and made a reservation for tomorrow for a large group. Will report back. They have responded to and apologized for the shortages on their (finally updated) website.

                        1. m
                          madhatt Mar 1, 2010 09:45 AM

                          Thanks for the update! I would've walked there and thought they closed, could've been quite upsetting! Mmmm.... green onion pancake!

                          1. s
                            Sadistick Mar 6, 2010 07:55 AM

                            Got some TERRIBLE news today - Called MD to put in an order for Frozen dumplings (as it usually takes a while, and in the past letting them know ahead of time removes the 15 minute wait) and the guy told me that they no longer sell frozen dumplings!

                            THE HORROR!

                            What will we do for our last minute dumpling fix when we dont want to leave the house!? Sure Dumpling King also sells frozen dumplings, but mothers is still #1....

                            Sigh!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Sadistick
                              m
                              magic Mar 6, 2010 12:40 PM

                              Damn. I wonder why? It seems like odd things have been happening since their move.

                              1. re: magic
                                s
                                Sadistick Mar 6, 2010 01:40 PM

                                He said it was so they could keep up with demand.

                                I told him they would lose a lot of business this way, as I know many people who loved getting large batches of their frozen dumplings - for example, I was going to spend at least $80 on dumplings just today...

                                Not smart business, if they need to hire one or two more people to keep up with demand do so...someone there needs to attend some 'How to run a business' classes.

                                1. re: Sadistick
                                  m
                                  magic Mar 6, 2010 02:04 PM

                                  Agreed. This will bother a lot of customers who enjoyed these frozen dumplings. I guess it's their business, so they can certainly do as they please, it just seems to me that since their move a lot of meshuganess has transpired. They really need to sort out their staff issues. And dare I say it, find a bigger location. I’m sure that won’t be any time soon, but they do need it. And they def have to sort out their staff issues and they way they organize themselves. They owe it to their loyal customers I think.

                              2. re: Sadistick
                                Chester Eleganté Mar 10, 2010 09:35 AM

                                If you're ever up in Richmond Hill, swing by 'Good Chinese Frozen Foods' at hwy 7 & west beaver creek. They make quality dumplings and assorted shanghainese foods on the premises and toss them in the freezer for sale. i.e. fifty dumplings for ten bucks.

                                http://maps.google.ca/maps/place?cid=...

                                1. re: Sadistick
                                  c
                                  cathyf27 Apr 5, 2010 03:11 PM

                                  Hi I'm the owner's daughter Catherine, just wanted to make a clarification for frozen dumplings. We've decided to stop selling frozen for now because of our low inventory. A lot of the dumplings are being made on the spot and when we sell frozen dumlpings(as people ususally order the in large portions), our dumpling makers can no longer attend to the in house customers to fill their orders...

                                  As much as we still would like to supply frozen to our loyal customers, we had to make the decision in order to prevent the long waiting time for the meals to come out.

                                  We have also hired another 4 new dumpling makers since we moved to the new location, and we're doing a lot better than we first started in the new location - thanks to your understanding and support!

                                  The best thing to do if you want to buy frozen is to call us 1-2 days in advance and we will try to accomodate your order as best as we can.

                                  1. re: cathyf27
                                    s
                                    Sadistick Apr 5, 2010 05:25 PM

                                    Cathy,

                                    Thanks for the update.

                                    Definitely a wise business decision on your part, in both instances.

                                    For someone like myself who lives in northern Toronto, it is great to hear that you are willing to accommodate frozen dumpling orders, given sufficient notice. I for one am one of the ones who loves to get large batches and keep them in the freezer for those too tired to cook occasions.

                                    1. re: cathyf27
                                      c
                                      cathyf27 Apr 13, 2010 08:20 AM

                                      Frozen dumplings are only available upon availbility, as one of our main dumpling makers has took a leave of absence, I imagine the stock will be low. Sorry to those customers who we cannot accommodate.

                                      1. re: cathyf27
                                        s
                                        Sadistick Apr 15, 2010 11:59 AM

                                        I put in an order earlier this week which I said I would pick up on Saturday - hope that you guys will be able to pull through! I will call ahead to ensure.

                                  2. i
                                    Iggy2 Mar 12, 2010 06:38 PM

                                    I used to be a huge fan of Mother's Dumplings - a regular client - until they moved to their new location. The management has absolutely no idea of how to handle the new capacity. The day I visited the new location, the line-up at the door was huge yet there was no one there to manage it. After two people jumped the line in front of me and the waitress just went ahead and seated them I got confused. When the third person jumped the line and the waitress seated the person even though I approached her and told her I was there first and waiting for almost 30 min, I got pissed. I finally got seated and spent... another 20 min waiting for the menu (which had half of the things crossed out) and then... another 20 min waiting for the food (not making this up!). Can't blame the waiters, really, the 3 of them were working 20+ tables. When the food finally arrived... it was the wrong order! I was served one extra dish I did not order. Now, ok, that happens, right? What doesn't happen too often is having the waitress approach you and suggest that you pay for that extra dish... wait... what? Sorry "Mother Dumplings - your dumplings are good but not good enough to accept poor service of this kind of level.

                                    1. i
                                      ivxu Apr 6, 2010 10:43 AM

                                      I went to Mother's Dumplings today for lunch and had a bowl of Dalu noodles and a green onion pancake. Both were tasty, but a little salty for me. Portions were generous. I didn't try the dumplings as I was waiting to go back with some friends so we could split orders of various different dumplings.

                                      I arrived right at opening (11:30am) and order almost immediately, as I had read the menu online. Even though there were only 2 other diners there before me, it took almost 20 minutes for my food to come out. I did notice there were about 5 kitchen staff working, but maybe they were all working on dumplings. By the time I left around 12:20, it was much busier.

                                      Overall, tasty food, with service a bit on the slow side. I would get there as close to opening as possible. I'll be back to try the dumplings.

                                      -----
                                      Mother's Dumplings
                                      421 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ivxu
                                        domesticgodess Apr 10, 2010 03:51 PM

                                        i now have mother dumplings on my phone so i can call ahead and order take out.
                                        It was thursday afternoon at 1:30 when I called for soup and dumplings.
                                        The waitress who answered the call told me it would be a 25 minute wait.
                                        I cancelled the dumplings and just had the soup (10 minutes).
                                        When I picked up my soup...2 parties were in line waiting for tables.
                                        The place was packed.
                                        As for my soup..for the first time, I noticed it was salty at the bottom.
                                        p.s craving dumplings now

                                      2. Platoputas Apr 14, 2010 01:30 PM

                                        I'm heading to Mother's Dumplings new location tomorrow night, and since it'll be my first visit, I'm wondering what people recommend I order. I'm reading a lot about the onion pancake and Dalu noodles. And are all their dumplings good or are there specific standout ones I need to try?

                                        I did try and make a reservation but the staff who answered told me that for two people I will be able to get a table and don't need a reservation. Which was curious because she didn't even ask what time I was planning on arriving.

                                        Thanks in advance for your suggestions and wish me luck!

                                        -----
                                        Mother's Dumplings
                                        421 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Platoputas
                                          a
                                          acd123 Apr 15, 2010 12:07 PM

                                          The pork and dill dumplings are amazing. At least they were at the old location. i haven't been to the new one yet.

                                          1. re: acd123
                                            Platoputas Apr 29, 2010 09:18 AM

                                            So I finally tried the new Mother's Dumplings location. Many of the reviews here are correct, there is long line-up (20 minute wait when I arrived at 6:30), strange configuration of tables (most of the four-people tables were occupied by two people), no more frozen dumplings for take-out, hand-made noodes for Da-Lu soup aren't available at this time, and the service is slow.

                                            There are still some high points - the dumplings are still all hand-made and excellent. There were only 8 items crossed off the menu (3 of them being the handmade noodle version of the noodle soups) so it wasn't half the menu as some other CH'ers experienced, and they hand you a menu and ordering form as soon as you arrive so you can ponder your order while you wait, and can place the order as soon as you're shown to your table.

                                            acd123, I didn't try the pork and dill dumplings, but wish I had.

                                            I did have the shrimp, melon and pork pan-fried ones that were tasty, but wouldn't say they were amazing. The Lamb Sui Mai however, was incredible. I would definitely go back for those. The Green Onion pancake was meh. I was indifferent. I do have pictures and a full review up on our food blog for whoever's interested.

                                            The restaurant is definitely overwhelmed with the increased business, which they mention on their website: “Customers, thank you for your patience. We did not expect the significant increase in patronage. We are struggling to catch up. Again, thank you for your patience.” Hopefully they learn to adapt quickly. But despite the new digs, the dumplings are still very good and reasonably priced. I certainly wouldn't write this place off.

                                            -----
                                            Mother's Dumplings
                                            421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

                                            Mother's Dumplings
                                            421 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                                        2. chefhound Sep 6, 2010 11:44 PM

                                          Tried Mother's Dumplings for the first time this weekend. I was planning to go to Ding Tai Fung in Markham but plans changed and ended up in Chinatown.

                                          Service was a bit disorganized as others have mentioned. People who arrived after us got their tea before we did, servers were confused about whether we had ordered yet and where the order was etc.

                                          Foodwise, just ok. Didn't get to try the pork and dill (it was crossed out) but ordered a variety of dumplings (some boiled, some steamed and some fried) and a pancake and a noodle dish. The pancake (pork and veg and egg I think) wasn't really like a pancake but more like a flattened dumpling. I assumed it would be like the green onion pancake I usually order but was very similar to a dumpling.
                                          As for the dumplings, they all tasted the same. Except for the lamb dim sum, which had a very thick skin. Nothing special. The noodle was the one with the ground pork and cucumbers. Again, so-so. I also ordered the mango sticky rice for dessert. For some reason I thought it would be like the Thai mango sticky rice that I love but it was just some uninteresting rice with some mushy mango on top.

                                          I remember reading another thread where the merits of Ding Tai Fung were discussed and I have to say, they are far superior to Mother's Dumplings. Each variety of dumpling is distinct and you can easily identify the variety you are eating.

                                          Will have to try Northern Dumpling House. Any recommendation from Charles is worth a try!

                                          -----
                                          Mother's Dumplings
                                          421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chefhound
                                            m
                                            Marumari Sep 7, 2010 01:48 PM

                                            Went here the other day. All round, pretty good. We ordered three items to share, since it was an afternoon snack: green onion pancake, veggie dumplings, and pork/veggie bun.

                                            The first two items came right away, but then we waited and waited and waited for the bun. It took like 25 minutes. Meanwhile, the kitchen staff sat down for lunch.

                                            We eventually got the last item, but it took forever. Clearly, it had gotten lost somewhere in the shuffle. Graciously, the server checked with the owner and comped the bun item, without us even asking for it, which was nice.

                                            I'm sure this is a hiccup with the transition, and otherwise, was quite tasty and fast.

                                          2. jennjen18 Jan 2, 2011 04:56 AM

                                            Went here last night (NY's day). Had to wait for about 20 minutes... but was given an order form and menu to choose and pick from whilst waiting.

                                            We opted for 4 items (for the 2 of us!): smashed cucumbers, da lu noodles, xiaolongbao (steamed pork buns with soup inside), and green onion pancakes.

                                            Smashed cucumbers came first when we sat down. Good that they were ready to serve us right away. It's got lots of garlic and herbs in it, which I really appreciated. Only halfway did I realize - HOT SAUCE. They have 2 types: chili pepper in oil (not hot at all, really), or sriracha. I used the latter, and it was good... Cucumbers had the right amount of crunch... it wasnt marinated to the point of soggyness, but enough to have flavour.

                                            Xiaolongboa came next. It was piping hot. One of them broke!! :( But it was tender enough that if you held it by the top with your chopsticks, you could really see the dip of filling the "bao" contained. We used vinegar (and me, sriracha) for dipping... it was heaven. Very hearty.

                                            Da lu noodles! It was also piping hot when it came.. even when we did our 2nd serving, the bowl was still hot with steam. It wasn't what I remembered though (from their old location). The only flavour I got out of it was "salt." I didnt really sense any other complexities in the stew... :-/ It was still good, as the noodles were oh-so-tender! I think next time I'll try another noodle..

                                            Green onion pancake came unexpectedly last.. like, very very last, so last that we had felt full and may have told them to not make it. However, it did come, and we had just one portion each and saved the rest for breakfast the next day. It's not the same green onion pancake I'd imagined getting elsewhere... this one's more doughy, more dense. Other places make them thinner and crispier. Because of that, I'd say this is not to my liking..

                                            I do see that Mother's loves making food for their customers. Towards the end of the meal, I see a "mother" testing out her dumpling in one gulp, and then the noodle chef devouring the whole strand of noodle after stretching it all out (I guess to see if it breaks?). It is with care and honesty that makes this place quite a hit for many .. Other dumpling places in Chinatown, I havent tried though ...

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