Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Mar 13, 2012 05:09 AM

yummy yummy dumpling - my preferred spot downtown

the menu is quite short and i haven't had amazing success with dishes outside of the dumplings or the beef pancake (though i think the fried red pork combo deserves a mention if you want a seriously homey dish) but those two things are fantastic.

dumpling skins are taut, tender and chewy. i think they do one of the best jobs with fried dumplings i've seen. not greasy but crisp enough. all the fillings are ridiculously juicy. the beef pancake is just a fountain of deliciousness, trust me when i say you want to be careful biting/cutting into one of these babies. they're gorgeous. considering my pig obsession, i haven't tried the pork version yet but i'll have to the next time.

they make their own chili oil, it's a sweet and simple spot. the owner has a familiarity.... it's northeastern chinese cuisine, no xiao long bao on the menu here, but it's my preferred dumpling spot downtown right now. prices are in line with it's predecessor of the same location, mother's dumplings, but significantly better.

they're usually quite empty except for a trickle of mandarin speaking chinese. i really want them to do well. they're definitely doing some things right. my only real wish is that they'd offer more than two options for beverages. i love me some cold soy.

photos from a blog post:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good to know, pinstripeprincess. Look forward to trying this place out!

    79 Huron Street

    (416) 340-7372

    3 Replies
    1. re: prima

      wow, i never would have guessed that to be their website. great find! thanks!

      1. re: prima

        Went today and the menu is a one pager and is not like the website. No XLB, onion pancake, pan fried buns etc.

        The fried chicken dumplings are interesting, the ends are not pinched together but the wrapper is crispy yet the filling is moist. Unfortunately the mutton dumplings are strangely spiced and a bit gamey, my Caucasian friend could not eat them and my mom didn't like them either. The skin of this dumpling as well as the beef pancake has glutinous rice in it which makes for a chewy and moist texture which we do like. (It's translucent and not at all like those pictured in PSS's blog though.)

        1. re: Teep

          it's a new menu, they still haven't rolled it out... might be because there's not a lot of business and it's a lot of perishables to carry.

          as for the translucency... i've noticed they've been taking less care of cooking the pancakes lately and that they tend to burst one during cooking. the liquid then soaks into the other pancake skins and makes them translucent. i'm disappointed in this, but it is what it is now. i'm just hoping that it returns to the old way. so that it has a nice dry and crispy exterior.

      2. Are they located in the same basement level store that Mother's formerly had on Huron?

        2 Replies
        1. re: T Long

          She said "it's predecessor of the same location, mother's dumplings," :-)
          Definitely going to check it out!

          1. re: Teep

            My bad. Thanks for pointing it out. I liked Mother's dumplings when they were at the old location but thought the location itself to be horrid. Hope the new tenants have done some renovations.

        2. Sounds interesting! Does it open on Sundays?

          1 Reply
          1. re: dessertgal

            Just called. (The number on their facebook page doesn't work. Try the one on their website.) They're open from 1 to 9 on Sunday.

            *Edited from a previous version. They just called back to say they open at 1, not 11 on Sunday.

          2. according to the menu on the website, they do have xiao long bao here. $5.99 for 6. It's listed under buns, though.

            14 Replies
            1. re: Crispier Crouton

              Well "bao" means bun. Because they are round, they are not considered "dumplings" in the Chinese sense, which usually are in a half-moon shape and have pointy corners.

              1. re: Crispier Crouton

                huh.... i'm not sure when it happened today, but the menu on the website completely changed!! what timing... it used to be a one page-er before with no section for buns. that's great, can't wait to try the new stuff.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Nice find Pinstripeprincess, it's nice to see your blog up and running again.

                  A brief glance at the menu suggests the owners are from the Dongbei region of China possibly, just like Mother's Dumplings. The North-eastern salad, mutton and carrot dumplings and the use of pickled cabbage in many of their dishes brings to mind some favorite Dongbei cai dishes I had in nyc. Looking forward to giving them a try.

                  1. re: deabot

                    that's exactly where they're from, well ascertained! i haven't had any of the pickled cabbage dishes yet, but i love pickled mustard greens.

                    and thanks so much :)

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      There's also a Groupon today for 60% off a family deal or $20 food value for $10 at this place.

                      1. re: Yongeman

                        i'm going to be frank... but i know how deals like this can hugely sink a place and for the price point they're operating at already i'm not going to be participating in any discounts. i can get full for $10 and have a variety of food, that works enough for me.

                        groupon is a vulture.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          Wow, that's really decent of you, psp. But I'm a little more pragmatic in my approach to trying a new place. I'll buy one of the coupons for $10 and get $20 worth of food. I figure, if the place gets involved with the coupon company, it's their choice to discount the food for the purpose of attracting people to their establishment. If they are concerned about selling too many of them, they should place a limit on the sales.

                          1. re: Yongeman

                            don't disagree, just sharing my view. i've been already and know what to expect, different from someone who's never been before. just being a bit of a mother hen... i really want them to do well and am hoping they didn't get pushed over by aggressive sales people.

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                              I went tonight for a quick dinner. Pork and chive dumplings were juicy but I can't say they were the best I've had. Really enjoyed the steamed vegetable dumplings, meaty innards of nappa cabbage, vermicelli, mushroom and egg. I asked about the northeastern mung bean noodle salad which I saw on the new menu but they don't have it yet. I am really looking forward to trying that once they decide to roll out the new menu. Owner was sweet and gracious, she seemed thrilled to find a fan of Dongbei food. Really happy to have them around downtown for dumplings.

                              1. re: deabot

                                no, they're not the best that i've had, but they've been better than my experiences anywhere else in the downtown chinatown. my best experiences have been with the fried versions, the more i think about it.

                                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                  My pork dumplings were fried. I was hoping for a bit more chive flavor but I inhaled them all the same being hungry after work. I like what they've done with spot. I haven't been in the location since the mother dumplings days. I'm happy with them downtown. My last batch of dumplings at Mother's were soggy and had a pitiful amount of filling.

                      2. re: pinstripeprincess

                        I just went today, admittedly using a groupon, and they are indeed heaps and bounds better than mo's dumps. my friend notes it tastes more than just butter and as noted the skin of the dumpling is just right. standout for me would be the fried dumplings - just the right level of crispy. the chili oil was great too

                        the place itself is really quaint and friendly; the owner/waitress even came over to ask my chinese friend to help translate for some small talk at another table. though that might be seem as a negative to some, it had a real homely feel to it. i left a generous tip and i'm hoping they succeed as well.

                        1. re: Brood_Star

                          I went last night for the first time and agree all around. I never liked mothers from day 1 as I found the dumplings to be overwhelmed by salt/sodium thus masking the real flavour. Yummy is quite perfect IMO. thanks PP

                          1. re: justsayn

                            so glad brood_star and yourself enjoyed the experience. groupon or not, i just didn't want to be one of two tables in there any more.

                2. pinstripeprincess, do you think they'd let people bring their own non-alcoholic bevvies (I'm guessing they don't have a license)? Do they currently only offer tea, pop and water?

                  Besides cold soy, what other beverages would you think go well with their dumplings?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: prima

                    i'm really not sure... the weird thing about their drink options is that it's only tea, coke and orange juice specifically. i'm not sure where they got this orange juice idea from. the next time i'm in i'm going to suggest that perhaps they consider expeanding that section.

                    cold soy isn't really a great dumpling drink, it just satisfies my own love for soy. it's a bit rich for a meal like that. i'd just love a giant glass of cold tea or lemonade. something light and refreshing to go with all the wheat and meat.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      thanks for your thoughts, pinstripeprincess.