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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: www.tongueandcheek.ca

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  1. Good to know, pinstripeprincess. Look forward to trying this place out!

    79 Huron Street

    (416) 340-7372

    http://www.wix.com/ceciliahe0422/yumm...

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/%E5%8F...

    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.

                  2. nice to know! mother's dumplings was tasty back when they were at this location but went downhill at their college st. location. will have to try yummy yummy out.

                    has anyone been to northern chinese cuisine (i think that is the name.. something similar anyway) on dundas, just east of spadina? walked by it a few times recently and am curious.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: helenhelen

                      Went to yummy last week. Never been to Mother's before. Since I tend to stick to Mkm places. But we were in the area and we were hungry.
                      Really like the dumplings. Can tell everything is homemade. Agree and love the dumpling skin. Even the wonton skin in the soup tasted fresh and so different from the usual places. The fried seafood dumplings were excellent. Same with the steamed mutton dumplings.
                      Sliced braised beef shank and pork slices were a bit dry but went great with the garlicky sauce that came with it.

                      Noodles were ok. We like PMall's Sun Noodle better. But still good sized portion.
                      We also tried the appetizers. First time we have rice noodle skin stir fried. In the past, we ate them cold with sesame sauce. But here they do it stirfried - a bit salty but still different from other places. So overall a good find.

                      However, not too busy at 6pm on the night we were there. Even when we left, there were only 3 tables. not sure how good Mother's was. But this place was 'homey', good value for money. The only complaint is picky customers would rate service to be less than adequate. But for this price, one cannot and should not expect fine dining service.

                      I hope more people try this place out.

                    2. Thanks for posting about Yummy Yummy, pinstripeprincess. Loved the beef pancake, as well as the pork + chive dumplings. I'll definitely be back soon.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: prima

                        great!

                        was at northern dumpling kitchen recently and while the fillings were more refined, am still a bigger fan of the skins at yummy yummy. now if only they'd be more careful w/ the beef pancake and not burst them on the stove top anymore! they were perfection when the liquid didn't leak out.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          Love that this place is so close to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Might have to stop by again, before I visit the current Picasso exhibition.

                      2. Just came back from here after hearing the great reviews on Chow. It is a very good dumpling place. I prefer it a lot more than the new Mother's Dumplings as well as Dumpling House. For 2, we got the beef noodle, an green onion pancake, pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings and boiled pork and pickled cabbage dumplings for $24. soooooo stuffed. Everything was very fresh and the dumpling skin was the perfect texture. You can taste that it's all homemade. Also, great service and really appreciative for the business. Will definitely go back soon!

                        1. Just wanted to give my two cents about a very interesting experience I had at YYD tonight. I was one of the people who bought a groupon back in march and it was about to expire. There was one other table occupied tonight and one person waiting for takeout when my friend and I walked in. We had written down our order, but when I informed the gentleman working there that I was using a groupon, he presented me with the set menu. When I bought the groupon, there was no mention of a set menu but using my limited mandarin, I deciphered that the set menu rule came into play a month after the groupon became available because it was just not sustainable for the restaurant. I may have translated this incorrectly, but it sounded like the restaurant owners received an inconceivably low amount of money for each groupon sold (much much less than $10). The problem now was that I did not feel like ordering off the set soup and salad menu and had my heart set on the northeastern salad - a fav of mine. Through some (very nice) negotiating, we ended up just getting a couple orders of dumplings, a beef roll, and just paying extra for the salad I wanted. Not $20 worth of food, but really, these mom and pop restaurant owners work so hard, who am I to nickel and dime them when they were not hostile at all (and in fact, looked kind of fearful)

                          In terms of the food, I have to agree that the pan fried dumplings were the highlight (we got chicken and cabbage). Thin crispy skin, not greasy. The pork and chive boiled dumplings were good, but a tad salty. The beef roll was yummy, but again the sauce was a bit salty for my liking.

                          The northeastern salad was.....okay. The sauce was a tad watery for my tastes and my friend thought the mustard component was a bit too strong and the spiciness was overwhelming(I like spicy, so that part didn't bother me). I would have liked the sauce to be thicker. But the owner was really sweet and he would walk by our table and notice the scant amount of sauce left in the sauce bowl and encourage me to reaaallly mix it in because that's "where all the flavor is!"

                          As I was paying, I gave him my groupon number and tapped the "voucher used" button on my phone app. Big mistake (I obviously do not used groupons very often) as it came up on his system that the voucher had been used!!! Now, in his defense, after some back and forth, he gave me the benefit of the doubt and I just paid the tax+salad+tip. I also found out that they came to Canada by way of the States and their experience there with groupon was much better in that groupon took a much smaller cut of the voucher sales.

                          All in all, it was the enthusiastic service moreso than the food that will bring me back. The owner was really interested in suggesting their specialties to me (this came up because I joked to him that I would have to try their xiaolongbao next time since I am of Shangainese descent), and next time I will probably go "omakase style". Also, I want a chance to give them some feedback on their food because I think they would be receptive to it (I felt badly this time and just said everything was great...) But I must say, this experience has really soured my impression of groupon...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: tweenietoes

                            They really are sweet. I make it out there a couple times of month when my craving for dumplings stikes.

                            I completely concur with your thoughts about the northeastern salad, I've had better iterations of it in Flushing and the wasabi powder mix sauce was too overwhelming. Could have used a touch more vinegar or something. Still it is a nice addition to downtown chinatown's usual offerings.

                            1. re: tweenietoes

                              i was also a bit surprised by the set menu for the groupon, but felt the same way you did -- it's hard to see how these businesses survive at all. i've been a couple times and think the cooking is really pretty solid, particularly (unsurprisingly, i guess) their dumplings. wish it was a bit closer to my office!

                              1. re: tweenietoes

                                for any of the group buying sites, they generally give the 50% or less of the cost of the coupon. it is not sustainable.

                                btw, my favourite dumpling right now is the shrimp, pork and chive... salty but they are perfect at their shrimp cookery.

                              2. Now I'll have to spend a weekend comparing dumplings at Mother's and Yummy Yummy.

                                Rough work, but someone has to do it.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Pincus

                                  may want to add big mouth dumpling at st clair and yonge. let me know if you need some help.

                                  1. re: autopi

                                    I was by there last month. Forgot I was there and went to the Thai place across the street, which actually was pretty good.

                                    We should hold a dumpling crawl.