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Sep 26, 2012 06:25 AM

Dumplings on the Plateau?

I read about this place, Chinoiserie et Dumplings on rue Chabot recently in La Presse and a friend also mentioned that there is a new dumpling place at Christophe-Colombe and Marianne now. Has anyone tried either of these?

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  1. Well, since no one else has insights for me, I did the research myself and am keeping notes here in case anyone cares. Passed the place on Christophe-Colombe - it is called Bonbonne, serve Quebecois francais breakfast, lunch and tea room fare but also says, on their door but not their pamphlet, that their specialty is dumplings. An order is $15 which I found a bit steep.

    Continuing along I arrived at Chabot to the Chinoiserie depanneur (hmm). There were a handful of useful Asian grocery items that I usually pick up elsewhere, like brown rice vermicelli and coconut milk in tetrapaks. There are tubs of Asian coleslaw in the fridge for $4.50. I grabbed a few bags of frozen pot stickers, 20 dumplings for $10. Then I was faced with customer service than only be described as patronizing and cantankerous. So that was a drag. I was almost hoping the food would be average so I could avoid that again. But no, the pot stickers are really delicious, lovely texture all around. The dipping sauce that I was told was "the best" was very vinegar-y although clearly a very fragrant vinegar. I had some dipping sauce to compare from Qing Hua dumplings (very serious about this research, I must admit) and I do prefer it, more soy sauce and a lighter type of chili. Anyway, nice to have more Asian options again in the 'hood or at least near the 'hood. A drag that the owner assumes we are all idiots about Asian food and is rude but then again, he's in an odd location and might have spent the day explaining dumplings slowly to people. It should be easy enough to sneak in and out of there with less social interaction some times.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Plateaumaman

      Ate there this week with a friend. The dumplings were really quite good: fresh, subtle flavours in the filling, perfectly cooked, great vinegar for dipping. Not as many varieties as Qing Hua, but it seems to be a different style of dumplings here anyways. I'm Chinese and found its simplicity and quality reminiscent of my grandmother's cooking. However, the portions are small (e.g., their trio of 3 kinds of fillings are around $10 for 8 dumplings!). In the end with tax and tip I paid nearly $50 (3 orders of dumplings + a 500 mL pot of tea), and both of us left hungry. I could have easily eaten twice as much. I'm not sure why the price is so high - either the ingredients really are superlative (I read that they're local/seasonal, teas are Camellia Sinensis), or they expect a different clientele. I'm from Toronto and I know I can't expect the same price/quality/diversity, but the price puts me off enough to not return. Their frozen dumplings seem like a reasonable price.

      The owner also felt compelled to explain every item on the menu to me, even though I am clearly Chinese. I'm not sure what is a polite way to decline explanations like this. He was friendly enough, though I wouldn't expect much else by way of table service. Anyway, I suppose it's nice to have an addition to the area, even if it's just to drive up competition and encourage better Chinese places. Since I live pretty far away, I think I'll just stick to making my own at home.

      1. re: torontrealais

        Yikes, that is expensive especially when you consider 40 frozen dumplings is just $20, and they are quick and easy to prepare at home. It's a very big mark up for the pleasure of sitting at one of three small tables in a depanneur. Here's hoping they adjust their prices. Sounds like you had the same kind of lecture as I did, and I didn't find a polite way to stop it so it all kind of veered out of control.

      2. re: Plateaumaman

        I went to Bonbonne today. Admittedly I don' t have much to compare to here in Montreal but I liked their vegetarian dumplings. A very good step up from what dumplings are available in the immediate area so I would go back again. So thank you for your post and report!

      3. I went to Chinoiseries & Dumplings and got 40 of the frozen dumplings (20 pork, 20 chicken). It seems that if you eat in the resto, there are more varieties available but the ones I got were really delicious! I found the guy quite nice & helpful, describing how to cook the dumplings & providing little containers of dipping sauce. Maybe you just caught him on a bad day! I will definitely be back for more; would like to try eating in some time, as well.

        1. Thank you for posting about this place, I am definitely going to pick up some frozen dumplings ASAP. Did anyone happen to nitce whether or not they had frozen/chilled, packaged Cantonese style noodles? Thanks!