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Jiu Xiang Yuan (Parc Ex). New Dumpling Resto

wokhei Jan 27, 2014 06:49 AM

Had been intrigued by a new Chinese dumpling resto in Parc Ex, and finally went last night with 3 friends. Jiu Xiang Dumpling popped up recently in the midst of Little India on Jean Talon, just east of Acadie, across from Punjab Palace.

I called to see if they were open beforehand as it was later on a Sunday, and the owner said "No, sorry." then after a moment continued, "well, sure. Come by and we'll make you some food" (??!!). After the meal, we learned that they recently switched to being closed on Sundays, but he happened to be in the space when I called and made an exception.

It's a slightly strange setup- it almost feels like a pop-up restaurant in a non-descript bar, but we were pleasantly surprised and had a great meal.

The dumplings are very similar to the Qing Hua style - soupy, hand-made to order, 15 per plate and done steamed, fried or boiled. The menu covers pork, beef, chicken, lamb, veg and seafood options, along with a few cold appetizers.

We tried the pork & coriander, pork & cabbage and chicken & leek, along with a seaweed salad and cold, spicy tofu to start. We tried steamed, boiled and fried (which had that satisfying crunchy latticework holding the dumplings together). All were very good, and easily on par with the Lincoln/Chinatown locations of Qing Hua.

Service was friendly and quick by the proprietor/chef, whose wife was also working in the kitchen. We talked to him for a while about the setup and he said that his family loved his dumplings so much, he thought he'd try selling them to the public.

Again, it's a bit of a strange layout (a couple of VLT terminals are hidden in the back), but it's clean and spacious, and with a full bar, I could see it being a fun Friday night spot to eat and have a few drinks with a group.

Will definitely be back; it's nice to have a reliable dumpling spot in the north now. I wish them success.

 
  1. nochainsplease Feb 15, 2014 11:20 AM

    We ended up here last night as part of our attempt to have the least romantic St. Valentine's Day ever. It was perfect!

    Three screens showed the Olympics, the speakers blared with the latest dance hits, and we had a gigantic booth to ourselves. The only other patrons were a pair of hipsters on a first date, a mysterious gentleman who kept asking to borrow the restaurant's phone, and a lady playing the VLTs.

    The dumplings were quite good. We had lamb curry and pork/shrimp. I've had fresher-tasting, juicier, tastier dumplings - but these were very good. A cabbage, carrot and vermicelli salad was too sweet. But overall, a tasty meal.

    We chatted with the owner - he said they've been open about a month, and business wasn't that great. I asked if he wanted to hear some feedback, and then told him the dance music had to go. He was very open and allowed me to help him change the channel on the satellite radio box to the 80s station. The hipsters seemed to appreciate that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nochainsplease
      m
      maj54us Feb 16, 2014 10:08 AM

      your story reminds me of a Seinfeld episode with Baboo. lol lol

      VLT must go also. It can attract weird crowds.

    2. n
      nikkori Feb 9, 2014 10:44 AM

      Tried this place last week. Very similar style dumplings to Qin Hua but not identical. Wrappers are a bit thicker, meat less shredded... Really tasty and great value. Pork + pickled cabbage was particularly good, beef + coriander OK, didn't love the bland cabbage + noodles + zucchini.

      Ambiance is really odd: more of an abandoned sports bar than anything else. But seems they're making tasty things in the back!

      We had one cold salad - cabbage, carrot and vermicelli I think, really nice - just simply sesame oil & fish sauce & chili. They also recently added some boring general tao etc to the menu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nikkori
        SnackHappy Feb 9, 2014 12:36 PM

        Fish sauce? That's so odd for a Northern Chinese place.

        1. re: SnackHappy
          n
          nikkori Feb 9, 2014 02:15 PM

          I guess you're right. Probably just an unfamiliar white vinegar?

      2. b
        blondee_47 Jan 29, 2014 11:11 AM

        I am not understanding the menu as it says steamed an extra .50 and fried an extra 1.50 - how else do they come then at the price charged? Boiled?

        2 Replies
        1. re: blondee_47
          f
          frogsteak Jan 30, 2014 05:55 AM

          it must be boiled but extra charge for steamed is a uber rip off. not cool

          1. re: frogsteak
            SnackHappy Jan 31, 2014 06:35 PM

            It's not any worse than giving fewer dumplings for the same price which is what the other places do.

        2. n
          nikkori Jan 29, 2014 09:20 AM

          Can you see them making the dumplings? Given the slight sketchiness and resemblance to Qin Hua, is it clear that they're not just using their frozen ones?

          1. j
            jptimbaud Jan 29, 2014 09:03 AM

            I did takeout last night too! I also had the wood-ear and zucchini which was delicious and the shrimp and egg which was very good (although my recollection of an egg-y dumpling at Mei Xiang Yuan was a bit better). My only beef was the extra 0.50 for a steamed order: if you don't pay, do they come boiled and all broken apart?. Both my dumplings were classified "veg", ie would not hold together if boiled. All in all, thrilled that there is now a dumpling place closer to home. BTW there is a sign for another dumpling place that is not opened yet on the ground floor of those condos corner St-Dominique and Jean-Talon.

            8 Replies
            1. re: jptimbaud
              z
              zeim1 Jan 29, 2014 11:25 AM

              Did you happen to see the name of the new dumpling place on St Do & JT?

              1. re: jptimbaud
                l
                lagatta Jan 29, 2014 02:18 PM

                Where are there condos at the corner of St-Dominique et Jean-Talon? At first I thought you meant Beaubien and St-Dominique and walked all around those two condos, and obviously it wasn't the "Holy Condo" between St-Laurent and St-Dominique, corner St-Zotique. I'm looking at the google street view and there are no condo buildings on any of those corners - the closest would be slightly east on Jean-Talon, north side of the street, and there had been Asian restaurants (A pho place and a sushi place), on the streetview photo on the ground floor there.

                1. re: lagatta
                  j
                  jptimbaud Jan 30, 2014 06:32 AM

                  @lagatta, That's it. On the north side of Jean-Talon, between Ste-Dominique and Casgrain. Right now I think it's a central (?) american place and the dumpling place. To be confirmed... @Zeim1, I will let you know.

                  1. re: jptimbaud
                    c
                    chililala Jan 31, 2014 06:24 PM

                    I wonder if it is where the pho/sushi place is? There is a lot of turnaround in that location. I think it was maybe becoming a hot pot restaurant if I'm not mistaken. I will definitely take a look next time I pass by, this is all very exciting as it is my hood.

                    1. re: chililala
                      l
                      lagatta Jan 31, 2014 07:02 PM

                      It seems so, looking at Google streetview, though I think that was taken last summer.

                      I've lived around there for many years as well, at first just south of Castelnau on Casgrain, handy to graduate studies at UdM and... JTM, and now, on the southern side of the market (no more details while I'm living at current place). That location has been various Italian and East/Southeast Asian restos - I've never eaten at any of them.

                      1. re: chililala
                        p
                        pkzilla Feb 1, 2014 12:35 PM

                        Weird, I work in the neighborhood and last I checked that whole downstairs place is now a brazillian restaurant. Been there a few times for lunch (they made great wrap type sandwhiches) in the fall. I'll see if I can pass by again during the week and see what's.

                      2. re: jptimbaud
                        j
                        jptimbaud Feb 8, 2014 03:34 PM

                        I've got a name for you all "Le Maitre du Dumpling" at 77 Jean-Talon Est. Not open yet and the windows are covered up so you can't really see inside. Will keep monitoring and report back :)

                         
                    2. re: jptimbaud
                      c
                      chililala Jan 31, 2014 06:23 PM

                      We did do steamed as well. I wonder how boiled would turn out. I have had boiled at QingHua and they were pretty similar in texture to the steamed. Curious now. Next time I'll try on at least one of the kinds and see how they compare.

                    3. c
                      chililala Jan 29, 2014 08:47 AM

                      We ordered takeout last night and the dumplings were excellent! We had 3 kinds: veg--woodear, zuchinni and vermicelli, porc and cilantro, and chicken with curry. I think they might have been even better than Qing Hua! The flavours were more complex and developed, while somehow being slightly less salty. Still perfecty seasoned...We did order the cold tofu appetizer and found it to be a little bland. There are not quite as many options on the menu as Qing Hua, but the layout of the menu looks suspiciously like a copy of the former's. Mysterious...I wonder if there is any connection between the two? Incidentally, we called ahead and the dumplings were ready in about 20 minutes. All in all, very excited about this new development in Parc Ex. Adding it to the list of my Jean Talon favourites!

                      1. wokhei Jan 27, 2014 06:51 AM

                        Link to a larger menu image: http://i.imgur.com/KldVhJe.jpg

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