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Jan 27, 2014 06:49 AM

Jiu Xiang Yuan (Parc Ex). New Dumpling Resto

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.

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    1. 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. 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

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

          1. re: jptimbaud

            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

              @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

                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

                  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

                    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

                    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

                  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. 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. 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

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

                      1. re: frogsteak

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