Earlier this year a new dumpling place opened near my work called Dumpling Queen. On Valentine’s Day I went for dumplings with my dumpling at lunch time!
You are drawn in to the restaurant by the women working away in the front window, furiously making dumplings: rolling out dough, mixing filling and stuffing and forming each perfect little pillow of yums. The interior of the restaurant itself is nothing special: red walls, simple tables and chairs and a random assortment of art on the walls. Not much attention has been paid to the interior of the restaurant which made me skeptical of the quality of the food. I know, I know, the most unassuming places are usually hidden gems that make the most amazing food and this is one of them.
We kept it simple and ordered two types of dumplings: boiled shrimp and vegetable dumplings and fried pork and celery dumplings.
I loved how the pork dumplings came: in a fried connected web of deliciousness.This is the traditional way to serve fried dumplings: upside down, fried veins connecting all the dumplings. The dumplings were crispy on the top and soft on the bottom. The pork and celery are a natural pairing, the rich fattiness of the pork with the fresh subtly of the celery.
The shrimp and vegetable dumplings were okay. I didn’t like the consistency of the vegetables. They were minced to the point that they were unrecognizable. There were large pieces of garlic that threw off the consistency of the filling. There was only one piece of shrimp per dumpling, causing the shrimp to be overwhelmed by the vegetable filling. Stick with the pork dumplings, they are delicious.
This place is comparable to Mother’s Dumplings and it’s in my neighbourhood at work making it a win, win for me. I will be making frequent appearances here on my lunch hour.
A few weeks ago I introduced GC to Mother’s Dumplings and of course, he fell in love.
1. Pork and chives dumplings
2. Potato pancake
3. Wonton soup; Beef and celery dumplings.
We tried a bit of everything but I would have to say my favourite were the pan fried beef and celery dumplings.The dumplings are slightly crispy on the outside, without being greasy and they retain the soft, fleshiness of the wrapper. The beef was delicate with hints of spice that was mellowed by the tart, fresh taste of the celery. This is not a combination I would have thought of, but it works nicely together.
We tried to go again on Chinese New Year last Friday with Cynthia but of course, they were rammed. For future reference, they do take reservations but only for groups of six or more. We will just have to find three more people to join us next year!
There are some people you are friends with because you are always on the same page as them in various aspects of life whether it is emotional, spiritual or even physical. And then there are some people who, more importantly, you are the on the same page as them gastronomically.
A few weeks ago I was on the subway looking at an advertisement for VH Steamer’s rice with dumplings. I wasn’t intrigued by the ad because I thought it would be any good, I knew it wouldn’t, but it caused me to crave dumplings. Later that afternoon I received a message from Cynthia saying she was also craving dumplings, a statement that was completely unprompted by my earlier daydreams of dumplings.
When two friends are having the same craving obviously something must be done about it so we headed to Mother’s Dumplings.
We started off with wonton soup – slightly redundant when one is planning on eating dumplings but it was a chilly day and soup was a warm and comforting way to start off a meal.
This soup look thicker than it is. It is a light broth, slightly salty and filled with seaweed, green onions and wontons. It was delicious but it needs a touch of soya sauce to give it more flavour. It is a great bargain – we ordered the small bowl which is around $4.00 and we were both able to have 2 bowls of soup.
Next came the dumplings.
We ordered 24 dumplings – 12 boiled pork and dill (pictured bottom left) and 12 steamed pork and chives (pictured bottom right). I prefer the steamed to the boiled. Steamed dumplings have a firmer dough and are juicier. I also preferred the presentation of the steamed dumplings – I loved that it was brought to the table in the basket that they were cooked in. Both fillings were good but the pork and dill had slightly too much dill, overwhelming the subtleties of the pork.
This was a delicious meal – a comforting soup, juicy dumplings and unlimited jasmin tea. I would love to come here on a cold day and cozy up with tea and dumplings. This meal has prompted an idea between Cynthia and I that we should have a stuffed ethnic food night – dumplings, pierogi and ravioli!