Confession: I am not what one would call an “unpretentious” eater. I once falsely represented myself as a “coke-and-donuts” kind of girl, and was mercilessly teased for weeks about this blatant mischaracterization. My favorite foods include overpriced imported cheeses, stuffed olives, and things with unpronounceable names. So OK, I’m not necessarily a Tim Horton’s kind of girl - although there is a time and a place for a cardboard box filled to the brim with timbits – but there is one delightfully unpretentious food that never fails to completely exceed my expectations: DUMPLINGS.
I love dumplings, perhaps with an unparalleled passion. As Toronto students, we are extremely fortunate to be located near my current obsession: Mother’s Dumplings, conveniently located at Spadina & College, and offering delectable dumplings at very reasonable prices.
On a Wednesday afternoon around 4:30, the restaurant is not busy – although be forewarned, the joint gets packed most evenings – and is almost tranquil. After persuading two friends to join me, we are greeted with complimentary tea and are left to peruse the extensive menu. While Mother’s Dumplings offers a variety of “Chinese comfort food”, we limited ourselves to dumplings on this visit. We chose four orders of different types of dumplings: boiled pork and dill ($7.19 for twelve), boiled chicken and mushrooms ($8.29 for twelve), pan-fried pork, shrimp and melon ($8.19 for ten) and steamed beef and chives ($7.49 for twelve).
Though all dumplings were excellent, my personal favourite was the pan-fried pork, shrimp and melon dumpling. The crispy exterior of the dumplings complements the warm, savory ingredients, and the melon gives the entire dish a nice cool finish.
The crispy pork, shrimp and melon dumplings at Mother’s Dumplings
However, we all agreed that the boiled dumplings were the best value – coming in at the most number of dumplings per plate per order, though we wouldn’t hesitate to order any of the varieties again.
After eating these babies, who’s to say that dumplings aren’t the fanciest food of them all?
421 Spadina Ave.
Meal for three including tax and tip, $36
Photo Source: Victoria F.