Restaurant Review: Just Like Momma Used to Make?

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Restaurant Review: Just Like Momma Used to Make?

Blythe Rogers

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Spadina Road near Kensington Market houses a variety of Asian restaurants, boasting different types of cuisine, which transport Toronto foodies to any corner of the globe. While there is a large number of places to choose from, one restaurant rises above them all, and this place is known as Mother’s Dumplings. Opened in 2005 by Zhen and Rick, they bring you a taste of Chinese culture with their classic recipes taken from Zhen’s mother.

When you walk into the Mother’s Dumplings outpost on Spadina Avenue, you can tell that love and family really goes into every aspect of their business. However, this does not serve as an excuse for the lacklustre decor. While the restaurant is clean and simple, it could use a bit more in the decoration area.

I was surprised with the efficiency of the service. They have perfected a system of codes and little order sheets that you fill out and give to the waiter. I really appreciated this as it keeps everything organized and clear as to what your table wants.

As a group of four, we decided to order a few vegetable starters and then some dumplings to share for our mains. The starters we chose were the garlic Chinese broccoli, veggie spring rolls, and garlic eggplant. The broccoli was simple but not underwhelming. It was cooked to the perfect amount of crunch. Veggie spring rolls were fairly average, with nothing horrendous about them but nothing special either. I then moved on to the eggplant. Eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables and I try to order it wherever I go. The eggplant dish was bursting with flavour, but almost a bit too much flavour – I didn’t even think that was possible! The explosive flavor of the eggplant dish was overwhelming, I felt as if I was swimming, or should I say drowning, in this salty garlic sauce. It was a good idea for a dish, but executed with just a bit too much enthusiasm.

It was then time to test the most important dish, the dumplings! Since I am a pescatarian, there is a limited variety of dumplings for me to choose from, but I was still left with some tasty options. For myself, I ordered two types of dumplings: the mushroom and tofu and the shrimp, egg, and chive. The other people in my group got a variety of pork/chicken dumplings and even the barbecue pork buns! The pescaterian dumplings were enjoyable, bursting with a unique blend of flavours and textures with each bite. However, the texture of the tofu in the mushroom and tofu dumplings was questionable.  But then again, it’s hard to mess up a soy product. My father reviewed the dumplings he dined on as being “super tasty, but nothing crazy special.”

If you are craving dumplings and efficient service, definitely check this place out. However, if you are looking for the most mind-blowingly amazing traditional Chinese food in downtown Toronto, I would say that there are more enticing places to tickle your tastebuds.

Reviewer Rogers gives it…

⅗ stars