I had a dumpling craving one evening and ended up at Chinese Dumpling House to satisfy my craving. Located near Warden and Steeles in Metro Square, this is one of those restaurants where you wanna eat fast and get out.
The space isn’t very large and the seating is rather cramped. We arrived shortly after 6 on a Sunday evening and not long afterwards the place was packed and the entrance filled with people waiting for a table – definitely a good sign.
In addition to their cramped conditions, don’t come here expecting great service either…like I said – you wanna get in and get out. The servers here aren’t very fluent in English either, so keep that in mind.
They provide you with an order sheet which is in Chinese along with have an identical sheet with English descriptions for you to match up to the order sheet. They also provided us with a menu with pictures in it which really helped – but the menu items in this one weren’t numbered…so it’s a bit of a tricky 3-way match if you can’t read Chinese!
We started off with one of their cold appetizers, the Julienne Pig Ears with Cucumbers ($5.99). It consisted of a large plate of cold marinated pig ears and large chunks of cucumbers. They also have a chili oil version of this dish available if you’d like a bit of spice. Pig ears on their own don’t have very much flavour…they just provide a dish with some texture as they’re quite crunchy from the cartilage.
The ears were marinated well but I have some complaints about the cucumbers. I would’ve preferred them thinly sliced to mirror the shape of the pig ears so they could’ve been eaten together.
Next up were the Steamed Pork & Cabbage Dumplings ($4.99). The dumplings here are made fresh like you’d expect – at the front of the restaurant, you can see them being made. The dumplings arrived in a large traditional bamboo basket which they steam the dumplings in. I thought this was a steal – $4.99 for 15 dumplings! I loved the skin of these – not too thick or thin and they had a nice bite to them. The meat filling was pretty juicy but could’ve used a touch more seasoning.
We also had to order some fried dumplings and decided on the Pan Fried Pork & Leek Potstickers ($3.99). While I found them to be on the greasy side, they were still quite tasty – the potsticker wrap was perfect and the filling was delicious.
For some greens, we ordered the Green Beans Sautéed with Minced Pork ($6.99). They were sautéed nicely, with the veggies still retaining their crunch and they were covered with salty bits of minced pork. Similar to the potstickers, I found them a touch greasy for my liking but overall still a solid dish.
Last up was the Green Onion Pancake ($1.99). I often order green onion pancakes when I see them on the menu and the “pancake” that arrived at our table was not what I had expected at all. It resembled a Chinese donut (the ones you eat with congee) which came shaped in a spiral. Even though it wasn’t what I was used to and it could’ve used more green onion, I really enjoyed it! Another steal at $1.99.
The food is solid at Chinese Dumpling House but don’t expect a comfortable experience or good service. But if you’re looking for some cheap eats, Chinese Dumpling House will fit the bill.
At a glance:
• Located at Metro Square in Markham
• Cramped seating; poor service
• Great value – $4.99 for 15 dumplings and $1.99 for a large green onion pancake
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 1 star
• Atmosphere: 1 star