New Northern Dumplings 新北方餃子館 (Toronto)

Dumplings and pan fried onion pancakes make me nostalgic about my childhood, when my grandmother would prepare them while I eagerly awaited dinner. It was a long affair starting with prepping the dough for wrappers and allowing it to rise – not unlike an Italian nonna preparing pizza. So, when I find a restaurant that makes great versions of it, they’ll have a delighted customer. With tons of options around Toronto, New Northern Dumpling’s offerings stand out.

Their dumpling’s wrappers are ultra-thin yet has an elasticity that resists picking up. Each encapsulates a decent mound of filling and plenty of juices. If you like the Shanghainese soup dumplings, xiao long bao, these are very similar and much more budget friendly.

With twelve steamed varieties, New Northern offers a mixture of meats and even vegetarian choices. Although they all look alike from the outside, their fillings were indeed distinct. The three fresh delicacies ($5.99 for 15) were the most traditional with pork, shrimp and leek. There’s something about the combination of savoury meat, succulent seafood and vegetables that makes for the perfect filling.

The pork and leek ($4.99 to 15) were also delicious and likely a better choice for those who don’t like a seafood essence. Although the pork and pickled cabbage ($4.99 to 15) sounded delicious, the tang from the vegetable was a tad overpowering for me, but for diners who normally dip their dumplings into vinegar these may naturally have the acidity they’d enjoy.

Although it doesn’t come close to my grandmother’s version, New Northern’s green onion pancake ($2.25) is the best I’ve had at a restaurant. Folded into a doughnut format, there’s more surface area to develop a crusty exterior. The thin creased layers create fluffy air pockets filled with a respectable portion of fresh green onions and is nicely seasoned.

Their braised beef noodle soup ($5.99) has amazing chewy thick noodles and a decent tasting hot broth. However, the braised beef would be more aptly described as fat than meat. For those who like a well-marbled pork belly, you may enjoy this.

Despite looking as if it lacked sauce, the minced pork and soya paste noodle ($4.99) proved to be well flavoured as even with a thin coating, the noodles were salty enough. A dish generally eaten during warm weather, the julienned cucumbers add a cool juiciness and crunch.

If you’re budget conscious, I can’t think of a better place to go, as they have plenty of filling dishes for $5. And luckily, unlike the childhood me, I don’t need to wait all day before tucking in.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 633 Silverstar Boulevard

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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