- Address: 3636 Steeles Ave. E, Markham
- Visited: 04/02/2016, Lunch, 2 people
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Rating: 3.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
When choosing a quick stop for lunch on weekends, half of the time I opt to re-visit an old favourite and the rest of the time I like to try some place new. Before heading out, The Hubby and I talk about what we’re craving that day and a quick Google search will narrow down our selection. This was how we ended up at Chinese Dumpling House one Saturday after running errands nearby.
Atmosphere: Chinese Dumpling House was a small, mom and pop shop located in a mall with many other Chinese restaurants. Guests walking in were greeted by the sight of cooks making fresh to order dumplings at the front of the restaurant. Decor was bare and the furniture was functional. Many of the tables were filled with older Asian couples, which I interpreted as a good sign.
Service: To me, service was on par with similar restaurants, efficient and no-nonsense.
Food: As is my routine for visiting new Chinese restaurants, I ordered a large hot and sour soup to start. Priced at $3.99 for a regular size and $4.99 for large, the portion size was huge and could have easily fed 4 people. The soup had a strong flavour, in the hot and sour component and also had a savoury chicken base. Each ladle scoop was full of bamboo and egg. Our other appetizer was less impressive. The cold pig ear salad was much more cucumber than pig ear and the flavour was one-dimensional. All I could taste was soy sauce with a mild hint of vinegar. Adding spoonfuls of chili oil, a condiment at the table, helped a lot.
For dumplings, we tried the steamed lamb (15) and pan fried pork and chive dumplings (6). There were only two options for pan-fried dumplings, pork and pork and chive. The steamed dumplings were plump, had a thin chewy skin and strong gamey flavour. Dipped in vinegar and chili oil, these dumplings were delicious and authentic. Meanwhile, the pan fried dumplings were disappointing. There are two things I like about potstickers. First the sauce inside when you bite into one and second, the crispy bottom. At Chinese Dumpling House, there wasn’t much soup in the fried dumplings and the bottoms were unevenly crisp. Some were amazing, and others were only browned around the edge.
Overall, lunch did satisfy our craving that day, with a couple of misses.