Bundles of Joy
There’s a global selection of dumplings to devour in the GTA. Here, our favourite soup-filled, pan-fried, perfectly pinched pouches of deliciousness
Sika Deer’s Sheng jian bao
At Sika Deer Chinese Cuisine in Scarborough, these soup-filled, pork-stuffed sheng jian bao are a crisp counterpart to the more delicate xiao long bao. They’re steamed on top with a golden, pan-fried crust on the bottom, and flecked with sesame and green onion. $5.99. 4186 Finch Ave. E., 416-847-3921.
Rickshaw Bar’s Sambusas
Queen West’s Rickshaw Bar stuffs its sambusas with oxtail and bone marrow—a riff on nihari, a classic Indo-Pakistani stew—before searing, steaming and garnishing them with pickled ginger, lime, cilantro and a hit of nihari gravy. $11. 685 Queen St. W.,647-352-1227, rickshawbar.com.
DaiLo’s Won tons
Chef Nick Liu nods to his heritage with these Hakka brown won tons, delicate clusters of minced pork and shrimp, sprinkled with chopped almonds for crunch and an addictively piquant house-made XO sauce. $13. 503 College St., 647-341-8882, dailoto.com.
Loga’s Corner’s Momos
Thicker-skinned than most of their dumpling counterparts, the hearty Tibetan momos from Loga’s Corner in Parkdale are served steamed or fried. We love the traditional steamed beef version, served with pickled radish and a fiery house hot sauce. $7. 216 Close Ave., 647-761-0965.
Amber European Cuisine’s Pelmeni
Savoury Siberian pelmeni are a specialty at Amber, Bloor West’s go-to for eastern European fare. They’re filled with lamb and beef, laden with an excellent combo of caramelized onion, bacon and fresh dill, and topped off with a glob of sour cream. $14.95. 2372 Bloor St. W., 416-763-6164, ambereuropeanrestaurant.com.
Crown Princess’s Vegetarian dumplings
At the distinctly upscale Crown Princess Fine Dining, bits of finely chopped mushrooms fill the Zen vegetarian dumplings, which are translucent, open-topped dim sum essentials. $5.10. 1033 Bay St., 416-923-8784, crown-princess.ca.
Shanghai Dim Sum’s Xiao long bao
Diners flock to Shanghai Dim Sum for xiao long bao, dainty wrappers filled with piping hot broth and bites of succulent pork and crabmeat. Pierce, slurp, bite, repeat. $7.99. 330 York Regional Rd. 7, Richmond Hill, 905-597-5866, shanghaidimsum.ca.
Northern Dumpling Kitchen’s Hong you chao shou
Tucked into a corner of a strip mall, Northern Dumpling Kitchen serves these hong you chao shou, pork-filled Sichuan won tons bathed in a fragrant mix of sesame sauce and red chili oil, kicked up with green onion and crunchy dried chilis. $4.59. 550 York Regional Rd. 7, Richmond Hill, 905-881-3818.
The Georgian restaurant Aragvi’s thick, chewy khinkali are satchels of coriander-spiced beef or pork that release a deluge of aromatic, savoury juices when bitten. $1.75 each. 2006 Hwy. 7 W., Unit 1, Vaughan, 905-597-5197, aragvi.com.
At the swanky downtown hot spot Byblos, these eggplant-filled Turkish manti are doused in tangy yogurt sauce and deftly balanced with a drizzle of sweet molasses. $15. 11 Duncan St., 647-660-0909, byblostoronto.com.
Hastings Snack Bar’s Pierogies
This Leslieville lunch counter serves six varieties of pierogies, including a creamy potato and cottage cheese version, topped with fried onions and served with the requisite side of sour cream for unapologetic slathering. $10. 5 Hastings Ave., 647-850-9260.
Dim Sum King’s Char siu bao
A one-two punch of cloud-like dough and sticky-sweet barbecued pork makes these fantastic steamed char siu bao a must-order at the sprawling Dim Sum King. $3 each. 421 Dundas St. W., 416-551-3366, dimsumkingrestaurant.com.
Kwan Dim Sum’s Har gow
This popular midtown dim sum spot fills the delicately pleated, paper-thin shells of its har gow with an interior of juicy shrimp, which lends a blush-coloured glow to the fabulously tender steamed orbs. $5. 1496 Yonge St., 416-901-6618, kwandimsum.ca.
Little Sister’s Pangsit pockets
Little Sister, Yonge and Eglinton’s hip Indonesian snack bar, turns these Jakarta-inspired pangsit into crispy wedges of spicy beef and green onion. The best part might just be the addictive chili-lime dipping sauce, which should be sold by the bottle. $6.95. 2031 Yonge St., 416-488-2031, littlesisterto.com.
Sansotei’s crimped gyoza, stuffed with green onion– and ginger-laced pork, are made fresh daily, and fried for a perfectly crisp exterior. They’re the ideal companions to a steaming bowl of ramen from the bustling shop. $4.50. Multiple locations, sansotei.com.
Centre Street Deli’s Kreplach
At the kitschy Centre Street Deli, it doesn’t have to be a Jewish holiday for an order of kreplach, petite bundles of dough-wrapped, melt-in-your-mouth minced chicken, which float in a comforting house-made chicken broth. $5.95. 1136 Centre St., Thornhill, 905-731-8037, centrestreetdeli.com.
Rol San’s Siu mai
Found on most tables at the perpetually lined-up Rol San in Chinatown, these siu mai showcase steamed mounds of super-juicy ground pork, enrobed in a wrinkly, open-topped wrapper and garnished with a hit of vibrant orange roe. $4.88. 323 Spadina Ave., 416-977-1128.