I’m not going to lie and say Verdun isn’t a foodie destination. I’ll admit, with places like, Janine Cafe and Well for brunch, Blackstrap for the city’s best BBQ and some of my favourite Asian restaurants, Les Street Monkeys and Hong Mere and Comon, it’s definitely one of my favourite neighbourhoods to eat in. I was recently told about a new dumpling spot that entered the game (coincidentally called, “Mr. Dumpling”) and I had to check it out.
Street food. Why are people obsessed with it? For the same reason my room is painted bright red and I’ve already planned to name my first child Ferrari – we want what we don’t have – my dog is also named Kim Kardashian. Back to “street food”. We don’t have it a legit street food scene here, which leaves us with a crater-sized craving for the things we’ve seen fetishized on tv and Youtube. If you’ve watched that NetFlix Docuseries, you’d understand what I’m talking about. Sure we have food trucks and open-air food festivals, but that’s not the same. No matter how hard we try, we’ll always have a pathetic, second-rate attempt at something authentic and so bastardized it becomes a caricature of itself. This is why when you’re looking for authentic street food, you have too look indoors. This week I checked out a cozy spot in Montreal West serving authentic Chinese street food – Montreal Crêpes & Dumplings Chinois.
I love dumplings. I give classes on dumplings. I basically look like a giant overstuffed dumpling. Needless to say, I’m all about dat dumpling lyfe. I’m always on the looking for new places to cop these little bundles of meat filled joy in and around the city. The last time I had dumplings in the West Island it was a catastrophe. The pitiful plateful of burned frozen dumplings were more disappointing than if season 8 of Game of Thrones was rewritten and then fucked up a second time. I didn’t let this one bad experience extinguish all hope of finding dumplings worth eating west of the 13. In the spring, I noticed a very unassuming store front when I was driving along St. Jean. I remember seeing the sign for this store. The sign was of a dumpling. Was this the sign I was waiting for? Finally after weeks of papered up windows and disappointed drive-bys, the windows were clear and there was signs of life… or signs of dumplings inside. I tried Mama Dumplings.