Review: Restaurant Mai Xiang Yuan
1084 Boul. St. Laurent, Montreal, Q.C. – 514-875-1888
Date of Visit: January 4, 2012
Ambience and Service
This restaurant specializes in dumplings only (fried, boiled and in soup). It is a tiny place that seats 36 in a space not much bigger than the living room in a modest home. It is a little cramped but not unpleasantly so. I arrived at 12:45 and it was almost full.
There was only one young woman waiting tables but she did so very efficiently and was very friendly. Each table was provided with dried chili peppers in oil, red vinegar and soy along with a small bowl to mix these condiments to taste as a dipping sauce for the dumplings. A free pot of tea comes with the meal. Each type of dumpling available is served in platters of fifteen unless one orders soup dumplings, in which case only 10 are provided.
Click on either image to enlarge
Fried Lamb and Onion dumplings – The dumplings are of the pot-sticker variety and were just over $10 for 15. They were toasty golden on one side whilst the remainder was steamed and soft. This particular variety was nicely cooked and quite juicy inside. There was a little greasiness to them but not enough to mar the overall quality. My only real complaint is that it was difficult to tell that I was eating lamb and could easily have been fooled into thinking it was beef or pork had I been told as much. Also, the onions were of the regular western variety and I think scallion would have worked better. They were not bad on the whole and I ate 12 by myself, which actually made for a pretty filling lunch.
Mai Xiang Yuan is a pleasant little place but not outstandingly special by any means. I do like dumplings but generally as part of a meal rather than a whole meal so I don’t think I would return that often except for a light snack. I would like to sample some of their other dumplings though.