876 Dundas St, London, Ontario
Hungry? Good. Because we discovered probably the best pot stickers and dumplings in London. And if you haven’t tried it already, you definitely should.
Meet Yemei who immigrated from China to Canada with her husband in 2002. They first landed in Calgary where they started their new Canadian life. From scratch. Learning English while working and trying to fit into isn’t an easy job. Plus, add to this studying at a college (Yemei graduated from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2007). But Yemei and her husband are not those who surrender to life’s challenges. Every day they began being thankful for opportunities they had been given. And every evening they cooked their signature dumplings and pot stickers. As they used to cook back in China. Following her hospitality Yemei often shared her dumplings at work, and the feedback was terrific. As her colleagues used to say “we’ve never tried anything like this before”. They surely haven’t as the recipe was handed down from Yemei’s grandfather who has been running a dumpling business in China for decades. So, after some thoughts Yemei and her husband decided to challenge themselves even more. They found London on a map: the name was calling, and the Wikipedia promised warmer climate and many green parks. So, they packed their luggage, sold everything, and moved here. Because London was the city they chose to start their own venture.
Shortly after arriving they found a building in Old East Village - attractive enough to start up a business, ruined enough so no one was interested in it. So, they bought it. And began a huge renovation project. All by themselves. From scratch.
And almost two years later So Inviting opened their doors. Why “So Inviting”? Well, because it’s in Yemei’s nature and also because it is the first phrase she taught herself in English. The destiny it is!
At “So Inviting” you will always find dumplings and pot stickers freshly cooked every morning! Yemei and her husband are up on the kitchen at 5 am every morning making dough, chopping meat and veggies, boiling sauces - as usual, from scratch. No one can resist that tasty smell! You can choose dumplings, hot buns, or pot stickers with beef, pork, chicken, and vegetables. Homemade sauces vary from mild and sweet to desperately hot! If you want to stock up - check in their freezer as there is always a good assortment of frozen dumplings and pot stickers. Recently they added fried rice and noodles with chicken/ pork / veggies to their menu. Are you a sweet tooth? Then you will like their sesame balls and cookies - chocolate or with nuts, cranberries, blueberries, and my favourites - red bean cookies.
So, make a detour tonight after work and check this place out. “So Inviting” is open Tuesday - Friday 11 AM - 6:30 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 4 PM. Cooked pot stickers and dumplings are available also after hours. You can order right up until 9 PM for pick up 30 mins later. “So Inviting” also takes orders for pickup on Sunday and Monday from 11 AM till 9 PM (note: they normally closed on Sunday and Monday).
Yemei always wanted to give back to a community that welcomed her so warm. So, come to try authentic Chinese cuisine, say hi, and feel welcomed.
London deserves immigrants like Yemei who keep working hard no matter what, and dumplings like hers that are fresh, juicy and incredibly delicious.
Text, photo & video: Anna Orishchenko