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Best chinese resturants in Edmonton

Hey all,

Just wondering what people are thinking about Chinese resturants in Edmonton for dim sum. I've heard many people complaining about how small the dishes are getting while prices have been going up. It always seems like the more people eat out the worse it gets in terms of customer service and quality of food.

Thanks for your info!

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  1. I've lived in Edmonton for 8 years, and haven't found any Chinese food that was better than mediocre. When we moved here, we tried as many as possible, and finally just gave up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dan G

      I understand that frustration - lol, good rule of thumb for good chinese restaurant (more of an authentic style) is: FIND THE ONE THAT HAS CHINESE PEOPLE EATING IN IT. Preferably more than half of people that frequent the restaurant should be asians. May I suggest Double Greetings Wonton House in downtown off jasper ave. Keep in mind, no chinese restaurant in edmonton is really authentic.....this place isn't truly authentic, but it is as good as it gets in my opinion without paying a lot. Scary neighborhood, yes, but it is a hidden gem. I think it is fun to "rough" it up a little sometimes for some good, wholesome, cheap chinese food LOL

    2. The best chinese I've had in Edmonton is at Lingnan's but, for dim sum, I haven't had that in years. Last time was in '98 at Dynasty off Whyte (which I thought was pretty good) but, I haven't had it anywhere else so I can't compare. Also, I haven't had Chinese in any other city really (like Vancouver/TO) and everyone I know talks about how great Asian food is at those places.

      Sorry not much help. (Wouldn't surprise me if they made the dishes smaller and jacked the price. I found it expensive in '98 so ??)

      1. sleepycat:

        I think I fit in with many Edmontonians who "struggle" to recommend good Chinese. Years ago when I lived in old Strathcona I used to enjoy North China on Whyte and then their northside location on Jasper which is now Taste of Ukraine.

        However, like many Canadian cities I think Chinese suffered from being "Canadianized"..i.e. chicken bo - bo balls in that too yellow or too red sweet sauce, etc. etc.

        When I moved out here in '80 I remember even ordering from the infamous Lydo...yep watching football on a Sunday afternoon and spied the ad in the tv listing...just the once I swear!

        Chinese acquaintances have recommended the Sai Woo on 97 Street near 105th Ave and we used to go to Pearl River but that was years ago.

        Is the Mandarin still open? It used to be just north of Whyte across from Campus Towers. People who lived in the area swore by it. I never got it. Besides, I like restauranters but I do not necessarily want to share my table with the owner.

        There is a take out spot called Leng's south and west of "da Mall" in I think the Belmead strip mall that can be ok but with it too it has been years since we last either went there to pick up or had them deliver.

        I have heard good things about Jumbo on the east side of 178th Street for dim sum but have not been myself and there is supposed to be a more "mom and pop" outfit in one of the stripmalls on the west side that is reputed to be good.

        I think asian cooking is one of those things which really depends upon what you grew up with as to whether you like it or not. I miss the days growing up in Montreal where a friend's dad would write out what we should order and that was the extent of it. Never did see a menu on those Sunday morning metro rides to Chinatown. Had some incredible food that I certainly did not ordinarily get from the spots closer to home.

        I am looking forward to reading some recommendations.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bob Mac

          Bob's right about North China. I used to eat there (both locations, found the southside better) occassionally, and it was more than passable, though still not what I hoped for.

          Mandarin...on Whyte, not at Campus Tower but beside College Plaza , right? Still there. Was there two weeks ago, because I work on campus...still very mediocre, and though I've been told it has new owners not too long ago (past few years anyway) they still seem a bit too friendly.

          I've also tried Lingnan that livetocook mentions. Found it really disappointing.

          Has anyone else tried Blue Willow, up in Railtown. Been there for years, I just tried last year when I had inlaws visiting who like bland Canadian Chinese food. It was maybe the best I've had in Edmonton. Not high praise however...

          1. re: Dan G

            Dan G:

            Thanks for the correction. Yes it was/is College Plaza not Campus Towers.

            I have not been to Blue Willow despite the fact that yes, it has been around for years. I think that it is Vic Mah's spot.

            1. re: Dan G

              For Chinese dinners (not dim sum), I used to go to the unfortunately named Buddy Wonton (10415 80 Ave) just off Whyte Ave.

              Of course, it's not Vancouver high-end Chinese quality but there were tons of Chinese families chowing down there on any night. That's where I'd go to get my home-cooking fix.

              There is a menu of "set dinners" - ie, choose four dishes for $36 - but written only in Chinese. I can't READ Chinese, but I understand it conversationally so I'd get the waitress to read out dishes to me, until I heard something I liked.

              I'm sure you could ask for the Chinese specials menu and ask them to suggest "a chicken dish" or a "beef dish" and that way they could narrow it down?

          2. Hi,
            I'm Chinese and grew up in Vancouver but having lived in places like northern New Brunswick, there are times I'll take anything that resembles home-cooking. ;-)

            Having said that, there are two places for dim sum I'd recommend based on when we lived in Edmonton (we moved a year and half ago):

            Cha for Tea Palace, 17512 Stony Plain Rd. It's in a strip mall near the West Edm Mall. We found this place just as we were moving but wish I'd known about it earlier. It's a big resto so no need for long lineups and the dim sum was really tasty and fresh. I don't remember dishes being small or prices being high.

            For no-frills, consistent dim sum, we went to Noodle Noodle in Chinatown. Reasonable (I don't think anything's cheap anymore) prices and decent-sized portions.

            4 Replies
            1. re: alau2

              Darn... this isn't looking well. You would think with a big city like Edmonton there would be some really good Chinese resturants especially for dim sum.

              Cha for Tea seems a bit far but i'll try anything once.

              I boycott Jumbo. I won't have anything to do with them.

              As for Noodle Noodle, I don't think I've ever been as I was under the impression that they are Canadian Chinese and not authentic Chinese. I could be wrong.

              1. re: sleepycat

                Yeah that was the problem with us too - Cha for Tea isn't exactly centrally located, otherwise we would've gone a lot more.

                Noodle Noodle does have offer "Chinese-Canadian" dishes - but they also do a decent dim sum with authentic dishes.

                1. re: sleepycat

                  The few times I've been to Noodle Noodle, I thought the dim sum was decent. Occasionally, I've gone to Dynasty for dim sum as well. Haven't been to Golden Rice Bowl for a number of years, so can't comment on it (even though I had my wedding reception there many, many moons ago).

                  I've went to Sai Woo once upon a time (a number of years ago) and thought the food was very good. But due to location, I've eaten mostly at Good Buddy and The Boss on the southside.

                  1. re: Libertycafe

                    Yeah I have been to The Boss once. They do have good noodles there. I don't think they have dim sum. I have yet to try them out for dinner.

              2. Chinese food in Edmonton has gone downhill over the past few years. My guess (which could be totally wrong) is it's because of a lack of good cooks from HK. And it hasn't really been filled by any decent ones from the mainland either.

                For dim sum, I would say these ones are decent:
                Noodle Noodle (they get a lot of Canadian customers but they do serve real Chinese food)
                Century Palace - service is HORRIBLE
                Jumbo
                Mirama - service is also horrible, would not recommend it for dinner at all

                Cha for tea - The last time I went there some dishes were good but some were bad, and the pricing was a little too much

                If you're looking for a mom and pop authentic Chinese restaurant for dinner I would recommend the very tiny Ah Chin Kitchen in the south side.

                9 Replies
                1. re: anonymoose

                  Well guess the everyone is confirming what I thought in the first place. There are no really good Chinese resturants. I tried them all myself. I agree with the lack of service. Sometimes I'll sacrifice service for really good food but I can't find that either.

                  I still hate Jumbo.

                  I have been to Ah Chin... that is on 99 st I think. We thought it was pricey too.

                  So where all the good cooks going then? Van ?

                  1. re: sleepycat

                    Van always gets the better ones before we do! (Although, according to my highly critical parents the food there has gone downhill too. Take that with a grain of salt as I haven't yet found a place that they don't have a criticsm about.)

                    Service in general has never been fantastic, but I've been to Century Palace for dim sum twice in the past month - the first time we got our own hot water refills for the tea and the second time I chased down the food carts because they didn't like coming down our aisle.

                    What's wrong with Jumbo?

                    1. re: anonymoose

                      Well... long story short. My close friend had a special dinner there with a couple of tables. When her mother paid the bill with tip, the main server came back and told her that she didn't put enough tip on the bill and proceeded to bully her into putting down another $100.00. The service wasn't that good and they also did not serve all the wine that they charged for. Last time I checked tip is based on service. I've never been bullied into giving more tip if I don't warrant it. I haven't been back there. It's just wrong.

                      On another note, I asked an aunt if it was true that all the cooks go to van and to and she told me that they thought that as well.

                      1. re: sleepycat

                        Oh wow, I've never heard of anyone having that experience and I've been there for banquets many times. If that had happened to me I wouldn't go back either. I'm not surprised you're soured on it.

                        I've had mixed service there over the years, but never quite that bad. The majority of their dishes are decent but I've had a few clunkers as well. And sometimes they don't put enough food in the dinner dessert buffet so it runs out quickly.

                        It's too bad there aren't any new restaurants opening up; more choice would be nice.

                        1. re: anonymoose

                          We've eaten in a lot of places internationally and I have never encountered this situation ever.

                          I wouldn't hold my breath. I don't see any new authentic Chinese resturants coming this way soon unfortunately.

                        2. re: sleepycat

                          Many restaurants have a minimum "gratuity" for large groups, usually any group larger than 15 people, and can be between 15 and 20 % of the total bill. But It has to be printed on the menu or you must be told up front when making the reservation.

                          1. re: felix the hound

                            Yes I know that. There wasn't a policy like that. I'd say I've never seen anything printed. I know the paying party certainly wasn't told.

                        3. re: anonymoose

                          When I go for Dim Sum (which is about once or twice a month) I'm not looking for good service, fancy atmosphere, or even any effort re: presentation...

                          What I'm looking for is:
                          - getting seated in a reasonable amount of time
                          - good variety of dishes
                          - hot dishes, fresh with good turnover (not having been sitting on the cart for hours)
                          - attentive-enough waiters to fill tea, take special orders, etc.
                          - cheap pricing

                          To that end, we've really found that:
                          - Noodle Noodle wasn't authentic enough; it really catered to a squeamish Canadian clientele (and it was expensive - a plate of guy lan cost me $13!!).
                          - Dynasty was okay, the variety wasn't great and food was often lukewarm.
                          - Cha (west end) had poor variety, was expensive, and food didn't come around quickly enough.
                          - Golden Rice Bowl is over-rated. While the dishes are authentic, the staff aren't attentive for special orders. Also, the lineup system is bananas.
                          - Jumbo was surprisingly good. We got seated quickly the variety was good, food was hot, servers went out of their way to tell you what they had in their carts.
                          - Buddy's Wonton was poor - shrimp Haw Gow weren't fresh at all on my visit. Didn't feel like a Chinese restaurant...
                          - T&T's new dim sum kiosk (to make this a thorough list) was way overpriced, and there's a crazy system where the counter clerk needs to exit the kiosk to get you potstickers, etc.

                          So...
                          - Mirama is our personal favourite... Yes, there are days where you have to wait a long time, sometimes you get seated in what we call "the bermuda triangle" where no carts come your way, or you wait and wait for specific dishes (in my case Lo Pak Go) but it never comes. Still, I think that this is part of the charm of dim sum. It's kind of a gamble to know what you're going to get. Mirama's prices haven't gone up since I've lived in Edmonton (8 years) and the food size/quality has stayed the same; in fact, I think the diversity has improved. Lots of good and weird dishes for variety (though we typically go as far as the small spare ribs black beans which we proudly eat by chomping down on the whole thing and spitting out bones). While the cart ladies can be surly, the other servers are good about refilling tea, taking special orders, etc. Because of how big the restaurant is, you get good turnover of dishes. It's busy, loud and cheap, in and out - I'm a happy customer there.

                          1. re: egirlwonder

                            Good to know I haven't been doing it all wrong. Mirama has a fairly central location. My family(ies) have been going there for the past couple years and it has served pretty much exactly as you describe. Sometimes you get everything you ever wanted other times you get "the bermuda triangle". I find that the service varies a bit, sometimes you can order guy lan and have it arrive before your meal is finished and other times you never get it at all. same with water/beverages. overall, the food you do get is good when you get it and i have never waited more than 5-10 minutes on a weekend.

                    2. Surprised nobody has mentioned Golden Rice Bowl.. :)

                      Personal bias aside, I think they have one of the better values in Edmonton when it comes to Chinese food. I also like Ah Chin's on 99th Street and 62 Ave (beside McD's), Tin Tin on 99th Street and 34 Ave (although they've lost our Christmas reservations 2 years in a row now), and on occasion, Jumbo isn't too bad either.

                      Dynasty (on 76 Ave and Calgary Trail North) used to have a decent menu and was very good, but they too have declined in the past several years.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: taiphun

                        Oh yeah... Golden Rice ... yeah I do like that one. Too bad it's pricier than the DT ones.

                        We used to love Tin Tin. That was our go to resturant until this Xmas. We went for a family dinner and the portions were significantly smaller while the price was way up. We looked around and usually that resturant is packed with others waiting. We saw many empty tables which is very unusual. Our lobster dish was nothing but shell. We were there after xmas. All the relatives are grumbling. We definitely left there a bit hungry.

                        Dynasty... is just die nasty.

                        1. re: sleepycat

                          Every time I've been to Dynasty... the uncleanliness has always grossed me out. I have been there recently (only because I got dragged there) and have since decided it has improved.... especially in the cleanliness department.

                          I find that cleanliness... like everything is pretty subjective. Just to give you a frame of reference. After I got back from HK and China it took me 3 years to be able to eat meat again. I hated the outside meat markets in the hot sun and being woken up by some dude selling and yelling PORK under my window didn't help much.

                          1. re: sleepycat

                            See, those are the things i miss about Asia :)

                            I've always had good meals at Dynasty. My favorite is their shrimp wrapped crab claws. Those are awesome there.

                            1. re: yen

                              I couldn't get the smell out of my mind and not only that I wasn't sure if the chicken would start clucking on my plate. People want fresh... the chicken were fresh all right. I wonder if my Godmother got the chicken from downstairs.

                          2. re: sleepycat

                            Small update

                            Dim Sum at Dynasty

                            Feb 2008

                            Where can one find good tasty dim sum in Oil Country? Usually we like to have brunch on Saturdays and this Saturday was not unlike any other Saturday. My mother did not want to go to Golden Rice bowl because she says the prices are ridiculously high while finding the portions terribly small. She suggest Dynasty Resturant. My usual response to that is, “Ewwwwwww Die Nasty!” I particularly don’t like that place because the decor looks a Chinese Dragon barfed on it and the kitchen and women’s bathroom are disgustingly dirty. Who knows what the inside that kitchen? I never wanted to find out. Since she was driving (and paying for that matter) we got there just before lunch time. We had 5 dishes. The first was Char Sui Cheurng Fun which is my favorite. It was surprisingly fresh and had real chunks of Char Sui Pork. The next dish was the Scallop Shrimp Dumpling. The shrimp were crisp and topped with topiko and the rice wrap was slightly sticky. It was quite good. We also had Sui Mai which were average. We had the sticky rice in a differerent style. It didn’t come wrapped in banana leaves but it did fill the steam bowl. It was a bit pricey at $5.50. The last one,which was the worst, was Fun Gow Dumpling. The rice wrapper was soggy and completely fell apart.

                            The bathrooms were recently painted a nice bland diarrhea brown but it did look much cleaner than they ever have been in the past and the same goes for the outside of the kitchen. The decor, however, still leaves much to be desired. I’ve upgraded them from “Ewww I’d rather eat rocks”to “2.5 stars.” I still think it’s still a bit on the pricey side but they did have a few fresh dishes. I would try this resturant again just to see if they have any consistency in Dim Sum dishes.

                        2. Hi there - I highly recommend Noodle Noodle for yum cha. Best Char Siu Bao and Shu Mai I've ever had - the Lo Mai Gai also rocks. I would recommend reservations,a dn if you love the baked bbq pork buns, I now do what the manager recomended to me as they ALWAYS sell out of them, they are THAT good! when making a reservation just let them know over the phone how many orders of the baked bbq pork buns you want and they will have them ready at your table when you arrive :)

                          Sadly, I've heard that Sam Wok, my fave is now closed.

                          I would avoid Golden Rice Bowl - imo way too much MSG.

                          For delivery (never actually eaten there) I would try China Palace Seafood Rest. on 82 Ave and 96 Street, huge portions and great dumplings.

                          Lingnan is great for a night to dress up and enjoy a really traditional setting, LOVE the old school placemats with the cocktail recipies :)

                          1. Has anyone ever tried Dan Shing restaurant on 159 St/Stony Plain Rd? It looks like a hole in the wall, but a co-worker (family from HK) recommended it. I went once years ago and had only congee, plus those donut-like (sans sugar) things to eat with it. I have no idea if any of the other dishes are good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Libertycafe

                              yes it's pretty good. I think it's family run and they only take cash. Haven't been there for a year though so I could be outdated.

                            2. I have relatives from Hong Kong visit regularly and the two places they have liked the best are Dynasty on Gateway Blvd (for dinner or dim sung) and Wok King on 106 Ave for dinner or lunch. Neither are very fancy but both are good. I also like the small place above the Garden Bakery on 106 Ave (just down from Wok King). They do their own barbeque and their barbeque on rice lunch plates are the best deal going.

                              Both sets of relatives ordered off the Chinese character menu not the English menu and said there were many items not listed in the English version.

                              As for Noodle Noodle (across the street from Wok King and Garden Bakery), it is consistent but pricey. Their dim sung has doubled in price in 5 years. A plate of Shanghai noodles is around $12 now.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: pengcast

                                I agree Wok King is decent... the place next to it (I think Happy Family?) is okay too. Neither serve dim sum though.

                                1. re: anonymoose

                                  went to Cha for Tea Palace on the west end last night for dinner (not Dim Sum). I am no expert on Chinese food, nor am I very adventurous. But, the food we ordered ginger beef, veggies, and shanghai noodles were all very good. Not overly salty or sweet or greasy, not too much MSG (my headache was minimal). The service was excellent! I rarely have my food checked on in most Asian restos, so that was a first. Lots of food, value seemed decent. The menu was HUGE, very extensive, and that was not even looking at the dim sum menu. The place was very quiet, but we were early on a Wed night. They have Peking Duck on their menu, may have to try it there. All in all we would go back. Would be interesting to hear from more of a Chinese food conosieur (sp?) about this place.

                                2. re: pengcast

                                  Shanghai noodles are not Dim Sum, Yum Cha is Cantonese, not Mandarin.

                                3. I think you asked the right question by asking for the "best restaurants", since everything is relative and there are no restaurants in Edmonton that would compare to Vancouver.
                                  I would say that the Saiwoo (Gardens) ranks among the best in edmonton , if you are looking for cantonese style food at reasonable prices. As for Din Sum, you can have good dinsum at the Mirama ( e.g. good Tsin Chok Gueyn), Cha for tea ( inconsistent execution but good quality ingredients in general ), and Golden Rice Bowl (e.g . consistent). Jumbo Din sum can be tasty but of industrial quality, (e.g. thick and chewy wrappings); Noodle Noodle, as noted, is expensive and caters to the western customer as the ginger beef plates will attest. The Dynasty was a good place more than 20 years ago but has never recovered fully. The Wok King and the Hong Kong Bakery are OK. There is a small restaurant on 107th and 170th street ( behind the Harvey's) where they make Din Sum to order which has good sticky rice ( Lo men khai) and other home made din sum. Sam Wok on 80th ave and Calgary Trail , is also an Ok bakery style restaurant. I still mourn the passing of the the Mei Yee Lin in a basement on 97th and 107th.
                                  Ive never been to any of the "Buddy" restaurants and i understand that the Blue Willow and Lingnam are "chicken ball" style restaurants. I enjoy some junk chinese once in a while but i save that for when I am stranded in a food fair or go to the T&T. Lastly, try the Happy Garden for Northen Style chinese, if you don't mind a room that should have been renovated when they opened almost 30 years ago.

                                  I will try the couple of holes in the wall on the southside that have been mentioned. They sound promising

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: felix the hound

                                    FYI - Sam Wok has moved further south on calgary trail - somewhere around 63rd ave maybe? Planet organic is taking over and expanding into where sam wok used to be, and into where that chinese grocery store used to be - you know, the back of that plaza. it's going to be very large when they are finished.

                                    1. re: ihatepickyeaters

                                      Ooooooo great to hear - I'll miss the old location of SW for nostalgia "after the bar on Whyte" reasons but good to know they are not gone. Probably the best pot sticker style dumplings I've ever had there - thanks for the info! I'll have to hit that next time I dare to leave Vancouver to visit the folks back home :)

                                    2. re: felix the hound

                                      Update. I would take Mirama off my list of Dim Sum places based on the two weekday lunches I had there recently after a while. In the meantime Cha for Tea consistency has improved and there is a new place called Unforgettable that sounds promising . I have tried the Unforgettable's Lo Mai Gai (take out) and it is very good, classic style (could use some black mushrooms)

                                    3. Actually, I think that there is pretty good Chinese food in Edmonton. I'm Chinese and I travel extensively. Yes, the food in better on the mainland and HK, but that's not a very fair comparison. I find Chinese food, on the whole, in New York and San Francisco pretty poor, so much so that when my American relatives (also Chinese) want to take me out to eat there, I ask to have Italian. I have had terrific Chinese meals in London, but that last one was 75 Pounds for two, no alcohol. I have also had good meals in Vancouver, but not so good as to justify the much higher prices. As for Edmonton, Chinese is pretty consistently good, so much so that even when my Occidental friends want to go to the Tan Tan, I'm not gripped with fear.

                                      Anyway to answer the question, there are two types of Chinese cuisine readily available in Edmonton - Traditional Cantonese and HK Noodle House:

                                      Traditional Chinese - Best: Jumbo Seafood and Dim Sum, Cha for Tea Palace, Good: Noodle Noodle, Dynasty, Buddy Wonton, Golden Rice Bowl.

                                      Hong Kong Noodle Shop - Best: Spicy Garden, Double Greetings Wonton House, Good: Sam Wok

                                      The secret is to ask to order items from the Chinese Menu and ask the waiter/waitress to recommend some dishes if you can't read Chinese - Noodle Noodle is the best place to try this.

                                      Some tips, Chinese consider "white meat" especially the breast to be the worst part of the chicken - white meat only dishes are totally westernized - dark meat is moist and juicy, most Chinese will order a whole or half chicken. Chinese eat whole fish (presented head, bones and all) , anything made with a filet is likely frozen fish and totally westernized. Duck is a Chinese favorite and most duck dishes are authentic. Pork is also a favorite, most authentic pork dishes use Chinese roast pork as the base, though not always, however a Chinese chef is not likely to waste good roast pork on a fakey dish. Rice that is not sticky and a little clumpy is defective. Fried rice is a dish that is meant to be eaten alone. Boiled or steamed rice is the correct side dish. Noodles are not cut (bad luck), take a manageable amount at a time pulling the noodles up and then over to your dish.

                                      If you use chopsticks, eat out of the bowl provided; it's easier. Put a bed of steamed rice in the bowl and take a small bite size portion to put on top from one dish, eat that then take a bite size portion from another dish. Chinese eat communally and it's rude to take a big portion for yourself at one time. After some of the sauces have soaked into the rice eat the rice, then get some more and repeat until full. The plate under the bowl is meant for bones or seafood shells (remember whole chicken/fish). Do not poke at food with your chopsticks, eat what you touch with them. If you serve someone else, reverse the chopsticks to take and give them food. Use the silverware provided by the restaurant to get food if you think you'll fumble it. Never move dishes around the table with your chopsticks (rude, and bad luck).

                                      Fried things in heavy neon sauces are not authentic Chinese: i.e. Ginger Beef - Calgary, Lemon Chicken, Chop Suey, Egg Foo Yung, Egg Roll - San Francisco, Sweet and Sour Pork- Tokyo, General Tao anything - New York, Aromatic Crispy Duck - London. That being said, I like Sweet and Sour Pork sometimes (especially at Sam Wok).

                                      I only mention this, because if you show you are ordering authentic dishes and respecting Chinese table manners, the staff are more likely to get over their in-grained belief that non-Chinese only want to eat chicken balls. If you become a regular, they will suggest dishes for you and you might even find you get bigger and better portions.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Jkher

                                        I agree with most of your observations but I am puzzled that you do not mention the Saiwoo ( Saiwoo Gardens) as one of the better cantonese style places. I am also puzzled by your inclusion of Noodle Noodle, a restaurant that caters to the western palate and where ethnic chinese are usually a minority among diners.

                                        1. re: felix the hound

                                          I was just going to ask about the exclusion of Sai Woo as well - I don't get out there nearly enough but I know a man from Vancouver who visits every time he comes here and declares that he hasn't found anything to compare on BCs coast. He may be exaggerating but it's still quite a tasty place.

                                          Edit: I liked Cha for Tea's Dim Sum menu the one time I went alone on a weekday, but their "regular dishes" looked quite pricey to my eyes. I haven't been out for Chinese for a few months but it looked about $3-4 more expensive than most Chinese restaurants of the same quality.

                                      2. Well for canadianized chinese food I like All Happy Family on I think 103ave/101st. The last time I went to pick up my order I was the only white guy there. The vegetarian chinese place around the corner is really good to.
                                        For Dim Sum we like New Tan Tan on 97st/Jasper is really good.
                                        My friends who used to live in Van like a place on 105st/105ave (I think) or 109st/105ave next to bridal/tux shop. Don't know the name though.
                                        Have to go try Lingan, everyone I know seems to rave about it.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Tiran

                                          I'm Chinese and I eat at Wok King. For the chinese (at least this one) food must be 1) good taste 2) cheap 3) lots of it. We get a "Say Wo Choy" (4 person set dinner) and we substitute certain dishes for others and order a few extra dishes. We like their salt and pepper calamari and their chicken. Jumbo is ok - but too greasy for my taste. Golden rice bowl is hit or miss. Some days they are great.

                                          Spicy Garden on 97th street - just under century palace - has the best salt and pepper pork chops I've tasted.

                                          Spice Kitchen - on Calgary trail and university ave? has the best Hot and Sour soup and green onion cake special.

                                          There aren't any dimsum places i like in edmonton.

                                        2. In my opinion, there are only 2 decent authentic Chinese restaurants in Edmonton:

                                          (1) Golden Rice Bowl Restaurant (www.goldenricebowl.ca)
                                          (2) Cha For Tea Palace (west-end Edmonton

                                          )

                                          The Edmonton Journal gave the Golden Rice Bowl a good rating for dim sum (2007). See: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal...
                                          I found a pretty cool video the Golden Rice Bowl did recently at www.youtube.com/goldenricebowl

                                          Restaurants like Century Palace, Mirama, and Dynasty are really dirty (cleanliness lacking). The "Jumbo" Restaurant in the west-end had poor service and the management were somewhat condescending. The two restaurants I have mentioned above seem to care a lot more about their customers' comfort than other Asian establishments around town. The food is good, authentic, and the premises are clean and presentable. This counts a lot in my book. Prices going up are a fact of life. Inflation in Alberta is about 5%. If you expect prices to stay the same for next 10 years, I think you need to have a reality-check. My humble thoughts.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: harvey123

                                            Are you only talking about banquet/dim sum restaurants? Because there are some decent noodle/rice places too.

                                            Golden Rice Bowl has been trying to update their image since the current owners took over. They did some good PR with one of the news channels when Edmonton's restaurant heath ratings became public. I also found it interesting that they recently hired back one of the old staff to be a manager.

                                            1. re: anonymoose

                                              The Golden Rice Bowl is seen as the preferred wedding banquet facility for Chinese couples (like the "Hotel Macdonald of Chinese restaurants). Food is great, the place is clean, the staff are attentive, and the atmosphere is elegant (they also have a private bridal change room facility). As for noodles/rice, GRB (Golden Rice Bowl) is very good. If you're adventurous, try the "salty fish fried rice". To most Caucausians, it smells "bad" (really 'fishy'), but when you taste it... WOW! Take my word for it! ;-)

                                              If you're into soupy noodles, the Lemongrass Cafe on 51st Ave (just west of Calgary Trail South) is pretty decent and inexpensive. It's a Vietnamese Restaurant. Facilities do not compare to GRB. I think GRB has set itself up in a pretty good niche.

                                              I noticed too that GRB hired back one of the "old" managers (Alan). He's awesome -- really cheerful, energetic and friendly. Love the guy!

                                              1. re: harvey123

                                                Yes I was referring to Alan.

                                                I think calling Golden Rice Bowl the Hotel Macdonald of Chinese restaurants is an exaggeration though. It's one of the better banquet restaurants but not necessarily the best. Was there for dinner there last month and while the rest of the meal was decent, the claypot chicken that we ordered was not even close to what it is supposed to be like. We even asked the wait staff if we were served the wrong dish!

                                                1. re: anonymoose

                                                  Hmmm... I'll have to order what you're talking about. Try the "salty fish fried rice". It "smells really fishy" but tastes amazing!

                                                  What better banquet Chinese restaurants are there? Besides Cha For Tea Palace, pretty much all the other Chinese restaurants are fairly run-down and dated. I stay away from Chinatown, period.

                                                  1. re: harvey123

                                                    I usually get my chicken and salted fish fried rice at Spicy Garden.

                                                    Well other major ones are probably Mirama, Century Palace, and Jumbo. Not necessarily better but decent and I would say at least equal to Golden Rice Bowl. I wouldn't call any of these places fantastically excellent; I go to Vancouver for that.

                                          2. We really like Good Buddy in South Edmonton at 2059-111St. They have a large menu, so if you don't like something there is plenty more to choose from. It is busy but the service is quite good. Prices are fair and food is fresh with no oil or msg which is what I especially enjoy with the fried rice and veggies. The noodles are not the best in my opinion but they have some amazing dishes. Our favorite is Peach Yum Yum Prawns, it is so good that I could eat it as a dessert! We are constantly trying out the different dishes, many of which I love. Remember when you say "authentic" you are asking for a new and varied menu., so expect such.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: drtruthy

                                              I guess a question to ask is .... what are ppl's final consensus with the best chinese restaurant in Edmonton? I live 1/2 the time in Calgary and 1/2 in Vancouver . . . i venture up to edmonton every so often and I fully struggle with finding a 'good' chinese restaurant in Edmonton.
                                              I've tried a lot of them but to me the really haven't been up to par. Yes, obviously it will be near impossible to match the Vancouver quality. But to a point you would expect the quality to be similar to Calgary. But I still find a big difference between the 2 cities .... I would glady bring HK visitors to somewhere like Forbidden City or T-Pot in Calgary...
                                              but I'm not sure where I would bring them anywhere for Chinese in Edmonton..

                                              For now, I think Cha for Tea is okay...
                                              but past that is there any other suggestions on what place I should try?

                                              1. re: bobthebuilder

                                                Forbidden City and T-pot are owned by the same people, right? Based on past visits to Pebble Street, which was probably the closest I've seen to an HK cafe in Western Canada outside of Vancouver/Richmond, I would say that the places owned by them are probably better than most other places in Calgary.

                                                Unfortunately, we don't have anyone opening up places like that in Edmonton. Lots of new Vietnamese places, but not really any Chinese. I suspect any suggestions would be identical to what has already been discussed above.

                                                1. re: bobthebuilder

                                                  Has anyone else tried Wok's Up Express (Chinese name is Shanghai 456) by the municipal airport? I live in NYC but was visiting my folks at home and my dad insisted that we go there. It's a small cafeteria-style place next to the Edmonton Flying Club, serving Chinese food along with standard Western food like burgers and fries.

                                                  The dan dan noodle soup was delicious, the green beans were crunchy and succulent, and the beef brisket with tofu skins was better than anything I've eaten in NYC's Chinatown over the past 15 years.

                                                  We were so full after all that, we took home dessert: sticky rice balls covered with crushed peanuts and filled with black sesame.

                                                  Try this place before it moves to a swankier and possibly pricier location. The temporary location is Building 18, 49 Airport Road, Edmonton.

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Wongosaurus

                                                    Do you remember if the Chinese menu only in Chinese?

                                                    1. re: anonymoose

                                                      They have a one-page menu of Chinese dishes. One side is in English and the other side is in Chinese. No worries; I asked my dad and he said both sides have the same dishes.

                                                    2. re: Wongosaurus

                                                      you make this sound so good i want to go tonight.

                                                      1. re: chickennugget

                                                        Was there recently.
                                                        Good food but of course not comparable to similar offerings in Vancouver (e.g. Lin's). The beef Wor Tip is highly recommended.
                                                        They have group dinner s on the menu but only in "chinese". The owners were very accomodating and helpful and we plan to go back to try the group dinners.

                                                      2. re: Wongosaurus

                                                        We were there a couple of times in 2011, it is Shanghai food, good quality "home style" cooking, a good alternative to the Cantonese fare that is prevalent in Edmonton. And they also have a Gueilo menu. I think it was cash only but I am not sure.

                                                    3. re: drtruthy

                                                      Was thinking about hitting up Good Buddy tonight for the first time. Any suggestions on what might be a signature dish or two. I'm always up for everything and their menu seems large, so if there is any suggestions on what to order; I'd love to hear them.

                                                      1. re: raidar

                                                        I've only been to the Good Buddy on the south side (by Heritage) - it's one of my family's favorite places to eat and one of the best spots on the south side of the city for good authentic Chinese food.

                                                        My fave dish there is the crispy chicken with fried garlic and soy sauce. It's basically just half of a crispy skinned chicken, covered in fried garlic and drenched in a slightly sweet seasoned soy sauce.

                                                    4. I feel sorry for the people who think Noodle Noodle is any good...outrageously expensive prices for mediocre food tailored for the whiteman/westernized asian.

                                                      For good Chinese food you go to Wok King - service isn't the best but they know us well and they're very friendly, always with a smile...prices are affordable (don't want to use the word cheap) and food tastes amazing. 3 people can eat, and be full for $44, and that includes Fish Maw Soup and their amazing Black Pepper Filet Mignon.
                                                      They truly have some awesome dishes like their Deep Fried Shrimp in Salad Dressing. Yum Yum!!!

                                                      Dim Sum I'd have to say I'd recommed Good Buddy at Northgate...service can some times be slow and sometimes un-attentive (hey what do you expect from real asians? lol) Food is always delicious and affordable.

                                                      Dynasty's owner has purchased Marco Polo/Century Palace and has now changed to Century Dynasty - good food, you'll find a mix of the 2 restaurants as I think they kept the chefs from Century Palace.

                                                      Mirama is ok - it would be a close to last choice if we ever wanted to go eat Dim Sum/Chinese food.

                                                      Double Greeting Wonton House - very ugly restaurant, bad neighbourhood...excellent food. We will come here for some good food as well, yet again affordable and good portions and flavour. Don't discount this place because of the building, sometimes service is slow but they know US well and its always friendly and we don't care, because it tastes so damn good. =D

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: astroboi

                                                        I would have to respectfully disagree about a couple of things. The dim sum at Good Buddy is ok, but not what fits my definition of "always delicious." Century Dynasty - I went there after Dynasty bought it and frankly would never go back. The quality of the dim sum changed dramatically and I would avoid it at all costs.

                                                        Wok King does have decent food but is there something special about their mayonnaise shrimp that differs from every other restaurant that serves that dish?

                                                        I am thinking of changing my original recommendation of Jumbo as their dim sum now isn't so hot. Their dinners are still very good though.

                                                        Taiphun, in another thread, recommended Delicious Delicious for dim sum and I would have to agree. The menu isn't very big but the service is a little more attentive than most places in Edmonton, and the food is fresh and not greasy at all.

                                                        1. re: astroboi

                                                          I agree, Astroboi. Century Dynasty is good. I was just there a few weeks ago when I was in Edmonton and the food there was enjoyable and authentic- especially the seafood. Very affordable prices too.

                                                        2. I love Golden Rice Bowl. I always find the food fresh, the ladies pushing the carts are very helpful and friendly (perhaps they recognize that I go almost every Saturday and sometimes get take-out during the week). I took the time to learn the proper names for things – like Har Gow, Shui Mai, etc. and what to do with the tea pot to get more hot water – don’t know what they put in their Jasmine Tea but I love it and find other places it is not nearly as good.

                                                          There have been a couple times that the Shui Mai was off for my taste, for example the shrimp was left in big pieces so wasn’t blended enough for me. But have never had a problem with anything else.

                                                          I usually go with my daughter who is the pickiest eater you will ever meet, my sister and one or two other girlfriends, around 11:00 a.m. so the line-ups haven’t started yet. My daughter loves the sticky rice that comes in the glass bowl (we recently had her baby shower there, she managed to get over one of the ladies saying the rice looked like it had maggots in it – guess she didn’t like the dehydrated shrimp) and the “pork in green onion cake” which I still don’t know the proper name for.

                                                          One thing we notice is that lunch usually comes out to about $50 for 4 of us and $70 for 6 of us no matter what we seem to order. I do find that a bit pricey however, I love the experience and they always treat us exceptionally well.

                                                          The second thing we notice is when we are nearing the end of lunch (usually around 12 or 12:15) the dishes we were really hoping to have start coming out. I don’t know if we miss them because they have already come out once by the time we arrive, or if they don’t serve them until later, but we always seem to miss out on something.

                                                          I tried Dynasty once, was put off by everything – the atmosphere, the cleanliness (or lack thereof), the quality of the food and the pricing. I’ve enjoyed Good Buddy at Northgate, service can be frustrating sometimes – but special requests have always been looked after with no difficulties. Cha for Tea Palace was ok the few times I was there. No matter where else we go for Dim Sum I always find I miss the special dishes they serve at Golden Rice like the “pork in green onion cake” and the “shrimp in green onion cake” – by the way if anyone knows the actual chinese name to use for these I would appreciate it if you let me know, I prefer to order things by what they are actually called, instead of trying to explain to the server what I mean.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: nsstampqueen

                                                            If there is a particular dish that you are waiting for you can always ask the servers if it's coming out anytime soon and/or if you can special order it. Some places and servers will be helpful, some will just tell you no. :)

                                                            I'm trying to figure out what your pork in green onion cake is. Can you describe it? Is it actually flat like green onion cakes are? Or are they dumplings or buns?

                                                            1. re: anonymoose

                                                              It is similar to a dumpling. It is a mixture of pork and green onions, etc. wrapped in a dumpling wrapper, flattened into a cirlce about an inch or so thick, steamed and then pan fried for a few. It is not an green onion cake. The taste is amazing! They also serve a similar version with shrimp, although they must use a different type wrapper as the texture is slightly different. Thanks!