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Wednesday 12 October 2011

Beijing Beijing Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant Edmonton, AB - tasty Chinese fare

Rating Food 7.5/10, Service 7/10
To celebrate my Aunty's birthday, we headed down south to Beijing Beijing Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant. Modern touches add a touch of class to the red, gold and black accents in this cream coloured dining room, with flat panelled tv screens dotting the walls (no one's ever seen them turned on before, so we're not sure why they are present), and a giant aquarium with a carp (no you can't eat this one) greeting you as you enter the door. Service is prompt, though sometimes inconsistent, depending on the waitstaff assigned to your table.

the FOOD
Crispy BBQ duck wraps
We start off with one of my favorite dishes - a hot Chinese style BBQ duck is wheeled out, and thin slices of just its super crispy, flavorful and luscious skin is carved to be served with a sweetened hoisin sauce, julienned leeks and cucumbers, all wrapped in a tender super thin rice wrapper... all self assembled so you can have your own customized duck wrap appetizer!  Sadly, we watched the waiter only slice about 1/4 of the crispy skin off the duck before he wheeled it away, and the wrappers were a bit hard and stiff as they appeared to be reheated.

Crab meat and fish maw thick soup
For the uninitiated, fish maw tastes very similar to pork rinds - rich and airy with a touch of seafood-iness. This soup course is like a chowder, thick, with little bits of crab meat interspersed with small chunks of flavorful fish maw. Its savory, salty, and served with your choice of white pepper (masks the fishiness a bit), or red wine vinegar (tends to overwhelm the soup, but some people prefer it over white pepper).  Its finished off with a touch of egg white to give it a delicate look of a egg drop soup.

Double Lobsters stir fried in ginger and green onions
Hello cholesterol city! (times two LOL!) It was a birthday celebration, so we all dug into two fresh lobsters are unwittingly plucked from the lobster tank cleaned, ch
opped into bite sized pieces,and stir fried in a ridiculous amount of ginger and green onions. The lobster is then plated into a mini mountain of lobster meat on a large unadorned platter.  Each piece was succulent and infused with a hint of ginger and green onions. Mmmmm!

Steamed free run (Free range) chicken
This chicken while steamed well, was a bit on the skinny and lean side (even for a free range chicken who's meat is typically a bit more lean). The deep yellow hue of the skin is normal as these chickens get more time in the sunshine than the regular factory farmed variety. The Chicken is served with a dipping sauce of oil, salt, grated ginger and diced green onions.  While passable, we've definitely have had better.

Stir fried duck and vegetables
Supposedly using the remaining meat on the duck we previously had from the BBQ duck wraps, while the portion size was large, it was basically BBQ duck strips tossed with some stir fried julienned carrots, celery, bean sprouts, Chinese mushrooms and green beans, with the drumsticks from the BBQ duck placed on the edges of the dish, so the kids can have at them.

Delicious ribs in strawberry sauce
Strawberry sauce?! Do they use jam? Nope! These ribs are not made with jam, nor are they sickly sweet. The strawberries are incorporated into the marinade and light glaze (minus the seeds - yah!) lending these spare ribs a reddish hue and light sweetness that complements the savory ribs.  Though not super meaty, the sauce was a hit and my cousin made these ribs disappear like magic.

Gai lan and Chinese mushroom in broth
Gai lan (similar to Swiss chard but much more tender crunchy crisp) is stir fried with Chinese mushrooms, and sit in a bed of pork based broth, topped with large dried shrimp, shelled ginko biloba nuts and minced pork. A simple and interesting dish as the creamy yet characteristic taste of the ginko biloba nuts vie with the crunchy crisp gai lan, savory minced pork and mooshy chewy Chinese mushrooms, all tied together with the salty pork broth.

Fresh steamed fish with ginger and green onions
I wasn't able to snap a picture before the waitress loosened the tender fish from its bones (sorry! the fish pic looks like its been picked at lol!). The fish was fresh, and steamed to a succulent moist perfection. Served with ginger and green onions in a bed of sweetened soy sauce, each element adds a bright burst of flavor to this delicate white fish. I think it may be tilapia as that is the typical live fish served in Edmonton restaurants, but I'm not too sure as we forgot to ask.

Squid, mixed seafood, tobiko and egg white fried rice
With a name like that, how could you possibly pass it up? Its Chinese name is much more elegant, but that aside, this fried rice was savory, not too greasy, and chock full of shredded dried scallop, little shrimp, tobiko and diced green onions for a bit of contrast. I never saw any squid, but maybe I missed it. The tobiko added in a nice pop and sweetness to the rice, however, as the hot rice cooked the raw tobiko, it changed the dish texturally, and not for the better. We would suggest the tobiko be replaced with fresh peas, or only to place a few spoonfuls of tobiko as a garnish rather than mixed into the hot rice to maintain the integrity and overall flavor of the dish

White fungus and almond dessert
Usually a light way to finish off a meal, unfortunately, this dessert was left simmering on the stove for too long, resulting in a super dooper unpalatably sweet and cloying simple syrup dotted with Chinese almonds and some soft pieces of white fungus (type of mushroom). The waitress apologized saying the chef usually makes the dessert early in the morning. We had brought along a birthday cake, so unfazed, we abandoned the overly sweet dessert and had the waitstaff bring out the cake. The staff joined in in the birthday song, and kindly did not charge us a cake cutting fee.

Despite a few glitches here and there, Beijing Beijing Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant is a decent place to have dinner, with a broader range of Chinese cuisine (both homestyle and traditional), and seafood than most other venues.

Beijing Beijing Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant
South Park Village Shopping Centre #700, 3803 Calgary Trail South, Edmonton, Alberta T6J 5M8
Phone 780-430-7720
Hours M-F 10:30am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 9:30am-11pm
Beijing Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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