Last week I met up with Jennifer for a late lunch. My first pick, Il Pasticcio, unfortunately only serves lunch until 2pm, but Jennifer’s trusty foodie colleague recommended Wild Tangerine, whose operating hours span both afternoon and evening.
I’ve been to Wild Tangerine for dinner a couple of times in the past, and have been more impressed with each visit. They are a great example of a successful, independent business (and one of the first Original Fare members), and are well-known for their creative Asian fusion cuisine that highlights local producers.
As expected, we hit the tail end of the lunch rush, with only two other parties in the restaurant when we arrived. We were greeted immediately by co-proprietor Wilson Wu, ever-affable and chatty. This was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to speak extensively with him, and through the conversation, realized how health-conscious Wild Tangerine strives to be. Their current focus is on a line of pre-cooked frozen meals (available at the restaurant and through the Good Food Box) – from gourmet pizzas like Moroccan mint lamb to bison short ribs – which, like d’Lish, fills the niche of convenience with a conscience. He also told us that their Mobile Cuisine location (which had been located in Manulife Place, and served similar healthy takeout dishes), closed when their sublease of the space ended. Wilson said that it was difficult to hire staff (Mobile Cuisine opened during the boom), and that the appetite in Edmonton for such meals isn’t yet comparable to other cities.
While I can’t vouch for their bagged cuisine, I do love their menu. I think their play on Western concepts are clever: for lunch, for example, they offer Asian Po’Boys, really just a fancy term for “sandwiches”, said Wilson. Jennifer and I each ordered one – she the smoked salmon egg fooyung ($13), which tasted like a frittata encased in a bun, and I the butter masala chicken ($15). The sauce that enrobed the chicken was spiced for more timid palates (not a bad thing for a daytime meal), but the real star of the plate was the sweet corn relish, and the crisp green salad alongisde the po’boy.
Butter masala chicken po’boy
An order of four shrimp lollipops ($12) also found their way into our meal. We agreed they would be a disastrous first date appetizer, but were darn tasty. How could you go wrong with deep-fried, phyllo-wrapped shrimp?
Between their attentive service, interesting menu, and unrelenting support of local producers, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed lunch at Wild Tangerine. I’ll be back soon!
10383 112 Street
Monday-Thursday 11:30am-10pm, Friday 11:30am-11pm, Saturday 5-11pm, closed Sundays