A few weeks ago, my Dad asked me for my opinion on two new-ish Chinese restaurants downtown, looking for an evening venue: Bird’s Nest of Beijing (10425 100 Avenue) and Urban China. I haven’t yet been to Bird’s Nest (though I had heard that their dim sum was fairly reasonably priced), and though my only experience at Urban China was a mixed one, some people have enjoyed their dinner menu. As the occasion would include some family friends in from Vancouver, I thought it would be a great opportunity to show them a restaurant that showcases the new wave of Chinese establishments in Edmonton.
With about ten tables full at the dinner hour on a Friday night, it was busier than I expected it to be. I still love the decor, all dark furniture, clean lines and red accents. And how could I forget the aquariums?
Amanda finds fish tanks shocking
My parents decided on a twelve-course set menu, which, at Urban China, will set you back over $200.00. For the most part, our group enjoyed the meal, though my Dad thought that the portions offered were on the small side. Standout dishes for me included the spicy fish (still crispy on the outside, but flaky on the inside) and the Chongqing style beef with spices (no lie, the tender pieces of beef set my mouth on fire, but it was worth it). Amanda and my Mom loved the steamed tofu dish with olives and ground meat.
Spicy fish (we have no idea what it is actually called – darn the food blogger who doesn’t write things down)
Chongqing style beef with spices
Steamed tofu with olives and ground meat
Malaysian sizzling pork neck
Famous Chaozhou duck
XO sauce with green beans and salted meat
Service was steady throughout the night – it seemed someone was always on hand to refill our empty tea pot, or take away dirty dishes. However, the best part of the visit had nothing to do with the food or the staff – it was our discovery of the tiny televisions set into the mirrors in the bathroom. Urban China really should have been included in the Journal’s recent list of “upscale” restrooms.
Hockey night in a restroom?
I’d recommend Urban China if you’re looking for authentic Chinese food in a clean, modern setting. Just don’t forget to check out the restrooms, too.
10604 101 Street