Wok and Roll: Shanghai 456

One place you wouldn’t think to find Mack in Edmonton? The City Centre Airport. But that’s where we were recently, in the canteen of the Edmonton Flying Club, also known as Shanghai 456.

456

You’ve come to the right place

Though the restaurant exists mostly to feed those who use and pass through the airport, it seems Jane’s parents had stumbled upon an ad for the establishment in a local Chinese newspaper. So they introduced Jane to the place, which actually turned out to serve some pretty good food. We congregated there two weeks ago so Mack could learn more about his MC duties at Jane and Yi-Li’s upcoming wedding.

456

The happy couple!

I’m glad Jane and her other friends, all fluent in Chinese, took care of the ordering (it also amuses me that there are often two versions of the menu at Chinese restaurants – a shorter one in English for people like me, and another in Chinese for those able to order more authentic cuisine).

The xiao long bao (soup dumplings), were among the best I’ve had in the city. The soup was hot and savoury, and it was difficult to keep to decorum and not scarf down the entire basket in front of me. Best of all, they’re fun to eat in a group – one member in particular failed spectacularly several times, piercing the skin and releasing the prized soup before the dumpling reached his bowl.

456

Xiao long bao

Also very good were the potstickers. The skin on the dumplings were particularly good – thin and light – unlike those typically found at Chinese restaurants.

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Potstickers

Mack was a bit hesitant about trying the red bean cakes, but he was easily swayed once he took his first bite. Of course, it’s hard not to love anything deep-fried, but in this case, the sweet and salty combination of the red bean filling and crispy exterior won him over. I know my Mum (a huge fan of red bean cakes) would love this version.

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Red bean cakes

Other dishes we sampled included a hot and sour soup (not for the faint of heart – it definitely was more hot than sour) and sherry-braised chicken . The only disappointing dish we ordered was the fish – it had been deep-fried to an unfortunately chewy and hard crisp, then coated with a sickly-sweet sauce.

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Chicken and fish

Service was good – we didn’t have to wait long for food or hot water refills on our tea – and though the interior wasn’t visually appealing, it was clean and functional.

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Interior

If the airport is closed once and for all, I do hope the owners of Shanghai 456 find another home – their food would otherwise be missed.

Shanghai 456
49 Airport Road (Municipal Airport Building 18)
(780) 451-8333

9 thoughts on “Wok and Roll: Shanghai 456

  1. I have the same problem with ordering at Chinese restaurants. I don’t even bother looking at the “English version” anymore. I make hubby read the “Chinese” 2 or 4 people combos to me…teehee. I really don’t see why they can’t just translate the same Chinese meal into English. Wierd.

  2. Omg! So excited for xiao long bao! I ate them almost every day when I was in Shanghai in 2007. I’ve never seen them in Edmonton before. Thanks for the tip!

  3. LeQuan – good to know I’m not alone – misery loves company, right? I have no idea why there isn’t a straight translation either.

    Twyla – you’re welcome!

    Foodie McPoon – I missed that post; thanks for the link. Agree with your comment about “odd” places – sometimes, those restaurants have the best food!

    KatyBelle – one other place I know of is Shanghai Grill (http://www.onlyhereforthefood.ca/2010/02/27/chinese-new-year-dinner-shanghai-grill/). Does anyone know of any others?

    Tricotmiss – enjoy!

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