Mack, Kat and I surprised Jill with a birthday dinner at Wild Tangerine last Monday. She was kept in the dark right up until she walked into the restaurant – it was funny when she saw my name on the reservation register and thought, “What a coincidence that Sharon is here too!”
Wilson Wu, co-owner and host, was his usual gregarious self, and was more than generous on this occasion of sharing some of the treats that the kitchen had come up with for the season. First, we were invited to try their Christmas pizza with smoked turkey, cranberries and instead of a tomato sauce, a layer of pureed yams. It was definitely not the usual delivery variety – light with a seeded crust, it’d make a great starter for a party (it’s available through the Good Food Box and at the restaurant).
Wilson was also nice enough to gift us bags of their holiday tangerine-glazed popcorn, mixed with dried fruits and nuts. We gave the popcorn to Mack’s parents, and they found it quite enjoyable.
To start, we had to introduce Jill and Kat to Wild Tangerine’s famous shrimp lollipops. If you haven’t yet tried these perfectly fried morsels, served with wasabi yogurt, make it your mission in 2012 to do so – they’re one of Edmonton’s best appetizers.
For mains, Kat and Jill decided on the night’s special, an ahi tuna with shredded Brussels sprouts and rice. The tuna was cooked well, pink and tender, enhanced with a chia seed crust.
Mack ordered another special, a sablefish served with a dried scallop consommé. The fish was flaky, while the broth had a deep umami flavour. Mack wasn’t sure what to think of the garnish, but actually quite enjoyed the skin crisps.
I opted to try the Siao Hseng Wine slow-cooked Ardrossan bison short bibs with sushi rice. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and while sushi rice was unexpected (as opposed to the typical jasmine), the piece-y, slightly tangy grains worked well. I also liked the crispy chips, though for presentation purposes, I expected a sprinkle of something with more pop.
Bison short ribs
Jill’s dessert of a chocolate tart with coconut and watermelon arrived with the cutest duck candle. It was smooth, with a buttery crust.
Chocolate from the East
I preferred the chocolate tart to the crème caramel that Mack and I shared. It was set nicely though, a silky texture offset with cubes of watermelon and gems of pomegranate.
I’ve never been disappointed with a meal at Wild Tangerine, whatever the occasion. We’ll be back soon!
10383 112 Street
Monday-Thursday 11:30am-10pm, Friday 11:30am-11pm, Saturday 5-11pm, closed Sundays