Food Notes for January 9, 2023

Chinatown Dining Week Returns for a Sixth Year

Chinatown Dining Week is back for a sixth year, and will run January 26 – February 5, 2023. 15 restaurants will be offering $10 and $20 deals for dine-in or take-out. The full menu will be posted on January 13.

Having launched Chinatown Dining Week in 2018, the past six years have been a whirlwind. Getting traction for a new event can ben challenging, but we are fortunate that Edmontonians responded really well and embraced our campaign to encourage diners to discover culinary gems and revisit old favourites.

That said, the past few years have no doubt been tougher on our business partners. After the pandemic at the start of 2020 closed restaurants to indoor dining, a wave of anti-Asian racism related to how the pandemic started impacted businesses in Chinatown. The fifth wave of the pandemic continued into 2021 that brought another set of operating restrictions. In 2022, discussions about Chinatown were overwhelmingly linked to impressions of a lack of safety and security in the neighbourhood.

But through it all, the businesses who are a part of Chinatown Dining Week have soldiered on. While some restaurants are newer to the area, having opened over the last two years, such as China Marble, Co Chin Saigon, and Spirit Bistro, the majority of participating businesses have been operating for at least a decade. Hong Kong Bakery and Kim Fat, for instance, have both been open for more than 30 years. The presence of such long-standing businesses speaks to the resilience of the business owners and the community. We hope Chinatown Dining Week can play a role in continuing to raise awareness about these locally-owned establishments and support their longevity in Edmonton.

Openings

Closures

Local News

What I Ate

It’s been more difficult to blog with two kids than with just one, something I probably should have anticipated but didn’t think would be that much harder! As a result, I took a longer break than I originally planned – but did have a really restful and rejuvenating holiday with my family. I hope you had a similarly wonderful start to the new year.

  • Inspired by a piece by Ramneek Singh in Hungry Zine, my family tried Punjabi-style pizza for the first time over the holidays. Based on our first taste from Supreme Pizza, it’s a style we will definitely order again. The palak paneer pizza in particular was the crowd favourite.
  • Supreme Pizza

Palak paneer and butter chicken pizzas from Supreme Pizza

  • We can never get enough noodles – our go-to on a cold winter night was our neighbourhood Dagu. Their salted crispy chicken was a great side addition.
  • Dagu

Our Dagu take-out

  • Mack and I were also fortunate enough to get away for a date night at Birdog. We finished our night with their version of a Deep ‘n’ Delicious cake – and I can report that it was a dead ringer for the cake, complete with the foil-lined packaging. The texture and flavour is what you’d expect, but the cake is springier and the icing doesn’t have that sheen of oil. Thanks Birdog for the treat!
  • Birddog

Birdog’s chocolate cake

  • We tried Butternut Tree’s high tea for the first time over the holidays. It was pretty close to Emily’s dream meal, as it’s probably the only time in her life she was permitted to eat cookies for her lunch. We were satisfied with the spread of items, with our favourite bites being the bacon-wrapped dates and the turkey and gravy poutine rappe.
  • Butternut Tree

Emily cameos with our Butternut Tree high tea spread

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