A Weekend of Eating in Edmonton

Hey guys! Here I am again, back from another unanticipated long hiatus. I had such grand plans to post so much too but alas, life gets in the way. I have to learn to manage and mitigate these disruptions a little better… Anyways, I’ve been busy mostly with some career stuff. I flew back to Edmonton last weekend for a job interview. Then, I ended up seeing friends and eating all weekend long. 😀 Bman says eating is my favourite pastime and I guess I can’t really disagree after this. Eating in Edmonton last weekend was so much fun. Being back has really made me nostalgic and left me with a desire to go and live back home for a little bit. My home city has grown so much since I left it almost 4 years ago! The restaurant scene is BUSTLING, and I love it. Last weekend was full of eating at restaurants I had never been to before, and overall I’m impressed. So I thought I should do a post about it, and give a quick shout out to all the wonderful restaurants that kept my tummy happy all weekend long!

Bar Clementine

I’m going to start with the one that impressed me the most: Bar Clementine. It’s located on Jasper and 119 St. It is a cozy, little bar that serves up some mighty, tasty food and unique cocktails. All the cocktails on their menu sound so unique and interesting, but I didn’t end up trying any of them. They all sounded like they had quite the bitter taste profile, which is not really my thing. So I asked the bartender to whip something up for me and he made me a “swizzle,” which was a rum and mint-based cocktail topped with Angostura bitters. It was pretty light, refreshing and enjoyable.

For food, since my bestie and I had come here at happy hour and was planning to go grab dinner elsewhere afterward, we just opted to share one dish – their butter spaghetti with shrimp and grapefruit. THIS WAS DELICIOUS! Buttery and garlicy angel hair spaghetti with a hint of grapefruit and topped with the most succulent shrimp ever. mMmm… I want more as we speak. Kind of wish we got to try more of their food, but next time, next time.

I also wish I had taken pictures, but I was just trying to enjoy the company of my bestie rather than thinking about anything else so unfortunately, I have no photos to show. I do intend to be back some other time though, so maybe I’ll fill that void in then.

Hanjan

Hanjan, Edmonton - Korean version of the taikyaki
Hanjan, Edmonton – Korean version of the taikyaki

Apparently, this place has been all the rave in Edmonton lately. So I wanted to check it out this time I was back. It’s a Korean café style restaurant serving up a sizeable drink, food, and dessert menu. Plenty to choose from and quite the different offering from the usual fare of Korean restaurants in Edmonton (at least as I remember them – I feel this is rapidly changing).

Among the two friends that I went with and myself, we got some bibimbap (Korean mixed rice), seonjae (Korean blood sausage), pajeon (seafood pancake), Korean fried chicken (KFC), injeolmi bingsoo (Korean rice cake shaved ice dessert), and the Korean version of taiyaki (fish shaped pastry stuffed with custard or red bean). I can’t comment on the bibimbap since I didn’t eat that, but everything else was pretty well done. Snowy Village in Vancouver still beats out Hanjan for the bingsoo in my opinion, but Hanjan’s attempt was still pretty good. I loved the taiyaki filled with custard. Was not the biggest fan of the seonjae, but I think it’s just because it’s blood sausage rather than how Hanjan made it… dunno though as I’ve never tried it anywhere else. The KFC was really well done and the pajeon was good. They had cheese ddukbokki on their menu, which I had really wanted to try, but again, next time.

Hanjan, Edmonton - Injeolmi Bingsoo
Hanjan, Edmonton – Injeolmi Bingsoo

My friends had commented on the clubby Korean music they blasted in the café as it was quite an unusual choice to them for a restaurant. However, for some reason, it felt so natural to me. Haha. This place is worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood!

Beijing Beijing

Bman and I went here for dim sum with his family on Sunday afternoon and it was PACKED. Like lines out the door packed. I don’t even know how his family managed to get a spot, but I am glad that they did. The restaurant is located just off Calgary trail, and I had seen it in passing quite a few times but never really gave it a second thought. I think it’s because of its name. Like, Beijing Beijing? Sounds kind of like westernized Chinese food, which is definitely not my thing. Anyways, there was a good wide variety of dim sum dishes and almost everything I had tasted was pretty good. I especially liked their deep fried taro ball with minced pork and the chicken feet with XO sauce. They had some unique spin offs of some classic noodle dishes too, like the ho fan with beef and shrimp paste. The added shrimp paste gave it a good flavour but I thought it was a bit oily overall. I would take some family or friends here some other time.

Ucellino

Nakanit and I came here for our little reunion, along with a few other people. This is the only restaurant that I went to this weekend that was not new to me. Bman and I had came here before for his birthday. It’s essentially family style Italian dining, meaning the dishes are meant to be shared. We ordered so much food, and it was all pretty good. I think the dishes that stood out to me most was the chicken liver and balsamic crostini, the beef carpaccio, the kale salad, and the gnocchi. Interestingly, both times that I’ve been, I’ve found the appetizer dishes to stand out the most to me. So I think the appetizers are definitely worth a try if you check this place out.

Splash Poke

Splash Poke, Edmonton - Tropical Bowl
Splash Poke, Edmonton – Tropical Bowl

This is a quick dining establishment located just south of Jasper Ave on 109 St. They specialize in poke, a Hawaiian raw fish and rice dish. You can customize the bowl to your own preferences or choose from their preset menu. Bman went for “the Classic” preset poke bowl with rice. I went for “the Tropical” preset poke bowl with vermicelli. Service is quick as they just toss everything into a bowl, no cooking required. It’s meant to be a take it and go kind of place but they do have limited seating for those who want to eat there. I loved “the Classic” bowl that Bman got. I can’t remember everything that was in it, but it was essentially raw salmon, tuna, kombu, deep fried onions, seaweed salad, corn, and shredded fake crab, with a bunch of their house made sauces over top of rice. It was a near perfect blend of savoury ocean flavour. Loved it. As for “the Tropical” bowl that I had, I liked the flavour profile of all the toppings, but I did not like it with the vermicelli. The flavour profile is a bit sweeter than that of “the Classic,” and I thought it was well-balanced until I had it with the vermicelli. The vermicelli made the entire bowl really bland for me. I think the vermicelli just didn’t absorb any flavours and so, meh. Anyways, I would come back here again to try the other bowls, and get it with rice next time.

Gong Cha

This is a bubbletea establishment located at the bottom of the Ultima tower, downtown. It’s a Taiwanese franchise, which I didn’t know at the time, otherwise I would have just tried the classic milk tea to see if it compares to the bubbletea in Taiwan. However, I think it is promising. Its offerings are quite different to most other bubbletea places I’ve been to in Edmonton, but again, this might be rapidly changing too. They have a “signature milk foam” that is incorporated into many of their drinks. It is essentially a thick, creamy, and slightly salty milk “foam” (it’s not as light and airy as the word foam makes it sound). I had it in their winter melon drink, which ended up being a bit too sweet for me, but I did like the milk foam in it. I totally want to try their milk foam black forest drink now, which is a grass jelly, pearls and milk foam combo, as well as their classic milk tea. Totally worth checking out!

Cha Time

Nakanit and I came here after we had dinner at Ucellino, as it was just down the street on Jasper Ave. Kind of just classic bubbletea flavours to me, nothing that really stood out, but definitely not bad at all. It’s nice to just try out something different from the 5 or so bubbletea places we used to have (again, 4 years ago…).

And yes, I did manage to pack all those restaurants into 2 days. It was a wonderful weekend of eating in Edmonton. 😀

Tell us what you think!

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