Birthday Dinner (Part Three): The Lingnan
It’s been 25 posts now since I’ve started this blog and not a single mention of my family. While I do spend a majority of my time with my friends and Joe, I do spend a bit of time with my parents. For my birthday, we decided to go to Lingnan, one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Edmonton. You might have also heard about Lingnan on the popular reality TV show, “The Quon Dynasty” that use to air on CityTV. My dad told me stories of how he use to eat there when he first moved to Canada and how the beef broccoli was very good (typical fare for my father). It’s been years since my parents have gone, and I’ve never been myself.
Located a little off of Chinatown, the Lingnan sign towers over the small building. Once inside though, it’s actually quite large. The first thing I noticed: my family and I did not fit in. The entire restaurant was Caucasian! With a TV show and a large social media following, this comes to no surprise that people other than the Chinese community would know about the place. But completely Caucasian? Although the decor was entirely Chinese, at one point my elderly grandmother asked if we were at a Canadian restaurant or a Chinese restaurant, as she stared down at the empty plate, knife, and fork in front of her. Good question grandma! I was starting to worry that the menu would consist of ginger beef, lemon chicken, and sweet and sour pork balls.
Thankfully, the menu seemed quite consistent with other Chinese restaurants. We chose two soups, three dishes and ordered a side of steamed rice as soon as we could. There were signs posted at the entrance and in the waiting section that our meal might take up to two hours to complete because they make it fresh. I wasn’t sure if this implied that all other Chinese restaurants did not make my food fresh… or their chef is very overwhelmed with orders. It was definitely the latter, take-out orders were brought out to the front faster than dishes were coming out to the actual tables. Our soups didn’t come out until 40 minutes after ordering but we did get a visit from the owner, Amy, multiple times apologizing that it was a busy night.
I chose the Gee Gee chicken as my dish. It said it was an all time favorite on the menu and the name seemed to ring a bell with me. The chicken was delicious! Served in a stone pot and brought out sizzling, I enjoyed it. The cuts of chicken were quality and there was a lot left over by the end of the night.
Next was my mom’s choice: Szechuan shrimp. She loves seafood and spicy (totally opposite of my father). It didn’t have as much heat as I thought it would, but there was so much shrimp nobody bothered to criticize. Mixed in with onions, peppers, and corn, this was my favorite dish. A handful of cashews were also thrown into the stir fry to be served on top of crispy vermicilli noodles.
My dad’s all-time go-to dish of beef and broccoli didn’t make the cut as he realized there nobody chose a noodle dish. He opted for the next closest thing: a chow mein dish with beef. This was nicely cooked, well seasoned, and quality ingredients. Sometimes Chinese restaurants tend to skimp on quality to trade up for quantity but The Lingnan did a good job of doing both.
It was a good experience and I enjoyed my time at The Lingnan. They were absolutely right, it took us an hour and forty minutes to complete our meal, finished off with fortune cookies. I don’t think I would return, even though the food was well done. The wait time just doesn’t make sense for Chinese food! Perhaps that’s why their take-out is so popular. If ever craving for Lingnan, I would most definitely order to go. Or! Better yet, they also have a food truck that serves their specialty, “crack chicken” from their sister restaurant, “Chicken For Lunch” in downtown. It was a nice way to wind down for the weekend though!The Lingnan
10582 – 104 St
(780) 426-3975Twitter: @thequondynasty
Facebook: Quon Dynasty