Baijiu has yet to open but I can tell you it’s one of 2017’s new Edmonton restaurants that I’m excited about. The small Asian plates and cocktail bar is due to open in Mercer Warehouse and promises flavour-packed dishes by Chef Alexei Boldireff and boozy drinks by Tommie Cheng. I was lucky enough to attend both of their pop-ups last year at sister restaurant North 53. Here’s just a glimpse of what Baijiu’s been testing out!
Menu for Baijiu Pop-Up on August 15, 2016
Deviled Tea Eggs Black Tea, Crispy Shallot, Pickled Chilies, Wasabi, Scallions. Literally a flavour bomb. One of the best bites I’ve had in a while, the pickled chilies and wasabi really hitting your face hard.
Gangjeong Green Beans Gochujang, Shoyu, Ginger, Garlic, Lime, Roasted Cashews.
Taiwanese Stirfried Cabbage Confit Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Bird’s Eye Chili, Egg, Chimichurri, Soy. (Not shown.)
Char Siu Pico Fried Rice BBQ Pork, Tofu, Egg, Bean Sprouts, 5-Spice, Hoisin. I vote pico de gallo to be on top of rice more often. This dish would be killer with some added crispy bits from a stone bowl.
Coconut Pork Ssam Slow Roasted Irvings Pork Shoulder, Crispy Noodles, Pickled Carrots, Cucumber, Nuoc Cham, Lettuce Wraps. A fusion of Korean and Vietnamese flavours. The nuoc cham was pungent and acidic but balanced with a sweeter glaze on the pork shoulder.
Ice Cream Bao Fried Steam Bun, Coconut-Milk Chocolate Semi Freddo. I’m crossing my fingers that this stays on Baijiu’s menu. Absolutely loved this dessert!
Cocktails for Baijiu Pop-Up on August 15, 2016:
Happa Grappa Flip Nigorizake, Honey Grappa, Single Malt Scotch, Lemon, Whole Egg, Orange Bitters, Matcha Greet Tea Powder.
Congnac West Cognac, Sweet Vermouth, Chai Tea Infused Pomegranate Juice, Angostura Bitters.
Last Days in Vietnam Lemongrass Soju, Cognac, Oloroso Sherry, Black Pepper and Thai Basily Syrup, Soursop, Lime, Bird’s Eye Chili.
Sakura Spritz Plum Wine, Cointreau, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rose & Hibiscus Syrup, Sparkling Wine.
El Segundo Tequila, Cachaça, Lime, Sarsaparilla and Habanero Cardamom Syrup, Basil, Asahi Dry.
Kowloon Blood Alley Single Malt Scotch, Mescal, Cherry Heering, Ruby Port, Campari, Ginger Syrup.
Menu for Baijiu Pop-Up on December 19, 2016
Pine Haven Beef Carpaccio Grass-Fed Chuck, Sesame Sauce, Jalapeño Ponzu, Crispy Shallots, Scallions. I’m happy to see Baijiu continue to locally source their proteins, the night’s features from Pine Haven, a Hutterite colony near Wetaskiwin.
Pork & Shrimp Lion’s Head Dumplings Pine Haven Pork, White Shrimp, Soy, Garlic, Cabbage, Sesame, Ginger-Chili Sauce. I thought the wrapper was a touch thick for my liking but the ginger-chili sauce was noteworthy.
Char-Siu Carrots Baby Carrots, Hoisin, 5-Spice, Honey, Soy, Cilantro, Lime, Roasted Peanuts.
Lemongrass Beef Udon Handcut Udon Noodles, Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs, Mustard Greens, Mushroom Dashi. I’ve never had housemade udon noodles outside of Japan before so this was a pleasant surprise!
5 Spice Mandarin Orange Pavlova Crispy Meringue, Mandarin Orange Gel, Orange Custard, Matcha Green Tea. As with the last pop-up, dessert didn’t disappoint!
Cocktails for Baijiu Pop-Up on December 19, 2016
Sakura Spritz Umeshu, Cointreau, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rose & Hisbiscus, Bubbles. A repeat of the last pop-up and perfect for summer.
Lazy Susan Rhum Agricole, Tequila Blanco, Aperol, Guava Puree, Grapefruit, Lime, Absinthe. My favourite of the night’s selection.
Corn & Oilers Rye Blackstrap Rum, Averna, House Falernum.
Nilo-Brasileiro Cachaça, Ginseng & Pandan Syrup, Pineapple Puree, Lime, Sapporo.
Rippongi Sour Japanese Whiskey, Calvados, Lemon, Ginger Syrup, Eggwhite. Photographed.
Baijiu (opening 2017)
10359 – 104 Street