Taking over the old Urban Diner space on 109 Street, Tang Bistro offers Edmonton a taste of northern China Xi’an street food and hand-pulled noodles with a modernized twist.I only heard about Tang Bistro after Joe had mentioned that his coworker was talking about a “new Noodle Feast”. My ears perked up when I heard that. A new Noodle Feast? Can’t possibly be. Noodle Feast is one of my favourite eateries in the city: hand-pulled noodles, large portions, cheap price tag.
Tang Bistro comes close to my gold standard. They’re offering up northern Chinese cuisine, most notably hand pulled noodles. Small plates, clay pots, and skewers are also on the dinner menu, alongside a cocktail list with wine, beer, sake & soju, and of course, Chinese baijiu.Liang-pi (Cold Noodles) is a go-to dish for many trying northern Chinese cuisine. Served cold with signature chili oil sauce made from more than twenty spices, you have a choice of non-spicy, mild, medium, or intense. These “cold skin” noodles are unique in that it’s made from wheat flour but through a washing process which removes the gluten. (By no means does this make it gluten-free!). The remaining starch is then steamed and cut into strips. They were perfect in this dish and I loved how refreshing this appetizer can be for a hot summer’s day. We ordered medium and it fell a bit flat on the spice level for us. Intense is the way to go.
Minced slow cooked pork in a crispy handmade baked bun make up the Mount Qi Hamburger (Roujiamo). At $8 a bun, it’s a nice bite to try but I’d save my belly for the noodles.A variety of skewers is available including BBQ Lamb ($5.50 for 3 skewers, $15.50 for 10 skewers), Sha-bu Beef Tripe ($7.50 for 6 skewers), BBQ Chicken Wings, and Shabu Tofu Skin. Skewers are smaller than advertised and I’d recommend skipping the 3 skewers and going for the 10 if you’re giving it a whirl. You get a great hit of cumin and spices and the meat is tender. The tripe was a delicious bite but again, save yourself for the noodles.
The Pork and Cabbage Dumplings are a great plate to share. Filled quite tightly, they yielded a firm bite. The dough was perfect in thickness and made for a tasty precursor to what else? Noodles.
I love noodles. If you can’t tell. And given a choice here at Tang Bistro, you can order however way you’d like. To compare to my usual order at Noodle Feast, I ordered the Mixture of Three Sauces (Hot Chili Oil, Meat Sauce, Scrambled Egg & Tomato) with Sliced Noodles. The noodles have a great chew and were surprisingly not too thick. I would have loved for a spicier chili oil but the balance of this bowl is perfect.
Joe has ordered the Mount Qi with Soup (Hot & Sour) both visits now, once with Sliced Noodles and the other with Thin Noodles, at my insistence. The bowl is moderately sized and easy to finish as a single order. I thought the thin noodles were too thin for my liking, the bites losing its toothsomeness compared to the sliced and hand pulled noodles. Compared to Noodle Feast, the soup base isn’t as spicy nor as sour but table side chili and vinegar make a quick fix.If you’re not in the mood for individual bowls of noodles, you can share a Big Plate Chicken, sauteed spicy chicken with potatoes, onions, and green peppers, with hand pulled noodles. A small order (1-2 people, $24.50) or large order (2-3 people, $32.50) is available, as is an extra portion of noodles ($2). The small order is a generous portion for what it is, although it’s more onion than anything else. I’d add the extra noodles for the next time. Like I said, you’re here for the noodles. Dessert is there for those who need to wrap a meal up with a touch of sweetness. Deep Fried Stuffed Rice Balls come filled with black sesame. As with the skewers, the menu photos were misleading as these came out smaller than a ping pong ball. They were delightful, nevertheless, hot and crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside.
Tang Bistro is a welcome addition to Edmonton’s rank of northern Chinese cuisine. I personally enjoyed the noodles more than any other in the city although I do enjoy Noodle Feast’s noodle toppings and broths more. Portion sizes are smaller, albeit prices are similar. Given its central location, I think it will garner a crowd of its own. I know I’ll be back.
8715 109 St NW