Offering Edmonton a build your own concept, Chinese Crepe at the Mayfair on Jasper makes jianbing approachable and intriguing.
When Chinese Crepe’s signage went up earlier this year, I was intrigued by the concept. I wasn’t aware that there was even such a thing. Little did I know, jianbing is quite popular in China, a street food savoury breakfast crepe made with wheat and mungbean flour and stuffed with various toppings.
I found Serious Eats’ article to be most helpful in explaining the jianbing traditions. At Chinese Crepe, there’s no shortage of the traditional style but they are focused on the build your own crepe concept. Think Subway sandwiches, but for Chinese crepes!
You start off with a base, the wheat and mungbean flour batter poured onto a hot griddle and fanned out into a crepe. Then they crack an egg on top and thinly spread it for an additional layer. Here is where you get creative and build your own. It can be intimidating at first but here’s what I ended up ordering over the course of two weeks:
Traditional: Wheat and Mungbean Flour Crepe, Egg, Cilantro, Green Onion, Traditional Sauce, Chili Oil, and Deep Fried Long Donut.
Beef (Build Your Own): Wheat and Mungbean Flour Crepe, Egg, Cilantro, Green Onion, Red Onions, Seaweed Salad, Cheese, Roasted Deli Beef, Crispy Wontons, General Tao Sauce.
Chicken Slices (Build Your Own): Wheat and Mungbean Flour Crepe, Egg, Cilantro, Green Onion, Red Onions, Seaweed Salad, Chicken Slices (Fried Nuggets), Crispy Wontons, General Tao Sauce, Chili Oil.
I’m not going to lie, the whole thing sounds bizarre. But it somehow works. I found the traditional to be quite simple, the traditional sauce a touch savoury and sweet. It’s not as flavourful as making your own and the deep fried long donut makes it difficult to eat.
I preferred building my own Chinese crepe, loading it up with cilantro and green onions. Vegetables offered include red onions, corn, seaweed salad, spinach, pickled vegetables, and green peppers. I’m a fan of seaweed salad no matter where I go so tossing that into my crepe made things interesting. Keep it simple, you’re allowed three vegetable choices.
HAVE FUN AND BUILD YOUR OWN JIANBING.
Your protein choices include: beef, chicken, ham, chicken slices (fried nuggets), and fish (fried fillets). There’s also the option of adding another egg to your crepe or adding imitation crab meat as a topping. I was surprised that they were mostly deli meats, but for convenience sake and ease of eating, that’s the right way to go. I enjoyed both my beef and chicken slices option, they’re not shy on protein here.
Your crunch factor can be either the traditional Chinese deep fried long donut or crispy wontons. I’m a fan of the crispy wontons!
Sauces include: Lemon, Sour, General Tao, BBQ, Teriyaki, Unagi, Mayo, Chili Mayo, Sriracha, and chili oil. I was recommended the General Tao and haven’t strayed since. I found that adding chili oil really made my jianbing delicious!
Speaking with the owner, I learned a lot about jianbing and their journey to North America! He hopes the build your own concept makes the dish more approachable and a bit more enticing to the average customer. If all goes well, a second location is slated by the end of the year in south Edmonton. The menu also offers a savoury housemade tofu dish and fried chicken wings, both of which I have yet to try.
Congratulations to Chinese Crepe on opening! With the eatery being so close to my workplace, I predict a lot of jianbing in my future.
10815 Jasper Avenue