Edmonton can say hello to a new Northern Chinese restaurant, Wheat Garden Noodle and Dumpling Bazaar. It’s a mouthful of a name but the concept is simple enough: noodles and dumplings. Located on 107th Avenue and 103rd Street, the Old Szechuan Restaurant is now home to the hand-pulled noodle eatery and is a more central alternative to Noodle Feast.
With a couple of opening weeks beneath them, Joe and I visited for a quick Saturday lunch late last month. The restaurant was relatively empty for the meal with only a couple of tables seated at a time during our stay. I’m sure this will change soon enough once word gets out of a new noodle restaurant! The menu is simple: choose your noodle style (thin soup noodles, wide flat noodles, medium-width flat noodles, or what looked like a round rice vermicelli noodle) and then your toppings/broth.
It’s hard not to compare Wheat Garden to Noodle Feast, one of our favourite noodle houses in the city. To be fair, Joe and I both tried bowls that were similar to what we would order normally. Joe’s Soup Noodle with Sliced Beef in Hot and Sour Soup was tangy, more sour that hot, and had a good portion of noodles. The soup noodles that came standard with the bowl were on the softer side, great for those who like their noodles thin and with less of a bite.
I ordered the Noodle with Ground Beef, Bok Choy, Peas, and Chicken Broth. Seeing that my bowl didn’t specify a noodle style, I opted for the medium-width flat noodles. The noodles had a good bite to them and were so uniformly made that I questioned whether they were made in-house! Impressively, they are. The ground beef and bok choy mixture was less of a ragu than what I was use to and the “peas” or kidney beans gave the broth a unique nutty flavour that I didn’t think I’d enjoy. After sitting in the broth for a bit though, I was able to appreciate how the beans gave the broth a bit more depth and richness!
We also ordered the Dumplings All-in-One (15pc), a random combination of six of their dumpling flavours: chicken/mushroom/fungus, beef/cabbage, beef/carrot, lamb/parsley, lamb/carrot, and shrimp/egg/fungus. It was more fun for me to try and guess which coloured dumpling was which flavour, although frustrating for some I’m sure. The dumpling wrappers themselves were well done, just the right thickness for me and cooked well. The fillings were delicious although I would have loved to amp up the seasoning for more flavour.
Wheat Garden Noodle and Dumpling Bazaar also claims that it’s the first Chinese Halal restaurant in the Edmonton area and that all food have the certificates from the halal agencies, making it a viable option for those of Muslim faith! Overall, I think it’s a good option if you’re in the area and up for a bowl of hot noodles! It’s proximity to Tao Garden makes it most likely a second option for us when we’re on our noodle adventures. Judging from the rest of the menu, I think Wheat Garden’s toppings are a bit more complex and perhaps of better quality than Noodle Feast’s but the latter wins on the taste of their noodles. To note: I finished my bowl of noodles that lunch, an impossibility for me at Noodle Feast. With similar prices per bowl, I still think that the portions at Wheat Garden are adequate even if it means I don’t get to bring home leftovers! If you’re a noodle lover, give them a try and let me know what you think! Bonus: For this week they’re offering 20% off their new dishes!Wheat Garden Noodle and Dumpling Bazaar
10703 103 Street