I’m a sucker for noodles!
I have Vietnamese banh pho noodles at least twice a week (thanks mom).
I love me all types of pasta noodles.
I’ve been having lots of Japanese ramen noodles since we went to Japan last October.
And lately, I’ve really been craving Chinese noodles, especially from Wheat Garden Chinese Noodle & Dumpling Bazaar, thanks to their persistent social media presence! Social media really pays off, guys.Wheat Garden is located where the Old Szechuan Restaurant used to be on 107 Avenue and 103 Street. (The Old Szechuan Restaurant has since moved to a new location in Old Strathcona).
Wheat Garden is in a fairly shabby looking, old converted home on a busy road near Chinatown.
This particular strip (107 Avenue) used to be lined with different Asian restaurants – including the original location of my parents’ restaurant – King Noodle House!
Don’t let the faded facade, slanted steps and peeling exterior paint and fabric keep you away from Wheat Garden though – it offers some delicious Northern Chinese-style noodle dishes!The interior of Wheat Garden reminds me a lot of your classic, hole-in-the-wall, Chinatown type of restaurants, with the glass table top over plastic table clothes.
It’s bright – with white walls and lots of window light (perfect for food photos!)
I hadn’t ever been to the Old Szechuan Restaurant but I’m told Wheat Garden’s interior is a big reno.On each table is a vase with some wheat in it – very appropriate! ;)
Wheat Garden is a quiet, cute little place.They specialize in hand-pulled, Northern Chinese-style noodles – hot and cold dishes with some side options.
You can choose from four types of noodles – thin, flat, wide, or rice noodles.
Wheat Garden also guarantees their food is halal. I don’t know much about halal, except the most basic definition is that halal meat must have been slaughtered in a particular way by hand – and includes a blessing before slaughter. Here’s some more information.
They are the first Chinese halal restaurant in the city so I can see that being a big draw for those who eat halal.I was seeing so many delicious photos of noodle dishes being posted online by Wheat Garden on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, along with posts from some friends (including Sharon/Only Here for the Food’s review) that I was really itching to try it the last few months.
So much so that when we finally did go a few weeks ago – we ended up going two days in a row!The first time I went to Wheat Garden, I had their Spicy Ground Beef Noodles (boy chok and peas in a chicken broth) – $10.99.
The second time I went, I went for their Beef la Mian (beef noodle soup with green onions, leeks, and daikon) – $11.99.
I really enjoyed both soup bowls – and they were both very different in taste and texture.
The spicy ground beef soup is a lot thicker and obviously – spicier (but I didn’t think overly spicy. My spice tolerance level is fairly high though, lol). The beef la mian felt a lot lighter.
Both dishes included very generous amounts of noodles! And noodles with great texture. There’s that homemade, hand-pulled noodle quality that tastes so much better – even my dad (who came with me on my second trip) was impressed with the noodles.
My only complaints for these bowls was that I felt like the noodles in the spicy ground beef soaked up the broth too quickly so my noodle-to-broth ratio wasn’t as even as I’d like.
I also thought both dishes could’ve had a bit more meat/toppings (but I also have that complaint with ramen bowls in general).For side dishes, we tried their cold shredded cucumber and beef tripe.
I *love* Asian-style shredded cucumber.
It’s so quick and easy to make, but I can almost never pass up ordering it at a restaurant. It’s just so delicious and refreshing! (In fact, after I had it at Wheat Garden two days in a row, I went home and made a version for me and Mike).We also tried Wheat Garden’s other specialty – dumplings!
They offer a variety of dumpling combinations including chicken/mushroom/fungus, beef/cabbage, lamb/dill, lamb/coriander, lamb/carrot, and shrimp/eggs/fungus.
We ordered the all-in-one combination dumplings option (15 of various fillings for $13.99) to try a bit of it all.
Personally, I prefer a crispier dumpling (like Japanese gyoza), and it was hard for me to tell which filling was which – but it all tasted good, and I love how they come in different pastel colours!Mike was tempted to try their spicy chicken and rice dish as well but didn’t love it (too much bone and too little meat, more vegetables than chicken).
I had bites of his and thought the chicken and sauce had great flavour – I just would want to focus on noodle dishes if coming to this noodle house!Overall, we really enjoyed our meals at Wheat Garden!
I think it totally satisfies the Chinese noodle/soup craving and I really respect how this family-run restaurant makes everything from scratch. I also totally respect their surge into social media and hope they’re generating lots of new business by being active online because I love when that happens!
The prices are right (most dishes range between $7.99 and $12.99), the food is tasty, the service is great (they are so friendly!) and I hadn’t mentioned this yet, but there is ample free parking which is obviously a big perk for me all the time, lol.
I have yet to try the other hand-pulled, Northern Chinese-style noodle house in Edmonton (Noodle Feast in the south side) so I can’t compare (though you can check Cindy/Let’s Om Nom’s review for her comparison!)
There’s lots of Chinese/noodle options in the area, but I can see myself returning quite quickly to Wheat Garden.
As Sharon points out, with the new Ice District/arena opening this fall, it should bring a lot more people to the area and hopefully they give these hole-in-the-wall spots some attention too.
Both times we went to Wheat Garden, there was only one other table filled so I’m not totally sure how busy they’ve been but I really hope it picks up because I think they’re great!
So have you been to Wheat Garden? What did you think!?