Sai Woo Garden – Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Each trip back to Edmonton meant dinner with my relatives. It just happened that I was there on my cousin’s birthday so we all head out to Chinatown for a nice dinner. About 11 of us were cramped into a table on a busy Friday night.

Sai Woo Garden is one of the “better” restaurants in Edmonton for seafood dishes (or so I was told). My aunt’s default choice for family dinners~

We started with:

Crab & Fish Maw Soup

It was quite bland.. fish maw is usually one of my favourite soups but I didn’t really enjoy this – there is a lot of fish maw, without being too fishy but it was just bland.

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Deep Fried Calamari

One of their signature dishes; they are well known for the freshest and best prepared squid. It was pretty good, seasoned well and tender. Breading was thicker that what I am accustomed to, but very typical for Chinese deep fried dishes.

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Crispy Chicken w Rice Crackers

Not bad. The chicken was really moist with some parts a little too pink for my liking but seemed cooked enough for everyone else. Skin was nice & crisped.  A little underseasoned but they give a salt/pepper dish on the side for your own dipping.

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Garlic Salt Pepper Fried Crab

Crab was not bad; fresh and sweet – it was a little too spicy for me but good to the rest. The crab was a little overdone but not ghastly so it still tasted ok. There were lightly wok fried green pepper & onions, along w a little crust from corn starch coating around crab before frying.

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Sweet Mayo Shrimp w Peaches

My favourite dish of the night. This is a very “Chinese” way of preparing shrimp – deep fried, then tossed in a sweet mayo sauce and garnished w canned peaches. The shrimp was fresh, cooked well with a nice crispy coating. The mayo was not overly sweetened, with nice sweet peaches (can’t screw up canned peaches ya know). Pretty good~

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Braised Sea Cucumbers & Mushrooms w Bokchoy

Another popular Sai Woo specialty – braised sea cucumbers. These slugs were nice and tender (and not at all fishes from the ginger & braising). The mushrooms were delicious. One  problem was the overblanched soggy tasteless bok choy. The sauce was nicely seasoned and great over white rice.

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Lobster w Cream sauce & Crispy Noodles

This dish was a huge disappointment. The sauce was very goopy and sticky – much like Elmer’s glue. It was so unpleasant in texture that we actually ended up leaving most of the noodles behind and only ate the lobster. What a sacrilege to ruin a perfectly good lobster.

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Sweet & Sour Pork w Pineapple

The pineapples were canned, which is a little disappointing but acceptable. The sauce was a nice combination of sweet & sour. The pork was still crispy when it got to our table eventhough it was tossed in the sauce; cooked well w crispy coating & tender meat. It was a pretty good dish overall.

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Not pictured:

Seafood Fried Rice – not bad, nothing exciting. The rice was a little on the hard side with barely any seafood.

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E-FU Noodles – I was never a fan of E-FU noodles because of the spongy texture of these noodles. They were not bad, flavour wise.

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Overall Damage: ~$30 per person (only because we went for their set menus that are only in Chinese menu)

Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 (Above average)

I didn’t pay for dinner but usually dinner here would run about $15-$25 per person depending on how many seafood dishes ordered. We obviously went all out with fish maw, crabs, lobster & sea cucumber. Service is lacking, as expected (and sadly accepted) in a busy cramped Chinese restaurant. They need to either expand their space or remove a couple tables; everyone was too close for comfort. Chairs were back to back with the neighbouring tables.

Food came out steadily except the sweet and sour pork that only reached our table when we were stuffed and pretty much done with dinner.

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Sai Woo Garden

10571 – 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T5H 2L4
CANADA

(780) 425-9994

Sai Woo Garden (Chinatown) on Urbanspoon

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