When it comes to Chinese cuisine, the standard North-Americanized, everything-soaked-in-generic-soya-sauce dishes don’t often fulfill cravings for authentic flavour. If you’re looking for Chinese food that has an interesting twist, consider East. While its food is branded as modern Chinese, the menu features street-hawker fare, inspired by the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. It’s a mix of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, blending the tastes of both countries into unique dishes such as the double-boiled superior broth with sea bass and ginger. Restaurateur Richard Lim’s goal was to bring the tastes of his native Malaysia to Edmonton, and he’s made it into a family affair. His son and daughter even created the smoothie flavours – one mango, the other strawberry – each a refreshing way to end the meal.-Caroline Barlott 16049 97 St., 780-457-8833, eastedmonton.ca
Runner-Up: SHANGHAI 456
You don’t need to fly to China for a taste of Shanghainese food, but you will need to visit the airport. Your first expedition to Shanghai 456 will require a GPS to pinpoint the Asian eatery, tucked within the City Centre airport’s Flying Club cafeteria. However, next time your taste buds will lead you back to the fatty-but-crispy duck, beef brisket soup, sauteed Shanghai noodles and pan-fried beef buns. Light on grease and heavy on taste, this is Chinese food as it was intended, and should be sampled by everyone who’s forgotten. -Caleb Caswell Building 18, 49 Airport Rd., 780-451-8333
Honourable Mention: DUMPLINGS
Dumplings is located on the far south side of town in an area surrounded by fast-food outlets where you probably wouldn’t think to look for a unique Asian fusion place. But even if you’re coming from the opposite end of the city, the good news is you don’t always need to drive all that way for the restaurant’s namesake item. You can buy bags of frozen handmade dumplings to cook at home. Also worthy of note: the spicy cabbage and the deep-fried tofu, not to mention a variety of bubble teas made right before your eyes.-C.B. 2431 Ellwood Dr., 780-469-8885, http://dumplingstherestaurant.com
If you can get vaccinated before the end of summer, will you consider going on vacation?