Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring each of the 16 businesses who are participating in Chinatown Dining Week, running January 9-19, 2020.
Next up, we met with Zihan Liu of Shijing Taste Mixer, #127, 9700 105 Avenue (Pacific Rim Mall).
Why did you decide to open the restaurant?
As a Chinese [person], I really enjoy Szechwan food a lot, which is a cuisine known for it’s spicy flavour from the chili pepper and Szechwan pepper used in the preparation. Many people may have heard of Szechwan hotpot, but they may not know that Ma-La-Xiang-Guo is also a very popular way of making food in the same region of China. Both my co-owner and I like Ma-La-Xiang-Guo and therefore we decided to run this restaurant. Many Chinese living here in Edmonton also find that our food reminds them of the taste “back home”.
How long has the restaurant been open?
I opened the restaurant about 2 years ago.
What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?
Our name of the restaurant, “Shijing”, means “marketplace” in Chinese, and refers to a very local and street-like environment. This is because Ma-La-Xiang-Guo is usually found as street food in Szechwan and it is one of the most local tastes you will find if you visit. Ma-La-Xiang-Guo is similar to hotpot, where you choose different food ingredients from the menu and cook them all in the same pot. However, with Ma-La-Xiang-Guo the diners don’t need to cook it on the dining table; we cook it for you in the kitchen with our special Ma-La-Xiang-Guo sauce. I sometimes explain that it is like a stir-fried hotpot.
What makes your restaurant special?
The key of Ma-La-Xiang-Guo is the sauce that we add when cooking the food. We have been testing different recipes and ingredients from the Szechwan [region in] China in order to improve our house-made Ma-La-Xiang-Guo sauce. We also offer Ma-La-Xiang-Guo in a milder spice level for those who are new to this cuisine.
Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?
There are lots of different food options in Chinatown as you c find many different types of cuisines from different parts of the world.
Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?
I would really hope that our Edmonton Chinatown becomes a more safe, clean and welcoming place for everyone to visit. This will make it feel more like a community.
Shijing Taste Mixer will be offering the following 2-course dinner menu for $18 during Chinatown Dining Week:
Main: Chinese Malaxiangguo – choice of Chicken, Beef or Lamb, and Imitation Crab Stick, Fish Tofu, Potato Slices, Chinese Cabbage, and choice of Regular Noodles or Wide Rice Noodles
Drink: choice of Pop
Check out other special menus, here.