Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • February-March 2024 • Circulation 5000


Different Chinese Cuisine

A meal at Gui Lin. John Hooper

Gui Lin Noodle House
10626 97 Street
(780) 497-8280

p(dropcap) Edmonton, and this area in particular, has many Chinese restaurants, most of them serving Cantonese food, or sometimes the spicier Szechuan dishes. Gui Lin Noodle House serves neither of these. Its specialty is western Chinese food (not fusion, but food from western China), which is quite different than its eastern cousins. Gui Lan style features spicy and sour noodle soups, heavier than Chinese rice dishes.

Gui Lin Noodle House offers about 12 dishes, each made in different ways. Gui Lin Style mostly consists of vermicelli with different types of meat mixed with preserved vegetables, parsley, green onion, tomato, and (for $1 extra) peanuts and garlic. House Style (Nang Ying, I was told) is vermicelli or noodles with parsley, green onion, and black bean sauce with a hot and sour taste.

I ordered BBQ Pork Lo Vermicelli that included a chicken-pork broth on the side. Ample chunks of barbecued pork along with thick spaghetti-like noodles formed the basis for this dish, complemented by the vegetables and other ingredients. Crunchy peanuts, soft tomato, smooth noodles, tender pork, bits of parsley, and green onion each added its own unique taste and texture. But it was the pickled vegetables that dominated the taste and differentiated these dishes from other Chinese cuisine. The broth, clean and delicious, helped to mix and combine the various flavours and and smoothed out the pervading vinegar taste of the pickles. I added a bit of spicy chili just to give it a bit more kick than the individual flavours could provide.

My dining companion, my five-year old nephew and a shrimp fan, satisfied himself with an appetizer of bacon-wrapped prawn skewers with a side of rice and a side of peanuts. Thankfully, there was enough meat in my dish to be able to share with him. His review: “It was really good, but not as good as Mama’s cooking!” Gui Lin style food really cannot be compared to Mama’s cooking (as good as it is) or even other styles of Chinese cooking (as good as they are). It is a unique taste and (I believe) unique to our neighbourhood.

The main courses were $10-12 and appetizers about half that, quite reasonable. Debit cards and cash are accepted (no credit) and the place is open six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday).

John lives in Boyle Street.

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