Sunday, March 31, 2013

Oriental Aroma Restaurant (Saskatoon, Sk)

My husband and I decided to try out Oriental Aroma Restaurant located here in Saskatoon on the corner of Clarence and 8th St.  We've driven by there constantly when they were renovating and were curious to see what this restaurant was all about.  So far it's gotten good reviews on UrbanSpoon, my trusty source for restaurant reviews, so we went there for lunch on Easter Sunday.

We were a bit late getting our butts in gear as it was around 1:30 when we arrived but there were still a few customers present. While waiting to be seated we noticed the roof was leaking in a few spots in the center of the room which I felt bad for the new owners but it didn't affect the service nor the food.  Upon reviewing the menu, it was obvious they served traditional Chinese dishes like fish head, pork belly, tripe, pork intestine and many more that I haven't seen in other Chinese restaurants in Saskatoon.  Near the back of the menu was additional appetizers and main meals that catered to more Western style Chinese food.  We ended up ordering: Hot and Sour soup ($6.50), Crab Rangoon ($6.50), Shanghai Noodle ($9.95), and Kong Pao Chicken ($12.95). The Crab Rangoon came out first and they were big in size, probably the biggest I've had and definitely tasty - my new favorite location to get them in Saskatoon.  Next came the Hot and Sour soup which definitely could have served 4-5 people instead of just my husband and I.  Temperature wise it was hot but it could have been a bit better in flavor as I'm used to this type of soup having strong hot (spicy) and sour flavors to it.  Still not bad.  Then came the 2 dishes, Kong Pao Chicken and Shanghai Noodles.  I loved the flavors of the Kong Pao Chicken as it had a bit of kick to it and incorporated peanuts and black beans in it.  It went well with the rice we were served.  The Shanghai Noodles were also good but by now I was getting full. We definitely had a lot of leftovers to take home.

Overall I was pleased with my first visit to this restaurant.  While parking can be a bit of a pain, as they are located in a small strip mall type setup with limited parking (I assume if they were busy, people would have to park around the block on the residential streets), the atmosphere was pleasant and clean - which is what you would expect from a new restaurant.  It was obvious they take pride in their dishes as the shrimp was deveined, which you don't see too often in Chinese restaurants, and even though we had 2 dishes that had chicken in it, they were prepped differently instead of using the same chicken twice and wasn't dry.  Next time we'll probably be more adventurous and try a more traditional Chinese dish as our meal today is a testament of their quality of food.

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