Edmonton

XIX Nineteen

XIX Nineteen
5940 Mullen Way
Edmonton, AB
XIX Nineteen on Urbanspoon

Earlier this month, my friend Allie, Nick, Lauren and I decided to head over to XIX Nineteen, a new restaurant that recently opened up in McGrath. Nick and Lauren had been there for dinner before, however neither Allie or I had tried it yet, so we anxious to do so. I guess we fell prey to all of the advertising that the restaurant has done; XIX seems to be everywhere!

We headed over at about 8:30 pm on a weekend for some drinks and appetizers. I was very curious to see what all of the fuss was about!

XIX

The restaurant itself looks really nice and I think it makes a good, local, non-chain restaurant, addition to the neighbourhood.

Wine

We were seated in the busy lounge and given the menus to look over. The first thing I noticed was that XIX certainly was not cheap… not that I was really expecting it to be. We were all set on wine and decided to go with a bottle of Bodega Amalaya, a Malbec from Argentina. A bottle, as is usually the case, ended up being of better value for us, rather than each getting a glass. To me the wine was very smooth and fruity, making it very nice to drink.

We decided to share a few different appetizers, so that we would all be able to try a variety of different items on the menu. We opted for the Ginger Beef, Ahi Tuna Twists, and very randomly, Nachos, as we wanted some sort of “larger item” that would help fill out the rest of the meal.

Ginger Beef

The Ginger Beef was quite different from the Ginger Beef I am used to getting from Chinese food restaurants in Edmonton. Instead of the usual tiny strips of “beef” that become unrecognisable due to the large amount of batter on them, the Ginger Beef at XIX was actual large chunks of beef, deep-fried and then doused in sauce. I really enjoyed the fact that the beef was so meaty, for lack of a better term, but I just found there to be something a little off-putting about the sauce. I am not the biggest Ginger Beef fan, so it might just have been that, but I still don’t think it would be something I would order again.

Ahi Tuna Twist

We HAD to order the Ahi Tuna Twists as I they seem to be the one thing everyone mentions when they talk about XIX. I was really looking forward to them, but to be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. I found that the sauce on the noodles really over powered the delicate taste of the Ahi Tuna. I really fell in love with Ahi while I was in Maui, but I just felt like the lovely, delicate flavour got completely lost in this dish. The Ahi Tuna Twists still tasted good, I just didn’t think it showcased the Ahi as well as it could have.

Nachos

The last thing we decided to share were the Nachos, which I know aren’t really anything special, but we wanted something that would be fairly substantial and easy to share. The Nachos were really good, but at the end of the day were just Nachos. I wouldn’t say they were far superior to Nachos from somewhere like Original Joe’s either, where you get about 3 times as much.

I really enjoyed my drink and meal at XIX, although I think that had a lot more to do with the company than the food. Unfortunately, for the prices that XIX charges I was expecting better, more interesting food. I really feel like XIX has been a little bit over-hyped. I mean I enjoyed the Nachos and all, but I was a little surprised to even see them on the menu at a place like that.

With so many other great, new restaurants popping up all over Edmonton I don’t think I will be heading back to XIX any time soon. It’s not that it was bad, it just didn’t blow my socks off. I think if I just wanted some wine and appies I would be just as happy heading to Earls or Original Joe’s, and it would probably be a little cheaper too.

Happy Wednesday!

6 comments

  1. For reference purposes, can you tell us how much for the dishes?

    There seems to be a sharp contrast between your blog post and others I have read so far – and I really appreciate that! Just wondering, though, could the fact the others ordered entrees vs only appetizers in your case might have skewed your thoughts? And, certainly, if the plate of nachos was over $20 (or more), I would certainly call foul; however, for the type of restaurant XIX portray itself to be, I am not certain I would have ordered nachos. Probably something on the lines of ordering seafood in a steakhouse: feasible but somewhat weird. (But, yes, will accept the “it is in the menu!” argument). Oh, on that (weird) note, despite ginger beef is usually associated with “Chinese” food restaurants, the origin of said dish is actually 300Km south of Edmonton. Yup, the dish known as “ginger beef” originated in Calgary!

  2. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for your comments! I can’t remember exactly how much the appetizers were, I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the menu and didn’t hang on to the receipt. I think they were all between the $15-$20 mark.

    I think you do have a good point, perhaps if I had tried an entrée I would have been more impressed, however I think that appetizers can be a good way for a restaurants to allow customers to test out the food. I wasn’t ready to drop a bunch of my monthly “restaurant budget” at XIX, but if the appetizers had really impressed me, I likely would have been happy to return to spend my money on a high quality meal there another time.

    I guess that kind of brings me to my next thought, re: the random nachos, if the restaurant has the item on their menu they should be aware that it is going to reflect their brand. If you don’t want to be a place that serves nachos on par with Original Joe’s… then don’t put them on your menu! It is very interesting to think about though, I am sure it can be difficult to decide between putting a random item on the menu that will suit everybody and anybody (ie nachos) and staying true to your brand/ vision. I guess I just compare it to somewhere like Corso 32, where every one of their antipasti seems to really reflect the brand and vision they are trying to develop (well that’s what I think at least :)).

    Either way I was glad to try XIX and like I said, it’s so great to see more local restaurants popping up around Edmonton. And interesting note regarding the Ginger Beef. I had always kind of thought it was “Americanized” Chinese food, but I had no idea it was of Alberta origin! Random!

    Thanks again for your interesting comments and thoughts. Happy eating!

  3. HI lifeisbetterred,

    I am Andrew Fung, the chef, I would like to invite you back to our restaurant to enjoy the dining room menu, which we also offer in the lounge, The items that you tried are more for the hockey and football games, We have more interesting items on the menu which we change every 3 months, hope you will back again in the future.

    Best Regards,
    Andrew Fung

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks so much for commenting. I would love to come and try an entree in the dining room sometime. I have a limited budget, so I’ll have to save up for my next splurge dinner out, but I’d love to give Nineteen another shot.

      Thanks again!

      Robyn

  4. for sure our dining room menu appie are start from $12 to $18 range from duck slider , escargot, albacore tuna, mussels, beef short ribs, chicken confit waffle etc feel free to contact me if you have anymore question

    Best Regards
    Andrew Fung

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