Vegreville, Alberta is famous for its Pysanka Egg made by the world renowned Paul Maxum Sembaliuk, who is of Canadian-Ukrainian descent. This biggest Easter egg in the world is a manifestation of how rich the Ukrainian culture has shaped up the town as it houses a high population of Ukrainian-Canadians. So, we expect a heavy Eastern European influence on food and basically about everything Vegreville.
Well, there is a little "China Town" that says, "Hold on a second!"
Along 50th Avenue, close to another restaurant is a taste of the flavorful Chinese origins. China Zone Restaurant, an All Day Buffet eatery serves as an alternative to most western and European food joints in town. Like any other Chinese Buffet around the Prairies, the principle is simple - "taking Gui Street experience indoors".
Gui Street or Ghost Street is the number 1 food street in Beijing, China where people enjoy a feast of local food. This is just one of the many streets in the mainland where both locals and tourists could go and enjoy sumptuous snacks and meals.
China Zone has a lot of things to offer like Beijing, Gui Street. The typical China feel of the restaurant gives anyone who walks in a welcoming atmosphere of learning and experiencing East Asian culture. While outside China, any Chinese food loses its authenticity, China Zone still holds an undeniably strong East Asian kitchen and tradition.
China Zone's food is unassuming and honest. The finished product that ends on your plate was not derived from structured cup and spoon measurements of spices and herbs but from the heart and instinct of every Chinese cook. The cozy and private sectional serving tables of the restaurant provide a place for family and friends to dine and make memories without having to deal with the noise that other patrons make, while they themselves are enjoying a buffet.
The suspended traditional Chinese lanterns that lit the room add up to the vitality, joy, and good fortune that they have been long believed to bring.
The Chinese fish ornaments Pinyin: yu symbolize abundance, and could well be meant wealth and prosperity, and the umbrellas that highlight the food area mimic the canopy of the heavens that gives protection for everyone.
While typically, Chinese restaurant food is rich in flavor and in oil and is an archnemesis of every man's gut, a lot of China Zone's offering is heavy on vegetables to balance the texture and color of every bite. Add up the generous and welcoming arms of the owner, who goes the extra mile looking after her guests, making sure that everyone is well-fed and happy. And oh, did I mention the serving size and the price? You'll end up taking home some leftovers for your next meal.
I am not a chef. I am a home cook with several years of experience working in the kitchen. This does not make me a food expert, but here's my take, I know a good one when I try one. I guess what I am trying to convey more than reviewing the food and the restaurant itself is this: in a small town like Vegreville, Alberta, it is important to note that in order to keep the money afloat within the community, local businesses like the China Zone and many other food businesses deserve to be in the limelight as part of its visitors and even local attractions. Why? Because small ventures become more accountable and responsible to their communities and they tend to put more money into not-for-profit activities and organizations, a good way to attain local economic stimulus.
Learn more about the Town of Vegreville at www.vegreville.com