Authentic Dimsum - Calgary PLEASE HELP
I hope your "yuck" experience in Chinatown wasn't Harbour City- we've always loved it (especially the fried eggplant stuffed with ground shrimp- it's to die for). I'm sure others can make recs but we always end up at HC.
Sun Chiu Kee on Centre St North, below 16th Ave and attached to Lambda Asian Supermarket is a great HK style diner, not dim sum but very typical of homey restos in HK- it is amazing.
You might be having T&T withdrawal coming from Vancouver and you'll be happy to know that Calgary has one, at Pacific Place Mall in the NE- it's even on the C-Train (Marlboro station). There is allegedly a massive Chinese resto in that mall (it's 100% Asian) that does a great dim sum but I've never been.
Any other Van withdrawal issues- most of them anyway, save smoke-free bars- I can help you with. Calgary has its gelato, sushi, dim sum, and indy espresso bars, none of these in the abundance that Van has but you search and you get happier.
Welcome to Calgary- I really like to help emigres from places more cosmopolitan to find their groove here; it's a great city, just not one that reveals itself to you all at once.
I usually frequent U & Me Dim Sum (233 Centre Street SW, 2nd floor) in Chinatown. Hong Kong Style dim sum - order off the menu. Restaurant isn't much to look at, but lots of Chinese people go there (yes, that includes me). Hopefully this isn't the place you tried...
I second Forbidden City as well.
Central Grand on 16th Ave used to be good, but I haven't been there in a while, and I have heard varying rumours of the quality being less then it used to be.
Calgary has way better food then it used have - you just gotta look for it.