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Jun 5, 2008 12:22 PM

Han's-tastic! (YYC)

Just a quick note to thank the various Chowhounders (John, yen, alau2, and others I think) who have pointed to Han's in the past as a top pick for Chinese in Calgary. After hearing all the raves, I finally rounded up four coworkers and made the trek there for lunch today.

Absolutely astounding food; so flavourful. The best Chinese meal I've had in ages. The #5 sliced garlic pork on soya sauce was the consensus group pick, but everything was great. Due to a communication error, we wound up with one wrong dish -- beef instead of green beans -- but we just ate it anyways, and it was as delicious as the other three.

The prices are up in the five months since this blog post - but hey, it's downtown Calgary. Five of us shared four dishes plus rice and tea for $65.

For those unfamiliar, it's located in the City Plaza strip mall, which currently also has a Thai Tai of all things, on the SW corner of Centre St. and 3rd Ave; it's hidden in the mall, has only 8 tables and is cash only. Worth the hunt, but it fills up at lunch.

Thanks, gang!

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  1. I love Han's as well. The Szechuan-style eggplant dish is my favourite, despite having to "wash" my eggplant in my tea near the end of the meal. It just gets too spicy for me! The fried green beans are likewise delicious--crisp but not chewy-tough, with beautiful minced and fried pork and ginger.

    My only beef with Han's is that the tea tastes a bit like detergent. We have mentioned this to the lady there but she says that the soapy aroma is due to cleaning regulations given by CHR.

    1. Did you get the cabbage- the braised cabbage? It looks like the dog's breakfast (if the dog eats insipid looking boiled cabbage) but it tastes soooooo deep and rich and... I have to go there again, it's been too long!

      1 Reply
      1. re: John Manzo

        No; I didn't see that on the menu. Sounds great, though. We wound up with the four basic food groups -- shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. The shrimps, IIRC, were just called stir fried shrimp, and they came in a sauce that was slightly evocative of a sweet and sour, but more umami. The sauce was okay, but the shrimp were really plump. The chicken was the Palace style, which was deliciously spicy.

        The tea was okay; not great, but I was just glad to eat somewhere with a teapot I could pour from without spilling.

      2. Yaaay! Now my mouth is watering just reading about that garlic pork.. Mmm...

        1 Reply
        1. re: alau2

          Thank you for putting up pictures and reviews on your blog! It's become one of my go-to sources for food advice. Keep it up!

        2. Had lunch here today and agree it's good food. We had beef and peppers and a noodle dish with pork and vegs. Both came out of the kitchen hot from the wok. Sad that I found that surprising. The beef is particularly good with more than 30 peppers (yes, I sort of counted). The noodles were good, nothing special but a nice starch to balance the beef.

          I remembered the restaurant name but not enough of the reviews to pay special attention to the tea but didn't notice any off odors. Husband isn't into cabbage or I would have tried the braised cabbage which I DID remember being recommended. Have to take someone else next time. Like maybe my son who has been searching for Szechuan eggplant for a year.

          I'm guessing the cook is from Taiwan as they offer a Taiwanese breakfast on Saturday and Sunday until 2 PM. These days so many Asian restaurants are more pan-Asian than country specific so I could be wrong.

          We waited a while for our bill but the one server was working very hard and getting the food out hot was a priority so I'll forgive her anything. Hopefully they have more staff on weekdays because I know you downtown people sometimes don't have time for a leisurely lunch. Lunch was just over $30 for the 2 of us without beer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sharonanne

            Taiwanese from Malaysia way. They speak a million languages! :)
            I have to admit though, the prices definitely arent as appeal as they used to be... i've faced a bit of sticker shock the past few times. The lady just apologized to me, said everything is more expensive these days. I guess the days of $4.95 beef noodle soup is over :(

          2. Just had dinner there, and wanted to recommend the eggplant with pork intestine hot pot. It's similar to the spicy Szechuan-style eggplant but has a deeper flavour with the added intestine (not tripe). I know, I know, not for the squeamish but if you're into that kinda thing, Han's does a great hot pot.