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Nov 15, 2008 07:34 PM

Regency or Silver Dragon for Dim Sum in Clg

Hey fellow Calgary CH'rs

I want to take out a buddy and his wife for his birthday for dim sum. I'm kinda torn here. I've heard lots of good things about Regency. Lots of people like Silver Dragon. However, the last time I was Silver we weren't too happy and haven't been since.

What's the latest word on these resturants? For dim sum would you go to Regency or Silver. I do like when the carts come by ... just to make sure the dishes are fresh.

Do you think 11 am is early enough the beat the crowd on a Sunday?

Thks in advance!

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  1. I used to like to go to Silver Dragon for dim sum along time ago, I went again a couple of months ago and I was very disappointed. I have a few suggestions for you. I don't know if you're super picky about cleanliness because U and Me in Chinatown has very good dim sum but it was recently (few months ago) shut down by the health department. I have been there since they've reopened and it definitely is cleaner now. This place is made to order off an order sheet so don't expect the carts to go around.

    However, some other good places are Forbidden city in the NE - also made to order. Grand Central on 16th ave and centre street has the best egg tarts you will ever have (this place does have the pushing carts). TPot in the NW is also very good and made to order, this is owned by the same people that own forbidden city.

    Just so you know, all of the dim sum places I've listed above, get really busy on weekends. If you don't want to wait for a table, I highly recommend going before 11 and if you go on a holiday. Good luck!


    3 Replies
    1. re: anhtrann

      was the disppointment at Silver the food quality or pricey dishes for what you get?

      1. re: sleepycat

        The disappointment was both, the dim sum was a little pricier than the places I've suggested above which is fine if the quality matched the price which it didn't.

        I forgot to include my thoughts on Regency, it's usually a hit or miss, the dim sum is alright but the restaurant is so huge, it will depend on where you are sitting, the carts might not even make it to you before it runs out of food but they do have a serve yourself counter on the weekends which means you can have dim sum quickly if you're in a hurry. It's not my first choice but with a lot of people, you'll be sure to get a table, I usually go there if I don't want to wait anywhere else or for big family get togethers.

        Hope that helps.

      2. re: anhtrann

        Just a note that you have to order the egg tarts at Grand Central although they have carts for other dim sum stuff. They are definitely my favorite too. That crust is amazing.

      3. Fortune foods. center street and 24th ave.. its a whole in the wall, nothing fancy. but super tasty and cheap.. no carts. but dimsum all day everyday except tuesday.. its my favorite..

        1. None of the above. I will second the recommendation for U and Me in chinatown. Definitely one of the best places in Calgary and you order off a menu. For something slightly different than the regular Cantonese style dim sum, you can try Peking Garden near varisty in the strip mall just down shagganapi from Market Mall. It serves northern style dimsum (one of the dishes you can order is peking chicken) and is different than the regular dim sum. I wouldn't say the food is extremely vibrant or colorful but it is more country style(?). Finally the recommendations for TPot and Forbidden City are very justified.

          Ordering off the carts is actually not very fresh - if you think about it, those carts circulate the restaurant while tons of dishes just sit and sit and sit. I prefer the 'order off the menu' style as it is more fresh.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hoj

            A lot of people do prefer to order off a menu but there are some advantages for the neophyte in seeing the food before being committed to it.

            I thought U and Me was good as was T-Pot. I found Peking Garden to be more expensive and had a limited selection. I also had overcooked rice pancakes which is one of my pet peeves. It may be that they undercook them for carts and my tastes have been skewed by that experience.

            Everyone has their favorite dishes and preferences so there will never be a best. I just can't get past the unctuous warm custard in flaky crust of the Grand Central egg tarts. I'm happy to state my bias up front but very willing to try others if someone has found another.

            1. re: Hoj

              I'll put in a third for U & Me (I feel like I'm always shilling for the same places) and their eggplant rice crepes (if you're into trying new dishes). Consistent quality and high turnover ensure that the dim sum is fresh and tasty.

              As for Forbidden City and T-Pot, their dim sum is fresh and of quality close to what you'd find in the average Hong Kong restaurant, so it is quite good. In fact, some of their more contemporary-philosophy dishes are exemplary (though they are often one-time deals and kinda hit and miss).

              1. re: Hoj

                if it was a busy restaurant, i wouldn't mind carts as it'll more likely be moving fast anyways... quieter restaurants probably go with the sheets, but sometimes u don't know what u want until u hear it or see it...

                both have advantages and disadvantages...

              2. Another little less known place is Pine Lake restaurant in the basement next to the Telus building. It's made to order and their quality is very good. I would second Grand Central for a more fancier place with push carts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: slingshotz

                  Right, I remember some recs for Pine Lake on this board! I've had some too-greasy dinners at Pine Lake. Which dim sum would you recommend? (And are there any to avoid?)

                  1. re: aktivistin

                    Generally the mark of a decent dim sum place are the dishes that tend to be hand made (ie rice rolls, congee, chicken feet). A lot of dim sum like shu mai, pork balls can be merely reheated frozen dim sum mass produced from a factory. The mark of a decent dim sum to me are the quality of the rice rolls, how fresh and smooth the steam rice wrapper is. They are very simple yet difficult to execute tastefully. Chicken feet is another mark I use as to have good chicken feet, they have to cooked for quite some time to get them soft and tender. A restaurant that takes the time to cook chicken feet tender generally means that they take some pride in their other dishes. I'm told that in Hong Kong, many dim sum places pride themselves for having the best chicken feet as that is the benchmark.

                    The last time I was at Pine Lake, I believe we had the rice rolls, shrimp dumplings, pork ribs and a few other interesting dishes that I forgot. All I can remember for sure was not being disappointed in any of them.

                    1. re: slingshotz

                      Skip Regency Palace and Silver Dragon, if not for the food quality then for the uncleanliness in the restaurants. While the dim sum at U & Me is good (at one point the dim sum chef from Forbidden City went there), again cleanliness might be an issue.

                      My family and I prefer going to Pine Lake and I find their jia leung to be excellent since the rice wrapper is fresh yet the yau jia gwai inside is crisp. Also, their Peking duck was very good and it wasn't greasy (hard to achieve if you think about the amount of fat in duck skin).