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Dim Sum in Calgary

Jigga Sep 11, 2009 09:30 AM

My husband and I used to be regular diners at U & M for its weekend dim sum, but have not felt like going back since reading about the serious health violations (although such negative publicity and fines may actually have significantly improved its cleanliness).

Does anyone have an alternative favorite dim sum place in Chinatown (not in the suburbs) that s/he can recommend? As a side note, I prefer the places you order off the menu - not the places with the carts.

Also, can you include days and times that dim sum is offered at your recommendations (if you are aware of these)?


  1. s
    slingshotz Sep 14, 2009 04:04 PM

    Pine Lake in the basement beside the Telus building. Awesome dim sum that's off the menu and not on carts. Very underrated hidden gem. Haven't been there for quite a few months as my grandmom can't make it down the stairs anymore though so hopefully it hasn't changed.

    1. Jigga Sep 14, 2009 12:14 PM

      Thanks for all your input - it looks like I've got a few new places to try this weekend!

      1. m
        makan2 Sep 12, 2009 12:11 PM

        Happy Hill, just after the Centre Street bridge in the strip mall on the right, going north on Centre Street. Free parking. Dim sum is off the menu and I like the har gau (shrimp dumplings). Their specialy is the pan fried chicken bun - oh, so delicious! If you're early enough, you can get the congee special that comes with a small plate of soya noodles and a Hong Kong Milk Tea (lie char).

        Give it a try!

        1. sweeterpea Sep 11, 2009 04:52 PM

          We took relatives to Forbidden City recently in the northeast (Pan Pacific Mall) and the dim sum was exceptional. I know it's not downtown, but I agree with Big Mac the quality in the 'burbs is much better. There's usually huge crowds, so expect to wait or get there early. My uncle was a chef at Yan Toh Heen (Cantonese restaurant at the Intercontinental) in Hong Kong and he was very impressed.

          For example, the Chau Sui Cheung Fun (long rolled noodle with bbq pork filling) was layered with chopped chau sui, not with the measly bits of chau sui you see at other places. Quality and attention to detail was high. We ordered Beef Chow Fun as well and it was excellent

          You order off the menu. While waiting, you can even get your order form and have it ready for the waitstaff when you get your table.

          8 Replies
          1. re: sweeterpea
            sackman Sep 11, 2009 06:04 PM

            Have to second John's pick of Harbour City. The food is very tasty, and not greasy. After that, would say Grand Central. Good variety, and they have octopus! After that would say that that its a tie between Forbidden City and Silver Dragon, but I find Silver Dragon a bit greasy. If you go to Harbour City, especially late, you can order the Won Ton spicy, which they do with Jalepeno's, and its awesome. And the dumplings from Harbour City, made fresh, are the best in the city. Enjoy!!!!! Say hi to Snowy for me when you go.

            1. re: sackman
              howlin Sep 11, 2009 07:10 PM

              yep pebble street(forbidden city)has my vote ,altho i like the cart thing at silver dragon

              1. re: howlin
                Merry113 Sep 12, 2009 10:42 AM

                Pebble Street & Forbidden City are two different restaurants. I'm pretty sure that dimsum is only available in the Forbidden City part (????). It's very confusing but I know for sure the Forbidden City part (inside the mall) has dim sum.

                1. re: Merry113
                  sweeterpea Sep 12, 2009 09:56 PM

                  Pebble Street offers Pan Asian dishes and Hong Kong-style noodle house dishes Not sure if you can order dim sum there.

                  The two lobbies are connected by a tiny walk through area. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I think they share the same kitchen. Forbidden City is the more formal of the two restaurants with traditional Chinese decor.

                  1. re: sweeterpea
                    Merry113 Sep 13, 2009 01:26 PM

                    I told my inlaws about this place and they accidentally went to Pebble Street. When they asked for dim sum, they were ushered into the Forbidden City side.

                  2. re: Merry113
                    howlin Sep 15, 2009 07:46 PM

                    i was told i could get dim sum on the other side

                    1. re: howlin
                      Merry113 Sep 15, 2009 09:17 PM

                      Interesting....could have been misunderstanding on either side. I always sit on Forbidden City side so I've never really asked.

                      1. re: Merry113
                        howlin Sep 15, 2009 09:53 PM

                        ditto but the other side has some tasty looking treats as well

            2. r
              retroville Sep 11, 2009 01:56 PM

              On Center Street and 24th Ave in a strip mall across from a temple is a little hole in the wall called Fortunes Foods.. All day every day dimsum, closed on tuesdays though.. cheap. fresh, and tasty. Everything is made in the back, and its all available to take home frozen as well. Close to downtown and so good.. Though lately the owner lady has been a little grumpy. Worth the drive from Red deer still, everytime I go.. Cheers.

              3 Replies
              1. re: retroville
                MeXx Sep 12, 2009 11:28 AM

                +1, that's the only place that has any decent and affordable dim sum in Calgary. They've been there for years.

                From what I recall during my last visit, they only open for dim sum sit down from 11:00am - 3:00pm.

                1. re: MeXx
                  Pintye Sep 15, 2009 04:22 PM

                  Have been shopping at fortune foods since i was a little kid, always good frozen dim sum to take home. Steamed up fresh, who needs the restaurant?

                  1. re: Pintye
                    sharonanne Sep 15, 2009 08:41 PM

                    I love the place too but the variety for a group isn't good. I'll avoid getting all mystical about the dim sum "experience" but there really is one.

              2. John Manzo Sep 11, 2009 12:45 PM

                Harbour City!

                2 Replies
                1. re: John Manzo
                  sharonanne Sep 11, 2009 12:51 PM

                  Overcooked chow fun at Harbour City and it has carts. I won't even address the tart crust. <shiver> But John and I have had this debate before. LOL

                  Forgive my poor attempt at spelling chow fun. I did (finally) manage thsi summer to say it so a native Cantonese speaker understood me. It's only taken a few years.

                  1. re: sharonanne
                    John Manzo Sep 12, 2009 09:02 PM

                    there's no proper way to spell transliterated terms like chow fun- it's phonetic. Like hummus/humus/hummous.

                2. sharonanne Sep 11, 2009 12:40 PM

                  I know it doesn't fit your criteria of being in the core but T-Pot waaaaay out in Country Hills is the best order style dim sum we've found. Just don't bother with the egg tarts.

                  1. 2
                    23skidoo Sep 11, 2009 12:04 PM

                    I like Regency Palace. They do have carts, but also a Dim Sum buffet, and you can order items off a menu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 23skidoo
                      ilikebigmactoo Sep 11, 2009 12:27 PM

                      The issue I have with Regency Palace is that their quality has gone down here. I find their dim sum to be a little on the rough side. It isn't as refined as some of the other places. However, the best part about the Regency Palace is their frying station. The rice crepe from that station is still best. :-)

                    2. i
                      ilikebigmactoo Sep 11, 2009 11:14 AM

                      The quality of dim sum in Chinatown has not kept up with the new restaurant in the suburbs.

                      Silver Dragon is not bad, and their service is usually decent, but they are push carts.

                      If you don't mind traveling a little bit outside of Chinatown, Central Grand is pretty decent. However, they also don't meet you requirements of ordering off a menu.

                      Personally speaking, I like push carts style. It is more a relaxed atmosphere and allow me to chat with who ever I am with that day. I find at a very efficient restaurant, I can be in and out of there is 30 minutes on the menu ordering system, which defeats the intent of dim sum. :-)

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