Hans Restaurant - YYC
Any been to Hans Restaurant in Chinatown lately? Just wondering if it's still as good as before. I went was a few months ago (around late spring/early summer). During this visit, I found out that the older couple who used to own and run this place had sold it. The older lady(previous owner) was still working there during the transition to the new owners. The food was still identical to before because I suspect she cooked our dishes, esp. when she saw us there as we were regulars. My favourite dishes are the fish stew hot pot (aka water-cooked fish), the wontons in red sauce(chili oil), the soy sauce egg plant, the pork belly with cabbage and spicy green beans.
Shortly thereafter, I went back again and this time we could taste the difference in some of the dishes. The spicy fish stew hot pot (water-cooked fish) didn't taste quite the same. It was still spicy and all the ingredients were there but it didn't have the depth of flavours as it did before. Since we were regulars and we never had consistency issues with Hans in the past, we could tell it was someone else who made the dish. The other dishes tasted fine that day as the older lady was still working there that day.
I haven't been back since so I'm wondering how the food is now.
Unfortunately, the cook is not likely to re-surface elsewhere. Rumor has it that the original owners of Hans (the older couple) were retired and then had opened Hans as a hobby. The husband had many, many years of experience cooking in Asia. Now that they've sold Hans, I highly doubt that they will be opening another place.
Hans was my favourite chinese restaurant. I honestly could say it was the best chinese food that I had in Calgary in terms of freshness and flavours. They were on par with the stuff that I tasted in Asia. The breath of the wok (wok hay) for some of their dishes like the spicy green beans and the soy sauce eggplant was second to none.
Hmmm... now that you mention it, we had the same experience, with May (I think that's her name) pointing out to us the last couple of visits that she'd cooked for us. I think they're being pretty specific with the new chef in the handover though.
FYI- we stopped by today (after the Pride parade) for lunch and they're on holidays but reopening very soon, I think on the 7th.