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"Chinese" Restaurant for family dinner in Calgary this Saturday

We will be in Calgary this weekend to see my teenage son play the Inter-cities indoor soccer matches and would like to try good regional chinese restaurant (Cantonese, Shanghai, Taiwanese). We are staying at the Delta Bow Valley but are prepared to drive if necessary.

A scan of previous postings suggests Han's as an excellent choice but I am concerned that with only 8 tables it might be difficult to get in. T-Pot and Forbidden City also have good reviews in the large hall category. I would like your opinion on these potential choices and any other.

My preference would be a place where the "English" menu is the same or close to the "Chinese" menu and the execution the same. ( We sometimes order blind from the chinese menu to try something -hopefully- new)

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  1. Silver Dragon may fit the bill, and is walking distance from your hotel.

    1. Gotta be the Cultural Centre Restaurant at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Chinatown. Outstanding authentic food - also the self-serve hot pot buffet that Andree and Manzo have raved about which we will try soon.

      The Buddhist's feast, Ma Poh Tofu, Dow Miu with garlic, and braised duck with spinach and mushrooms that we had were all delicious and thankfully not very greasy or filled with MSG.

      Lots of Chinese people and families in attendance too!

      1. Szechuan restaurant has been growing on me, and isn't too far a drive from you. It is pretty spicy though, but the menu is the same in English as it is Mandarin (and some pictures). Lots of specials which you can ask about as well (seeing as I don't speak or read Mandarin, my Cantonese doesn't help me much). Food is excellent & authentic, although the decor is spartan. Clientele is pretty much Asian.

        http://www.yelp.ca/biz/szechuan-resta...

        Edgemont City in suburbia (Edgemont) is fantastic, but no where near you. Of course T-Pot (a tad expensive) is also out in suburbia, but on the way out to Edmonton.

        Will be trying the Cultural Centre soon! And its within walking distance for you.

        1. Han's is not that busy on Saturdays- we've never once had a problem getting a table. Dinner is very quiet; lunch less so but no problem if you get there before 12. There is no gwai lo menu at Han's; there is only the one menu.

          Oh, and I see you specify "dinner." HAN'S. You will not have a problem getting a table, but note they still list an 8pm closing time. I say "still" because their takeout menu says 11.

          1. Well, if you can take spicy foods, head for chinatown's (you can take the C-train and walk from Center street station)
            1.Delicious country (Sichuan food, not westernized) just opposite Dragon Mall City and next to a bookstore. The space can be narrow if you want to have a big party of people eating there.
            2.There's also a restaurant in chinatown that says it serves Sichuan and Shanghai food just further down the road away from Silver Dragon and turn right. (it's got yellow and red letters) I forgot the name but it's something called MBB or something. (They changed the menu and now a lot of dishes are in picture forms, so if you don't understand Chinese, you can ask the waiters) When I thought of the name I'll come back and tell you.
            3. I think another good one is U&Me... they got a great selections too other than their dim sum. (but I guess you can ask them for Chinese menu even during dim sum hour).
            4. Edgemont City is also awesome and quite authentic regional Chinese food, but it's in the NW, so it probably would take a long time from where you are.

            T-Pot, I got admit their food is pretty good, but they're too far away and they've hidden charged me. (like for the veggie dish, he asked how I would like it, and added an extra dollar on top without explaining it) but that was over a year ago, so IDK what's it like now. Oh, I will try the Cultural Center Restaurant and I kept holding it off. What's Han's? Gotta find that out.

            6 Replies
            1. re: manio

              Do you mean MBA Noodle House?

              Han's is in the same building as Delicious Country, next to Rogers. Amazing Taiwanese food.

              manio- OP is staying at the Hyatt. No point in taking the C-Train since the Centre St Station is next to it.

              -----
              Delicious Country
              303 Centre St SW #104, Calgary, AB T2P 2B9, CA

              1. re: John Manzo

                We arrived to Calgary early so we tried Han's for lunch .Unfortunately it was closed (Saturday at about 1:45 pm) even though the schedule on the door said open 11 to 8 ,closed Mondays. Not clear what the situation is .

                So we ended up at Delicious Country in the same mall , the place was full, no gwei los, so we went in.. We ordered the Deluxe Seafood and Tofu soup, House spicy chicken and Special hand made noodles. I am not sure we got the right soup, it had tofu and very little seafood, all chpped up finely, it had the look and consistency of a watered down fish maw soup, but not as tasty, it had a strong chicken broth taste , but not in a good way. Would not order again. The spicy chicken was good, if you are prepared to chew the deep fried bones that made up 50% of the dish. I enjoyed the leeks which at first i thought were thick green onions and the generous dried hot peppers ( no seeds). The hand made noodles dish was the winner, thick chewy noodles with a well balanced sauce of vegetables, meat and egg, finely sliced, whith a hint of spiciness ( one pepper out of three)

                On our way back to the hotel we checked out the Chinese Cultural centre. It was mostly closed, but the nice man in the information booth offered to open the museum for us. I asked him about the buffet, and he seemed puzzled and said that the only food there was at the Cantonese restaurant in the same building, which did not look anything like the buffet had been described in this thread. Did I misunderstand the directions?

                1. re: felix the hound

                  It's called "Cultural Centre Restaurant" and the entrance is on the east side of the building but not in or through the main lobby of the cultural centre. You enter on the street side and the resto is downstairs. If you just asked about "the buffet" that would be sort of like going into the Hyatt and asking for "the fish" when you want to go to Catch- he was possibly confused.

                  CCR is pretty huge so maybe you weren't seeing what's described here. It's table-top hot pot and the buffet takes up a large amount of the floorspace with foods to cook in the hot pot.

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Thanks John, I'll go by again, it sounds like it is worth a second try.

                    As for Han's, any idea what's happening there? ( By the way it is mentioned in " Best Chinese" category , together with China Rose ad Leo Fu's, in the Where to DINE 2010 awards)

                  2. re: felix the hound

                    What's the deluxe seafood and tofu soup? i never had soup at a Sichuan styled restaurant though. I ordered fried rice (there are several kinds and I usually ask them to not include the green onions) with a plate of pickled cabbage (on a piece of menu-newer dishes- the waiters hand to customers. If not, ask them for it) I've had spicy beef (not sure the English name, I had it for 14.98; go look for it in the beef category) Personally, I hate deep fried food, so I am not feeling the spicy chicken. There's also a dish with diced chicken (pan-fried) for people who don't eat chicken with bones. (I loved that more). I ask them too if I'm not sure what's in a dish, haha. Wish you luck!

                    @ John Manzo: Oh, that! I've dined there a few times but not of recently. Actually, that place is a mixture of Taiwanese and Sichuan styled food; I've had fish pot and it was great! (was actually in a pot, not bowl) the pan fried cabbage was also delicious.

                    1. re: manio

                      And the (original) owners came, before they emigrated to Canada, from Malaysia!

                      Manio, welcome to chowhound.

              2. The Snow Palace is another option though you have options in Chinatown and it's even further out than Edgemont. The "Chinese menu" is at the back of the regular one and is bilingual. I'm not certain what region they represent.

                Someone mentioned Shanghai cuisine which I wouldn't seek out.

                Finally, John M, they're staying at the Delta but your point is just as valid.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sharonanne

                  Why did I think Hyatt? Must have been remembering a different post...

                  felix, you're IN Chinatown!

                2. Cheung's Kitchen is a great little family-run place that serves well-executed Cantonese fare. It's located on Centre Street in a nondescript strip mall across from Lina's (3 - 2111 Centre St NW). It's the kind of place that starts your meal with a complimentary traditional soup and finishes it with a complimentary sweet dessert. A standout dish is the crispy chicken with garlic.