Help with Han's Replacement-YYC
Now that Han's is closed, I don't know where to go for great Chinese dinners in Calgary (I do know some good dim sum places). It doesn't have to be Taiwanese, just delicious. Hole-in-the-walls welcome.
We discovered a relatively new place called Great Taste 123 SE 2nd Avenue (used to be MBA Noodle House) that is more northern Chinese and has quite a few spicy dishes. The food has been excellent and there are many different items compared to many other cantonese style places.
I wasn't a regular at Han's so I can't really compare them though.
I've been to Hans both during its glory days (under the original ownership) and also during its dying days. Hans, during its glory days, used to be my favourite Chinese restaurant in Calgary and it's really had to find a replacement of the same caliber. Hans served Taiwanese-Szechuan(Sichuan) fare which is slightly different than authentic Szechuan/Sichuan fare even though the dishes have the same name in Chinese. Delicious Country and Szechuan Restaurant(on 16th Ave and 4St NW) serve authentic Szechuan fare.
Between Szechuan Restaurant and Delicious Country, personally I prefer Szechuan Restaurant. I've been to Szechuan Restaurant several times and have noted some inconsistencies but in general, I found their dishes to have more complex flavours (eg. the "water-boiled fish" aka fish in chili pepper soup @ Delicious Country and "boiled sliced fish in hot sauce" at Szechuan Restaurant). Of the dishes I tried at Delicious Country, I liked the Braised eggplant. However, I still thought the equivalent dish at Szechuan restaurant tasted better. The other great thing about Szechuan restaurant is that they offer a boneless version of the la zi ji (hot chili pepper chicken) which I haven't found at any other place around town (most places only offer the bone-in version).
Recently, I've tried Great Taste Restaurant as mentioned by slingshotz and have been quite impressed. Great Taste serves a variety of Chinese fare including Shanghainese items as well as Szechuan dishes. I tried the "water-boiled fish" which in this case is called "fish fillet in chili pepper soup" and thought it was quite good. It is almost on par with Szechuan restaurant. I also really liked their Ma Po Tofu, which I thought was better than the version from Szechuan Restaurant. However, I wasn't crazy about the eggplant dishes that I've tried at Great Taste. From the dim sum items, I really liked the Pan Fried Chive Cakes and the Sesame Cake Stuffed with Minced Pork.
None of these places can truly compare to Hans during its glory days but for myself, I'd lean towards going to Great Taste as it is convenient for me to walk there for lunch during the weekdays. The downside with Szechuan Restaurant is the parking, or the lack thereof, which makes it a pain to deal with. Even though Great Taste can be packed during the lunch hour, they do take reservations and I was impressed they got the food out quickly even when the restaurant was full.