Tang Dynasty Restaurant
It seemed for a while that we were losing dim sum restaurants in Calgary’s Chinatown but now you have a new location to try for either lunch or dinner. Kerry and Warren Liang were previously at The Pavilion Restaurant in Hawkwood where they served very good Chinese dishes. They sold that location and have relocated to downtown Calgary into the basement of the Chinese Cultural Center. The new larger location is called Tang Dynasty Restaurant and they’ve expanded their menu to serve a variety of dim sum as well. The interior has been brightened up with warm yellow hues (this was previously the Emperor Restaurant) and the furnishings are simple but clean and new. Except for the lack of windows it’s hard to tell that you’re in the basement. Parking is available in a couple of parking lots around the Cultural Center. You may end up walking a couple of blocks from where you park but that’s not unusual in this part of town. If you’re working in downtown Calgary then it’s probably a fifteen minute walk at the most.
Tang Dynasty serves both Cantonese and Peking cuisine. The dim sum is the usual fare but it’s fresh and flavorful. You may be used to the trolley carts rolling by with the dim sum on them at other restaurants but currently at the Tang Dynasty you’ll have to order each dim sum off of the menu. The one set back is that you just can’t point and eat but it’s guaranteed to be hot and fresh from the kitchen this way. The main menu has the items in English if you need and the staff is very helpful if you’re not used to ordering dim sum this way. The prices range from $3.15 to $5.35 for each dish. Some of my favorites include the traditional steamed shrimp dumplings, sticky rice, steamed pork dumplings with fish roe, beef balls, curry octopus, pan fried shrimp wrapped in bean curd and deep fried shrimp with a fruit mayonnaise dip. You can see the fresh herbs in the dishes. Be adventurous. I even tried the chicken feet on our last visit since a couple of people said that the Tang Dynasty serves the best they’ve had in a while. Not bad at all. They have a number of dessert dim sum including the barbecued pork puffed pastries, which are light, flaky and sweet.
Chef Allen Sung, originally from Hong Kong, has a few specialties. The duck is delightful if you’re a fan of duck (which I am). Try it either as Peking Duck ($34), roasted, or shredded with lettuce wraps ($15). Not a lot of places will prepare their own duck anymore but Sung makes his from scratch. Also try the barbecued pork and the seafood lobster in a cream sauce. Compliment any of these with their numerous noodle dishes. The beef chow fun, a broader rice noodle with beef and vegetables, is a usual favorite with our crowd. We also enjoy the black pepper beef with crispy vermicelli noodles. Most noodle dishes are about $10.
There is quite a large menu with all the traditional Chinese dishes if you have a hankering for grilled pork dumplings, ginger beef and fried rice. You can also order complete dinners for multiple guests. You’ll find something for everyone on the menu at a reasonable price.
#88, 197 - 1st Street S.W.
(Basement of the Chinese Cultural Center)