Having been to numerous chinatowns throughout the world from New York to Honolulu the common denominators always seems to include cheap eats and stores selling knock-off merchandise. Where ever we end up going though the chinatown here in Calgary continues to be a place where we always return feeling at home and comfortable. Call it nostalgia but having spent the majority of my weekends growing up visiting the many restaurants, bakeries and one of a kind boutiques; no glitzy, ultra modern asian supermarket can seem to replace that yearning to wander the slightly grimy streets of our chinatown.
In the next little while we'll be sharing a few of our favourite spots to grab a bowl of noodles, side of BBQ pork or the best egg tarts in town. Let us know where your favourites are because I'm sure even after years of exploring those 3 tiny blocks there are spots we've yet to try.
Gee Gong is often referred to as that 'hole in the wall' restaurant on centre street, known more for their delicious food, large servings and brisk service than their decor. Although there won't be any hip music playing or modern art hanging on the walls the sheer history of the place is ambiance enough for me. Located in the same spot for decades the thought of all the dinners with my my family and lunches shared with my grandfather here do more for the dining experience than any amount of soft mood lighting ever could.
Although their BBQ meats aren't quite as tender and moist as other places in chinatown, it is far better than what you typically get at those big asian mega marts that have sprung up in town the last few years. Plus, no where else could you get a combo platter of three BBQ meats over noodles for under 10 dollars. We opted for the BBQ duck, BBQ pork and char sui (roast pork) this time around. Other options include soy sauce chicken, spare ribs or a smoked chinese sausage.
Another speciality is their beef flank which is in my opinion the best anywhere I've tried. Each morsel of beef is the perfect combination of tender meat and melt in your mouth fat. Served along side pork dumplings and over noodles for 6 dollars you really can't go wrong.