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Monday 3 March 2014

Golden Central Chinese Cuisine Calgary, AB - Decent spot for dim sum and delicious deep fried fish in salted duck yolk!

What makes this little Chinese restaurant stand out from the glut of dim sum places in Calgary?  Its certainly not the tired old decor, the noise or hustle and bustle.  Its not the lack of dim sum ladies yelling out their wares in a mix of Cantonese, Mandarin and English... but this little gem has a few dishes that shine.

On a chilly weekend, we step in out of the cold and order up some of the usual standard dim sum fare on the scribble down what you want ordering sheets.  I'm divided over these more efficient sheets and the old school train of dim sum ladies with their carts.  I think I still like the old school method more... its louder, rowdier and just doesn't seem like proper dimsum without racing over to the carts to peek at what's under the steaming trays

Steamed shrimp dumplings
These fair sized dumplings are packed with savory shrimp and encased in a moderately thick dumpling dough.

Steamed pork dumplings
These sizable pork dumplings are moist, have a whole little shrimp tucked inside and topped with topiko

.. and so big I had difficulty biting into it, and the shrimp inside ran away on me.  I really need to work on my chopstick skills... :(

Beef Tripe in Ginger sauce
Executed well with the tripe having a nice and springy mouthfeel in a ginger root based sauce that wasn't overly greasy

Steamed chicken feet
There's no sexy way to take pics of this dish, and for anyone not squeamish, the softly braised tender savory meat falls off the bone.

Crab meat and pork dumpling
These had a good portion of real crabmeat within alongside some seasoned pork, but I've never been a fan of them - my relatives though, did enjoy them.

Shrimp spring roll in rice crepe wrap
This is one of the few places in Calgary were you can get half decent Chinese donuts wrapped in rice crepe made right.  The crispy donut contrasts nicely with the soft rice crepe.. and you dunk it in sweetened soy sauce or a sweetened peanut sauce.

Yu Choy
This is simply served blanched with some oyster sauce - we ordered it mainly cuz we wanted some veggies... as dim sum in general tends to have very few vegetable based dishes.

So what about the stand out stuff? I'm getting to it! lol!
Pan Fried Turnip Cake with XO sauce
While there's a few places in Calgary that offer this item for dim sum, Golden Central makes one of the best.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  

The turnip cake is fried to a golden crispiness on all sides, with the turnip cake seasoned and savory moist within... then its tossed in a XO sauce and garlic without making it mushy that takes it over the top.  It's executed far better than some restaurants in Vancouver. Nom!

Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Salty Egg Sauce
And this dish... is worth the trip if you're only going to try one item.  Large chunks of basa filets are dredged in a decadent crisp batter imbued with a generous helping of salted duck yolk.  If you've never tried it, salted duck yolks are incredibley creamy, rich and packs a kick of salt, but used right, it also packs unami flavors out of the park.

And you'll find these cholesterol laden babies here... with big bites of delicious happiness.  The serving fork was a huge salad fork (for some strange reason), so we placed chopsticks beside it for comparison.

So if you have a hankering for some decent dim sum with some unique items, head down to Golden Central Chinese Cuisine... you arteries will thank you ;D

Golden Central Chinese Cuisine
Address 5016 Centre Street NE, CalgaryAB
Phone (403) 731-9199
Hours Open Daily for dimsum and dinner
Golden Central Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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