Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sun Chui Kee BBQ Restaurant

Steamed Tilapia
Originally uploaded by Suzi Edwards
I’m lucky, I appear to be surrounded by people who know where to get the best out of Calgary’s restaurants. Tonight’s meal at Sun Chui Kee BBQ Restaurant was...delicious.

There’s nothing worse than going to a Chinese restaurant and discovering that everyone else wants chicken with cashew nuts or a spring roll. Luckily tonight I was surrounded by people who love to eat, as well as someone who knew how to get the most out of the menu.

We started with some tiny little dried, salted anchovies and peanuts, while Eileen ordered for us. We ended up with a feast. Some amazing crispy skin chicken with salt and soy for dipping. Sichuan style aubergine. Fabulous silken tofu with pork, dancing with bonito flakes sprinkled over at the last minute. Some amazing pea shoots, sweet yet metallic with freshness. Thai style beef flank with boy choi in a spicy, umami rich sauce. Clams with black bean. Singapore noodles. Shirley Bassey fried rice (oh, OK, Big Spender rice, with roe, scallops, squid and prawn). And a whole Tilapia steamed with ginger and spring onions.

There wasn’t a dish that wasn’t good or very, very good. Well, apart from the complimentary coconut tapioca pudding, but that’s just not my thing. I tried some, because you allegedly live for an extra 75 days every time you try something new.

The restaurant is next to a good sized Chinese supermarket, so I was able to stock up on fermented, salted black beans, wonton wrappers, tofu and bok choi. I just wish I had at least one of my Chinese cookery books with me…I would be cooking adventurously this week.

A pre-visit Google turned up very little, apart from the news that Sun Chui Kee was closed for health violations in 2006. I don’t care though, believing that the deliciousness of a Chinese restaurant, is often inversely proportionate to the cleanliness of the kitchen. I was proved right tonight.

Sun Chui Kee is at 1423 Centre Street NW.

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Blogger Patrick said...

Eileen is such a great host. I think she must have taken me here as well, though I didn't take note of the name - I was enjoying the food way too much!

I didn't find much success for breakfast in Calgary - the waiting time is far too long for what they serve.

Other recommendations:

If you're staying down town near Buchanan's, best coffee place was Caffe Artigiano. I like Cafe Beano's as well near 17th but it's far to far to go in the morning if you don't have a car. I don't mind Bumpy's for that local touch though I still find their coffee a little bit too variable both in flavour and in waiting time.

If you like BBQ, just for the experience alone, I'd recommend The Palomino for the rock bar with a 2 tonne smoker in built. I went here a couple of times during my stay here, and even just for the tasty garlic fries!

Thai Sa-On was also a great one for Thai food, as was Mirchi (on 12th or 13th) for their Karahi and naan... I'm sure anyone in the office can point out where they are if you ask around.

For the atmosphere, I'd recommend going to Murrieta's before you go and dine in their indoors courtyard. It's bright, airy and quite nice inside, though it's a lot more formal dining. Centini near the Telus centre convention centre was also very impressive for tasty Italian.

Hope you get around to some of these places and enjoy it as much as I did.

3:50 AM  

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