Saigon Pearl – Calgary, Alberta

I’ve been going to the Asian supermarket near here a lot lately and this one day I wasn’t feeling the best and just wanted something light and refreshing — I wanted rice vermicelli! So, we stopped in at Saigon Pearl and we’ve been here in the past but we were glad it’s still the same people, same quality of Vietnamese food.

I ordered their Grilled beef and Spring Roll Rice Vermicelli which is something I like to order once in awhile, especially during the summer! The bowl was large, and it didn’t have too much lettuce in the bottom. The beef was delicious and of course their spring rolls were delightful!

My husband did enjoy one of his go to orders at a Vietnamese restaurant Beef Stew Noodle Soup and it was absolutely wonderful here! Tons of tender beef chunks in a delicious broth with rice noodles. It’s a great warming soup – which was the opposite of my dish!

We use to go here a lot more and I think we might be coming back more often as well! The food, service and price was decent and that’s what we love. It is a family restaurant and a place that seems to have tons of kids here. So, it’s not a quiet restaurant – and that makes sense!

Saigon Pearl on Urbanspoon

Saigon Pearl

9650 Harvest Hills Blvd N
Calgary, AB
(403) 532-3999

Surahi Restaurant – Calgary

I really enjoy the flavours of Indian Cuisine, and a friend/coworker actually recommended me to Surahi Restaurant which I’m so glad I took her advise! The location of this restaurant is behind the Co-op off Maclead Trail, it can be a little tricky to get into – but worth the effort!

Once we sat down, we were greeted by the waitress. She was quite friendly, but the service is a tad slow. It was fine though, as we were looking for a slow, quiet, and relaxing dinner – with excellent food! And, that’s what we got! We ordered a cup of Chai Tea which came out in a little tea pot, and was poured table side from a high height to get the froth. The flavours was there and subtle.

We started our evening with an appetizer, where we ordered a plate of Beef Samosas, and it comes with 2 samosa an order. The samosas were quite greasy, but the skin was thin and crispy. The beef filling was stuffed and packed with flavours. It was a great appetizer despite of the grease! It’s worth it!

For the dinner entrees, we wanted something different from butter chicken and the usual food. With that said, I ordered the Fish Masala, which was huge dish of fish that was coated and fried. Then, it was cooked in delicious Indian tomato and onion sauce. It was delicious, the sauce was creamy and the fish was fresh!

The other entree we ordered was Lamb Kashmiri which the menu described the dish as lamb cooked in cream, apple and mild spices. I fell in love with this dish as it had sweetness, creaminess and spiciness all together and it was very balance and delicious. This is definitely my new favourite curry dish.

With the curries, we ordered some Butter Naan which was extremely fresh and delicious. It had just the perfect amount of butter and flavour on it. It’s a great vehicle for the curry sauces.

And, of course we have some rice as well, so we ordered the Coconut Pilau to go with the delicious curries. What a great meal! We loved the curry sauces and we loved every bit of it. We gave this place a chance and ate everything ordered! It was so good we couldn’t even order a dessert.

Overall, the prices are comparable with other places I’ve been to, and the dishes are a little bigger as well – making it a very decent deal. The restaurant is very clean and the food is excellent. We will definitely be back without hesitation!

Surahi Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Surahi Restaurant

8906 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 212-1324

Viet Thai Bistro – Calgary, Alberta

I love looking for little places to eat, especially ethnic food cuisine that I can go to on random lazy days! I’ve found Viet Thai Bistro just off 52nd Ave SE, and I must say, I really like eating here and I look forward to the next time I return.

We’ve dined here twice already, so I’ll put the 2 dining experiences together. The restaurant is a small and intimate place that offers a few tables and mostly caters to the take-out crowd. The prices here are amazing, and I loved their appetizers! I’ve tried their Coconut Shrimp which comes in a plate of 4 shrimps for $3.00, and the shrimps were quite fresh and fried to perfection!

Another appetizer that we tried is their Chicken Wings which comes in a plate of 10 wings, and the wings are perfectly fried. The actual wings doesn’t have much flavour, but they put sweet chili sauce on top which is delicious! They don’t put so much on such that the wings are soggy, and they don’t skimp out by keeping the wings lacking in flavour – so it’s a great balance they do for the wings!

Then, during our first visit, we had more Thai style food, and we loved it! We tried Kaprow Beef which is the Spicy Basil Beef with rice. This was delicious and spicier than I first anticipated! But, as I continued eating, it made me want to order more!

The other dish we tired was the Pad Siew which is made with wide rice noodles, and fried with beef and vegetables. Again, the plate of pad siew was really generous, and the noodles were delicious! Nothing was over cooked and everything was seasoned perfectly!

The last time we went, we tried their Vietnamese cuisine, and we ordered one of their popular dishes, the Beef Pho. The bowl of noodles was quite large, however, I did find the soup noodles was rather bland.

One of my favourite foods in the entire world is Vietnamese Submarines, and I ordered the grilled Lemongrass chicken submarine which unfortunately wasn’t to my expectation. There wasn’t a lot of chicken at all, and the bun was kind of burnt, but cold. It wasn’t bad, however, I’ve had better ones in the area. I’m sure I’ll still order one if I had the craving for a Vietnamese submarine though – they’re very convenient and at this price, it’s almost worth it!

Overall, we loved this place, and the prices are extremely fair – and in fact on the cheaper side, especially with the portion sizes! The flavours are amazing, and I think I like the Thai cuisine more than the Vietnamese cuisine from Viet Thai Bistro! Regardless, I know I will be back, and probably become one of their regulars!

Viet Thai Bistro

Suite 511-15566 McIvor Blvd SE
Calgary, AB T2Z
(403) 453-2222

Chili Club Thai House – Calgary, Alberta

Thai food in Calgary is actually not bad at all! I have a few favourite locations, and I can now add Chili Club Thai House to my list of favourites! It’s a small restaurant with an intimate atmosphere. It’s a great idea to make reservations if you want to go – as the line can get long due to the amount of tables.

We started our dinner with Tom Yum Soup and most places make it so spicy it’s ridiculous, but here, they made it with tons of spice and flavour, but it’s not overly spicy! I think it’s my favourite bowl of Tom Yum soup that I’ve had in the city! This delicious hot and sour soup had lots of prawns, mushrooms and tomato in the excellent broth.

I love how rice comes in individual servings in rice cups with a lid. It really helps not only with portion control, but it keeps the rice warm much longer! It’s a great presentation and a wonderful use!

The first dish that came was the Kaeng Chak Som which was a pan fried salmon fillet with coconut, chili, & lime sauce. The lime sauce was phenomenal, as it was quite different, but the lime made it really light and refreshing! The salmon was perfectly cooked with a beautiful crust on the fish with the awesome sauce. This was my favourite dish of the evening!

Then came the Panang Duck Curry which is a decadent dish of boneless roasted duck with eggplant in a thick curry. The duck was tender and juicy with a great sauce with a nice kick of heat! It made the eggplant really enjoyable.

The last dish we ordered was Musamun Beef Curry Beef chunks sauteed in Thai curry with potatoes, onion and peanuts. This was another fantastic dish, but the least favourite of mine out of the 3 dishes. I actually found that it would’ve been nicer if the beef chunks was a tad fattier so it would be more tender. The sauce for the curry was yummy, but nothing too different or spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad – just it wasn’t as good as the other dishes!

Overall, this was a wonderful place to dine for Thai food. The prices are very reasonable for a Thai place, and the quality of the food is top notch – so it’s okay to pay a little more when it’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it here!

To top off the night, they had a complimentary dessert which tasted good, and it wasn’t too big at all! It was a lovely end to the lovely evening!

Chili Club Thai House

1904 36 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 217-8862

Karma Fine Indian Cuisine – Calgary, Alberta

When the weather is cold outside, and after being what seems to be stuck at home, spice is always something I crave. Whether it’s Thai curry, Indian Curry, Szechuan spices or whatever, I need the heat of the spice! This time, I went for Indian Curry not too far from home off 130th Ave Southeast to Karma Fine Indian Cuisine. The location of Karma is just off Deerfoot Trail and 130th Eastbound – and you turn in towards Canadian Tire and Superstore.

I was going to enjoy a nice hot cup of Chai Tea, but opted out for something a tad different. I had a glass of Mango Lassi which is a very common Indian and Pakistani drink which is yoghurt based (lassi). Basically it’s made of pureed mango, yoghurt and water – and depending on how much water/ice they put it would depend on how thick it is. Sometimes, some places have it so thick that you suck so hard to only get a little drop. The consistency here was really good, as it was thinner than a milkshake, but definitely thicker of a drink. One thing I like about this drink from Karma is the fact they don’t use ice! It never separated which is something I like about my drinks!

This visit to Indian food, I really wanted to try different things, and so, instead of the usual suspect of coconut rice, this time, we got Saffron Rice which looked like a bowl of Christmas rice! It was beautiful! It didn’t have as much flavour on it’s own like coconut rice, but it was very fragrant!

Staying on the different track, I wanted to have lamb with my curry, so we ordered a Lamb Boona which they described as a Karma special made with traditional curry cooked with herbs and spices. This sounded like a wonderful choice as it’s like their “house special” and to me, those are always good! The lamb was really tender, and there were quite a few pieces of lamb in the curry too! We got the curry in mild and you definitely get the kick, but it’s a tender kick.

Now, for the twist on my naan, we normally get the garlic naan (which is fantastic from Karma), we got Keema Nan which is made with white flour bread stuffed with mildly spiced round beef. We normally don’t get the stuffed ones, but since I went to England and tried Indian Edge with their stuffed naan, I had to get it again (at least some version of it!). This was delicious and I would definitely get keema nan again, or other meat stuffed into my nan! Keema naan is just stuffed with some sort of “seasoned ground/minced meat” and varies from location to location, as Keema just means “minced meat”

Then, for my favourite dish of curry for the evening, we ordered a plate of Prawn Korma which obviously had prawns in it, but cooked in a mild curry enriched with cream, nuts and spices.

My overall experience here at Karma was a VERY positive experience, and I have no problems returning or bringing friends & family here who like eating Indian curries! I’m sure when my sister and brother-in-law come and visit me, I’ll take them here for dinner! I’m sure they’ll love it – but it’s definitely not as good as the curry where they are…

Karma Fine Indian Cuisine

4600 130 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 257-4977