Ginger Beef Bistro House

We wanted some dim sum this one day, and we’ve heard both good and bad reviews from friends and family for Ginger Beef Bistro House, but we still wanted to try it for ourselves. Normally, if it’s a new restaurant, I give it a chance plus a second chance. I like to think if it’s new, things are still a little chaotic, but, things seemed relatively smooth, and the food wasn’t bad at all!

Located in the same parking lot as the theatre in the Northeast, this restaurant is a stand alone building, with tons of parking – and tons of crazy drivers too! It’s a location that fills up quickly, especially on weekends. We arrived around 3o minutes after it opened their doors, so we didn’t have to wait in line for a table. By the time we left though, the entrance area was crammed with hungry guests waiting for a table.

We started with an order of Pineapple BBQ Pork Bun, and I am going to say that I loved it! It was fresh, the topping on the pineapple bun was excellent, and even the bbq pork that was inside of the bun was really tasty with a nice sauce to it! The tasted between the subtle sweetness and the savoury was perfect! These buns were also extremely adorable!

Then came a dish we always eat, and I’ve always enjoyed since I was a child, it would be Chinese Donut Rice Crepes. I love ordering rice crepes from here, as you can see right into their kitchen – I got to watch the lady make all the rice crepes, and that was really exciting. The rice crepe itself was thin, soft, smooth, and super fresh – making this dish one to remember!

Ah, the Pan Fried Turnip Cake is something my husband eats – always! He really enjoyed it from here, even though he says there isn’t as much ingredients in the turnip cake as the ones I make for him. But in having more “goh”, they get a really nice square cut! So, it looks wonderful for presentation. Taste wise, it wasn’t bad either.

As per usual, I eat a lot of Chicken Feet, and these like many other places are jammed packed with flavour, and tender. I think that’s most important for chicken feet, and they were able to achieve it.

Steamed Beef Tripe with Ginger and Green Onion is another one of my favourites, and it too is important that it’s tender. No complaints with my beef tripe from here!

The steamed shrimp dumpling was quite nice, the skin on the shrimp dumpling was delicate with a nice texture. Of course, the shrimp was quite fresh. The shrimp dumplings wasn’t huge but it was packed with good shrimps! It was delicious!

Now, we got our order of Deep Fried Shrimp Balls, which was a little different. The crunchiness was awesome, and the actual shrimp balls was huge – still using the good quality of shrimp as in their shrimp dumpling.

The Steamed Beef Meat Balls is something I don’t always eat, but I did for this restaurant, as everything else was really good. It wasn’t overwhelmed by the cilantro taste as some restaurants do. It was surprisingly good, and the meat was smooth and silky. Overall, it was a great meat ball.

I think the Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Dumplings was a little disappointment for me. I was expecting a nice bit of broth when I bite in, but it was just a pork dumpling that was “juicy” – but no broth. It could be the fact it may have all leaked out, but I don’t know. The texture of the pork dumpling wasn’t as smooth as I would like it, but the taste wasn’t bad. Even though this may have been my least favourite dish of the experience, by no means was it “bad” or “gross”. So, overall, I really loved my experience here and think it’s one of the better dim sum places in Calgary. I’ll definitely be back, as long as they keep up their quality without increasing their prices!

Ginger Beef Bistro House

400 388 Country Hills Blvd NE
Calgary, AB T3K5J6
(403) 265-1616

Ping Pang Pong

Yes, I am aware that having Dim Sum in Las Vegas is odd, but we did it! We went to Gold Coast Hotel just off the main strip for Dim Sum at a place called Ping Pang Pong

I’ve got to say, not bad at all for dim sum!! The quality of the Chinese food was really good, and I honestly don’t really remember the price, but I believe it was very reasonable – otherwise, I would either be saying “it’s a GREAT deal!” or “it was SO NOT worth it!”

We started with a bowl of jook or congee – pork with thousand year old egg (Preserved Egg Porridge), which is a very common and popular Chinese rice porridge! It was actually really good, and the texture of the jook was smooth and done quite well!

No matter where I go, I’ve always got my favourites – like Chicken Feet which always seems to be delicious! It’s not exception here, the sauce is really one of my favourites and it was tender!

Also, you really can’t go anywhere without enjoying some Ha Gow – Shrimp Dumpling, and the shrimp was really fresh, sweet and crisp! The dumpling skin was really nice – steamed to perfection!

My parents really like Steamed Pork Balls, so of course they order it! I didn’t mind it here, and it was great!

Steamed Bean Curd Roll

Beef Tendons are one of my favourites when done right. Here, they did this right too! The tendons was infused with flavour and the tendons were soo soft with the “tender” gummyness texture. It was intense and deep, and cooked with the perfect marinade!

This was a weird order, it’s a Shrimp Balls with Crispy Rice, which is like the typical shrimp balls, but they covered it in crispy puffed rice! It added a new dimension of texture to what seems like a simple dim sum! It was a great idea! It worked!

I love any sort of rice crepes, but we ordered 1 order of Beef Rice Crepes, and I honestly thought it wasn’t enough! They actually stuffed their crepes with lots of filling, as some places just put a thin layer of meat in. The actual crepe was really fresh, soft, silky and quite thin!

Overall, this turned out to be a fantastic place for lunch! Everything was so delicious, and the service was excellent. Food constantly came out – which was really easy to over eat! This would be a place I would return to if I wanted a dim sum fix in Las Vegas! Everything was really fresh and you can definitely tell all the dishes were steamed not long before arriving onto the table!

Ping Pang Pong (Gold Coast) on Urbanspoon

Ping Pang Pong – Gold Coast Hotel

4000 W Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89103
(702) 367-7111

Homemade Steamed Cheung Fun – 腸粉

Home Made Rice Crepes – Dim Sum

Currently, I’ve been trying to make basic recipes to dim sum such that I can add things to basic recipes to make them better. Vegetarian style cheung fun can become something more when you add goodies in them before you roll up these crepes. This is also gluten-free as it doesn’t use any wheat products. Just be reminding to use a gluten-free soy sauce on the top!

1 cup Rice Flour
4 tbsp Potato Flour
2 tbsp Cornstarch
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cup Water
Pinch of Salt

First, sift all the dry ingredients together. If you don’t have potato flour, I’m sure it’s fine to use tapioca flour. Both flours, you can find either at an Asian grocery store, or sometimes even in the natural section of your grocery store (gluten free flours).

When the dry ingredients is all combined and fine, add the oil and water, plus a pinch of salt. This batter will become a very watery batter which I find it easiest to pour it into a big measuring cup as there is a spout making it easier to pour. Make sure you combine the mixtures well and it becomes smooth.

Once your batter is ready, set up your steaming mechanism – where I use a pot with a rack and a heat proof dish. Pour a thin layer onto this plate – just enough to cover the bottom.

Put the lid on to steam the rice crepes properly and let it steam for at least 7-8 minutes. Once it’s ready take it out of the steamer and let it cool for a little bit and roll it up. Once it’s rolled up nicely, cut it up and enjoy with some condiments.

As you know, there are many variations for this, and some ideas would be to add onions and dried shrimp to the actual batter, so there will be little bits throughout the crepe itself. Or, you can place some goodies at the edge of the crepe before rolling it up as well!

Regency Palace – Calgary, Alberta

Dim Sum has been a difficult task to find a good place in Calgary – considering factors like price, location, parking, taste, etc. I had my hopes high as we came for dim sum at Regency Palace since we attended a wedding here and the food was absolutely amazing. Thinking that the food and service was good – we finally came for dim sum.

One of the neat things about Regency Palace is the fact they have stations where you can get food, so you’re not limited to what’s being pushed out on carts only. They have a whole buffet area in one corner or the restaurant, as well as a noodle stand and a flat top grill area. We got some Pan Fried Rice Crepes from the flat grill station near the centre of the restaurant. These are really good and you’re able to pick the sauces you want to dip these crepes in!

As it was Chinese New Year weekend when we went, and even though I’ve been trying to make lo bak gao, we still ordered some anyway. The plate came with 2 pieces of lo bak gao and 1 piece of tara cake. The Lo Bak Gao wasn’t too daikon tasting and was really quite firm. There wasn’t a lot of ingredients in their lo bak gao either, but it was pan fried really nicely!

Then, we ordered some Steamed Rice Noodle Roll with BBQ Pork from one of the carts that went by. This wasn’t bad actually! They had quite a bit of filling and the texture was really good too. The BBQ pork was really good, but I think it would’ve been nicer to have more filling!

From the buffet dim sum area, we picked up some Chicken Feet which wasn’t bad. The skin came right off the bones and packed of flavour. It was quite fresh and really good actually!

Our last item we ate for this dim sum lunch was some Spareribs and even though it looks kind of pale, it was really good. The pieces they use was mostly the ones with the single big bones, instead of the softer bones which made it a pleasant eating experience. The sauce and flavour was all really good – very comparable with other good dim sum locations.

Overall, it was a very decent dim sum place to eat. I love the space as it was really large and the fact it has other options for food for those customers who don’t want to just eat dim sum. As well, the use of the buffet is a smart and convenient idea, as sometimes the carts run out of food by the time it gets to you. So, I really like the location, the options and the prices and food was alright.

Regency Palace – Calgary Chinatown

328 Centre St S
Calgary, AB
(403) 777-2288

Homemade Lo Bak Go – 蘿蔔糕

Turnip Cake Recipe – Luo Bo Gao

Just in time for Chinese New Years, I’ve taken what I know of how to make a Lo Bak Go and tried it! Please note, I like my lo bak go with lots more filling than “go”, so feel free to reduce the amounts of any particular ingredient.

1 large dried scallop (or 2 little ones)
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped dried shrimp
2 Chinese Sausages (lap cheong)
1 cup of Rice Flour
1 cup of water
1 cup grated lo bak (daikon)

Seasoning (adjust to what you think tastes good)
salt, white pepper, soy sauce

First things first, you have to rehydrate all the dehydrate ingredients, and I like to do soak my shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp and dried scallop the evening before hand in a bowl with some water.

When I’m ready to start making my lo bak go, I start by grating the lo bak and I place it into a pot of boiling water with some sugar and salt for a few minutes until tender.

While the lo bak is bubbling away, I start by chopping up the Chinese sausage, Shiitake mushrooms and shrimp into little pieces, and shredding the scallop. I heat up a wok and put all the ingredients together to stir fry them until cooked. I also do the seasoning with some white pepper, soy sauce and salt until it’s more flavourful than usual – since the rice flour mixture would add no flavour, it works best this way.

When everything is good and ready, I prepare the rice flour mixture by first starting with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of rice flour. I mix it until it’s dissolved and pour it into the combination of lo bak and all other goodies. I mix thoroughly and judge by the texture how I would like it. If you like your lo bak go firmer, put more rice flour in so that it’s more paste like consistency. The more you mix, the tougher it gets as well. I like my lo bak go soft, so I do minimal mixing. When you figured out how you like it, pour it into a pie pan or something like it and prepare it for steaming.

I steamed my lo bak go for about 45 minutes and I put a toothpick in to check that nothing was sticking to the toothpick. When it was ready, I turned off the heat and put some green onions (scallions) on top for decoration and put the lid on it for about 5 minutes before I took it out and let it cook on a cooling rack. Be careful, the pan and the lo bak go is extremely hot at this point.

Now that it’s cooled down a bit and had some time to set, cut it up and enjoy! I always like to sprinkle extra white pepper, or sweet soy sauce, or even some hot sauce on top of my slices of lo bak go. Sometimes, I do all 3! Now, pick up your chopsticks and enjoy!