We recently went back to Harbour City after many years of trying new places, and Harbour City being one of our favourites, we chose to go there again. The quality of food has decreased, unless it’s the same, but we’ve been eating much better dim sum. But, it’s still not bad at all. We’ve definitely had worse, and for it’s price, it’s quite reasonable! (you pay what you get! – Reasonable price, reasonable food)
One thing I like most about Harbour City is the fact they still do it “old style” meaning they still bring out the bamboo steamers table side with a cart/trolley. Many restaurants have switched to a sheet of paper and they’ll just take out what you’ve ordered. I really enjoy the old style, but it always makes me over eat – since they always bring something that looks really good to the table side. This is really good from the restaurant business perspective though!
We’ve tried our typical items as always to compare and contrast: Shrimp dumpling (or known to lots as Har Gow) here was really large, and the shrimp was decent. It didn’t have any odd tastes or anything, but the texture isn’t as crisp as “fresh” shrimp dumplings. The skin was relatively thin, it’s standard for dim sum places in Calgary. One bamboo ste4amer comes with 4 large shrimp dumplings.
Another would be the Pork Dumplings (known as Siu Mai) was another really large portion! This bamboo steamer came with 4 large siu mai’s and they were really good! Pork Dumplings is something you really can’t go wrong in when you’re eating or making! Of course, it’s just minced pork with some Chinese mushrooms, and sometimes shrimp basically!
The Chicken Feet wasn’t something I enjoyed from Harbour City. This is one of the items I remember loving, and it’s changed. It’s as though it was a left over, and they added water to the chicken feet to heat it back up. If you look at the picture, the colours seemed washed out… well, it looked like that! The skin was falling apart, as were the bones (really over cooked) and it was unfortunately kind of tasteless in flavour. I am not sure if it’s just my steamer that was like that, or if it has changed or what’s going on, but I’m almost afraid to try it again from here! 🙁
Moving on though, the lady who pushed the dim sum to us kept asking if we wanted Spareribs so eventually we caved and got some. Funny thing though, she didn’t give us spare-ribs, she gave us Pork Tendons! After it arrived on the table, I looked at it and said “it’s not cooked, spareribs shouldn’t be translucent!” until I realized it’s not. It was really good though, the black pepper sauce was extremely peppery. But, because it wasn’t something I wanted, I didn’t bother finishing it. I wasn’t about to argue with anyone either, so I just ate as much as I could and left the rest.
One of my old time favourites that I seem to only be able to get from Harbour City is the Shrimp balls with corn which is a steamed ball with shrimp in it, with corn kernels on the outside. It sounds weird, I know, but the balance of flavour and texture actually works! The sweet and crispness of corn, and the chewy ball of shrimp – it’s actually really good! It’s one of those dishes that you have to have when you’re here! I know a lot of people that don’t like it though…
And, the highlight of this dim sum trip would be the Curry Cuttlefish and it’s my highlight not because it’s extra good or anything… it’s more the fact I haven’t had it for almost 2 years from anywhere, and I saw it, and I had to order it. It’s one of those things I didn’t expect to have at the end, but I just had to. And, am I ever glad I did! The texture was great, the flavours were there, it was just an all round great dish! I’m not sure why I don’t order this more often…
Last but not least, it’s a BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun, and it’s basically a BBQ Pork Bun, but inside what the Chinese call a Pineapple Bun from the top of the bun that mimics the look of a pineapple. It’s a sweet pastry bun, with a crumbly crunchy top. The top is similar to a cookie, and the bun itself is soft sweet – it’s a wonderful bun by itself also.
Weird thing about this trip, I didn’t get Beef Tripe, mainly because I didn’t see it being pushed passed my table, or they pushed it, and didn’t say anything to me. Oh well, I’m happy with most my meal here at Harbour City! Few things I never really understood about this restaurant, it’s the awkwardness of the location where you pay the bill… it’s tucked away in the corner, with spare tables and chairs. It’s quite a mess there, and I don’t know why they did it this way. And, the place is painted dark blue… which isn’t really an Asian colour… so, if I was to hold a special event, I’m not sure I’d pick it from the colours. It’s not going to look nice in pictures! Oh well, those are just some funny things I thought up of… and regardless of those weirdness, I enjoyed my experience here at Harbour City again, even though it’s changed.
302 Centre St S