I rarely eat out for Chinese food. However, that all changed after my life altering experience at Long’s Chinese Restaurant. This is the first time I’ve eaten Chinese food in Calgary and thought to myself, wtf, this is even better than what I can get back home! Home being Vancouver, B.C., not the People’s Republic of China. However, some Vancouverites may argue, there are great similarities, but I digress.
I credit John Manzo for finding this gem, a man I refer to as a pioneer for finding new unsung eateries. He recommended Long’s to me and went into salivating detail about the inexpensive and authentic meals he’s consumed.
First up was a complimentary plate of cold, Szechuan pickles, namely carrots, cabbage, and beans. I love spicy food, but this was so taste bud piercingly hot, it literally brought tears to my eyes.
My favourite dish of the night was Dumplings in Sweet Garlic Sauce ($10.95). The dumplings tasted home made, the wrapper was slippery, slick with the most addicting sweet soy sauce. The filling was possibly pork, plump and meaty enough to satisfy my dumpling craving. I had a hard time communicating with our server about the food, as I don’t speak Mandarin and my Cantonese is appalling pathetic. Any two year old in China has a better vocabulary than I do.
I noticed the chef came out behind the counter. He motioned for me to mix everything up on the plate, nodding happily when he saw that I followed his instructions. Instantly, it brought me back to my childhood, when my grandparents would show their approval whenever I did something culturally correct.
Next up was Tofu with Minced Pork ($11.95), which was the mildest of the three dishes. The flavouring was subtle and not spicy. The tofu cubes were silky, but firm enough to hold its shape. The pork was finely minced, mixed with some other ingredients that were crunchy. We each ordered a bowl of rice ($1.00), which was unfortunately, mushy in texture. Oh well, for a buck, I can deal with imperfect rice.
L’s favourite dish was Dan Dan Noodles ($8.95). The noodles looked like spaghetti noodles. However, the pasta went very well with the sauce, which was wet, spicy, and salty, rich with the taste of peanuts. Remember to mix up all the ingredients together prior to eating it. Again, I’m guessing the finely minced meat was pork.
Overall, I love the deep, complex and lively notes in Dan Dan Noodles and the dumplings. Next time, I want to try the Deep-Fried Chicken with Chili Pepper, Braised Chicken with Taro, Szechuan Cold Noodles, and Braised Eggplant with Garlic Sauce/Soya Sauce.
I wouldn’t recommend Long’s for a first date. L noticed I was sweating the entire time I was eating my dinner. No joke, I was perspiring like I do on the elliptical. Not to mention, by the end of the meal, my breath was heavily laced with garlic. Next on my wishlist, White Elephant and Kanpai Sushi on 8th.