*As of September 2015, Watercress Express has changed management and the Chef Lam Pham has left the company. The post below was when he was co-owner.
Ten bucks won’t buy you much in this city. Maybe one and a quarter pint of beer. Two thirds of a glass of wine? However, Watercress Express does offer some of the best value in Calgary. Thus, it is no coincidence that Watercress Express has become my weekly obsession.
L and I stopped by on the weekend for lunch. We shared the Korean Kalbi Beef Chuck Bao ($10.75) and a Grilled Pork Spring Roll Vermicelli ($10.00).
The beef bao isn’t really meant for sharing, as its impossible to cut into two neat pieces. The bun is fried, so its crispy and oily like a freshly fried doughnut. The beef was saucy, smothered between kimchi, green apple, herbs, and aioli. The juices dripped from the sandwich onto the pile of fries. This is ectasy in a bun (not that I have tried the narcotic, I’m just using slang speech).
The tender pork in the vermicelli bowl tasted like it was marinated before it was grilled because it was so flavourful. The noodles were bouncier than ordinary vermicelli noodles and denser. The bean sprouts, the strands of cucumber and basil tasted so fresh, like it was plucked right from the garden.
I talk to the chef and asked if I could buy their kimchi, as its the best I’ve ever tasted. He told me that he would sell me a container, and it would last about a week in my fridge. Sold! I’ll pick some when I visit again, as I was leaving the next day for a week trip to my hometown.