Driving into Calgary off highway 2 and Deerfoot Trail, my family and I always make a detour for dim sum at T. Pot China Bistro before heading downtown. The restaurant itself stands alone in a Country Hills strip mall anchored by T&T Supermarket and a variety of other shops and restaurants.
On weekends, the large, modern space is loud and bustling with families and patrons, which speaks volumes of its popularity. There's usually a line at the door during peak times, but they provide you with a pager which flashes when your table is ready.
Instead of push carts, ordering is done on a tick sheet, written in both Chinese and English. I actually prefer ordering dim sum this way, as it ensures the food is fresh and hot, and that you actually get what you want. No more lukewarm, leftover food on the cart that everyone else has rejected on the way over! Prices are also listed on the sheet and range from 1 star to 4 stars, corresponding to prices that start at $4.25 to $6.50 which I feel is pretty reasonable, albeit on the higher side for dim sum.
Once the sheet is all ticked off and ready, one of the waitstaff will input your order into their computer and provide you with a receipt stapled back onto the menu. They'll cross off the items as your food arrives to ensure you receive your full order.
Unfortunately, since I had a food marathon planned for the rest of the day with SC (multiple blog posts to come!), I only managed a couple of bites of some of the items, so I can't comment on every single thing. Do know that the food is generally very fresh and tasty, and if it's any indication, my family comes here every single time we drive into Calgary on a day trip, sometimes even twice in one day. It's definitely a problem I wish to rectify, since variety is the spice of life! (Also for the sake of my blog.)
In order of their appearance on the table, we have:
|Deep fried shrimp dumplings ($5.75)|
|Steamed beef tendon & beef tripe with black pepper ($5.75) and steamed chicken feet in special sauce ($4.99)|
|Deep fried eggplant with shrimp paste ($7.50)|
|Steamed scallop and shrimp dumplings ($6.50)|
|Pan fried taro cake ($4.99)|
|Steamed shrimp dumplings ($5.75)|
|Rice crepe wrapped Chinese dough with crispy dried pork on top ($6.50)|
|Steamed ground beef ball ($4.25)|
|Crab meat and pork dumplings ($5.75)|
Overall, it's my family's go-to in Calgary and it's a decent spot for dim sum and dinner as well. I've read many things online about their service but it's what I've come to expect from any Chinese restaurant. It is what it is.