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)
I generally prefer a thicker wrapper but these were still decent. Fresh out of the fryer and steaming hot on the inside.

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)
I thought it was really cool how they prepare this as most places just portion it out into small slices. Here, they give you almost the full eggplant!

Steamed scallop and shrimp dumplings ($6.50)
Pan fried taro cake ($4.99)
Steamed shrimp dumplings ($5.75)
Instead of the usual portion of 4, you get 4 regular-sized dumplings and a baby dumpling (so cute!). Wrapper wasn't too gummy and the shrimp were nice and fresh.

Rice crepe wrapped Chinese dough with crispy dried pork on top ($6.50)
One of my favourite dim sum dishes! A little hard to break apart with chopsticks so they can cut it a little better but that's grasping at straws here. They provide you with a trio of sauces -- sweet soy sauce, hoisin, and peanut sauce. I'm a traditionalist so sweet soy sauce all the way. Only wish they gave a little bit more sauce for the amount of ja leung there is on the plate.

Steamed ground beef ball ($4.25)
 This was my auntie's favourite. She literally ate the entire steamer herself.

Crab meat and pork dumplings ($5.75)
Like the shrimp dumplings, they give you 5 which is handy for my family. No more fighting over who gets a piece. They're smaller than most places, but you do get 1 more than usual. Nice and meaty, although I'm not sure if they actually contain any crab besides the shrimp on top. They can probably do with updating their menu descriptions unless they'd like to get sued for false advertising (kidding of course).

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.

T. Pot China Bistro
9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 532-3982

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- CT


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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf