Dinner @ Golden Central Chinese Cuisine – Calgary, AB

Since I like the Hunan Style Crispy Noodle dish so much, I wanted to check out Golden Central Chinese for dinner. It’s not often that I go to the same restaurant twice in the same day. In fact, I’ve never done that before until now, but there’s always a first for everything!  I had already known I was going to be there later that day as I planned to go with my family for dinner. However, when it came to deciding on a place for lunch that day, I really wanted to introduce my colleagues to my favourite dish there. I didn’t see any harm in going twice in the same day as the dinner menu at Golden Central is different from their lunch menu.

For dinner we ordered three dishes. The first dish was actually a special on the Chinese menu. It was the Deep Fried Shrimp with Salty Egg Sauce ($10).  The dish literally translated from the Chinese name is “golden sand shrimp”.  There is actually a similar dish on their lunch menu done with fish fillet instead of shrimp (#96 Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Salty Egg Sauce).  The second dish we ordered was #246 Peking Style Chicken in Special Chili Sauce ($13.95 for half chicken) and was from their normal dinner menu.  Lastly, we ordered #273 Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic Sauce ($12.95).

The first dish to arrive was the Deep Fried Shrimp with Salty Egg Sauce. A friend had raved about this dish so I really wanted to try it to see what the hype was about. Not that it’s a bad thing, I was just surprised that there is really no salty egg sauce on the shrimp.  I guess things just got messed up in the name translation.  The salty egg is actually incorporated in the batter.  To me, the dish was ok, but it didn’t have any wow factor. The batter was nice and light. Surprisingly, the dish was not that greasy at all, unlike other dishes I’ve tried elsewhere that featured salty egg yolk.  Even though I expected it to be on the salty side due to the salty egg, I still found this dish to be a little too salty for my taste. 

The Peking Style Chicken in Special Chili Sauce was actually my favourite dish of the evening. I was impressed the chicken was cooked perfectly and was very flavourful, tender and juicy.  I also enjoyed the unique taste of the “Special Chili Sauce”.  At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of flavours given the vague name of the dish. The reddish-looking “Special Chili Sauce”, as it turns out, is made from red fermented bean curd (nán rǔ) which gives it a very unique and distinctive flavour. The dish had just enough heat to bring out the flavours but was not overly spicy.  This is the first time I’ve had a chicken dish prepared this way.  I’d definitely order this dish again on my next visit.

The snow pea leaves (pea shoots) in garlic sauce dish was served fresh and steaming hot. The pea shoots were tender and cooked perfectly. 

Overall, this was one of the better Chinese dinners I’ve had here in Calgary.  I’d definitely order the Peking Style Chicken in Special Chili Sauce and the Snow Pea Leaves in garlic sauce again.  As for the Deep Fried Shrimp with Salty Egg Sauce, I think I’ll take a pass on it and try something else on the menu instead.   Between this Deep Fried Shrimp dish and the Salt & Pepper Squid dish that I had during lunch, I’m convinced that deep-fried dishes are not their forté at Golden Central. But that doesn’t bother me much as they have a diverse dinner menu. I’m looking forward to trying other dishes there on my next visit.

Golden Central Chinese Cuisine
5016 Centre Street NE
Calgary, AB

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