03 Nov TWO PENNY CHINESE
Kickstarting November with a delicious dinner at Two Penny in Victoria Park, Calgary. A new addition to Thank You Hospitality (Native Tongues, Calcutta Cricket Club), you can definitely see the resemblance through the decor that blends in traditional and modern takes.
Two Penny has a lower level known as the ‘teahouse’ that is open during the nights until 12am/1am day of the week depending where you can enjoy drinks + dim sum!
A very lively environment and atmosphere that is great for any occasion.
The dishes are a great take on some of the Northern China style of cooking with the spices and flavour. Two Penny is a great option for people who want the lively atmosphere but also for people who are wanting to try out some dishes that they typically wouldn’t order by going to a Chinese restaurant.
Check out below for the dishes we had!
We started off with some baked oysters. Oh. So. Good. I haven’t had baked oysters in awhile and I can’t find a spot in Calgary that does it justice. Two Penny really nailed this- the flavour with the spice from chili breadcrumbs and the mix of textures hits it home.
The Sichuan cold chicken is an appetizer where if you love the spicy flavour and nuts, this would be the dish to go for.
I love Xiao Long Baos- I try to order them when I go for dim sum but it’s definitely a challenge to find a place that can do it justice. This unfortunately did not have enough hot soup inside.
If you’re familiar with Chinese food, you already know what black mushroom is. This salad is definitely one that wouldn’t be too “green” for anyone. I enjoy the texture of black mushroom of its chewy-ness. Adds a refreshing take on a mushroom salad.
These shrimp wontons had a great pairing with the chili garlic soy sauce.
Out of their dumplings that we tried, this one was the best one. These Chinese Cabbage Potstickers had chives, egg, and ginger vinegar. It was filled with flavour and filling!
If you are familiar with Peking Duck, this is Two Penny’s take on it. Ideally, we’d eat it with a wrap, which in this case is milk bun instead. It became too heavy with a milk bun. We tried grabbing a piece of the duck and sandwich it between the bun but they still had the bones with it so it was more of a two-step process eating this dish.
I love my Chinese vegetables- including gai lan. They paired this dish with smoked oyster sauce, adding that tangy sweet flavour to it. The wagyu brisket was soft and easy to eat.
These lamb ribs were tender, and filled with pepper and spice. If you love the peppery taste of ribs, this is your dish.
Chinese tofu dishes are de-lish. Filled with flavour and texture. This Mapo tofu reminds me of what we eat at home when we are too lazy to think of what to cook…so add in tofu, minced beef and spicy sauce, and bam Mapo tofu.
Bok choy is healthy and delicious! I enjoy the mixture of blending the cashews and fried garlic that helps adding some fresh flavours.
Anyone else love mushrooms? This one was cooked with scallion oil and fermented black beans.
We had the fried rice, that was mixed with shrimp, duck, pork, egg, and optional addition of the bone marrow to add some oil and flavour. Again, very similar to what we would eat at home if we had day-old rice and leftover veggies.
Finally… dessert time! We had egg tarts- now they’re not your traditional egg tarts or the Portuguese egg tarts. This is incredibly heavy so if you had a heavy dinner… you won’t be able to finish a whole tart. The egg custard was super heavy and the pastry part of it didn’t have a even texture all around. For an egg tart, the pastry was a bit too thick for my liking.
We had the Taro Water Chestnut Cake and it was delicious! It was paired with some house-made ice cream. Ice cream was a bit too heavy for me, but the cake itself was great in texture. I wish the taro had a stronger flavour but it’s nice to see a dessert incorporating taro in this city.
And last but not least, Coffee + Doughnuts which is Chinese doughnuts (you tiao in Chinese) paired with some (heavy) vietnamese coffee ice cream.
Overall, a great dining experience that incorporated some traditional dishes that we would normally cook at home but some modern takes on it. Some dishes are definitely on the higher price point, and it’s more apparent for any of us who eat at Chinese restaurants as we could get similar dishes for at a much lower price. The environment and the vibe is amazing. Great staff who are knowledgeable and you can tell that this isn’t their first gig. It will be interesting to try out their Teahouse next time! They use dim sum carts and so their menu changes constantly.