[Dine Out] Calgary: Cultural Centre Restaurant (中華大酒樓)

Went out with my parents tonight for dinner to celebrate my acceptance into school (again!)~ We went for the Hot Pot (打邊爐) at the restaurant below the Chinese Cultural Centre, which, apparently, is just called Cultural Centre Restaurant in English (how creative of them).

This is an all-you-can-eat type of deal, and for $21.95 (I think) on the weekends, it’s pretty good. Last year, Regency was charging like $26.95 a head on the weekends. The Hot Pot at Cultural Centre Restaurant comes with unlimited pop, Sour Prune Drink (酸梅湯) or Sugar Cane Water (甘蔗水). We often have 酸梅湯 and 甘蔗水 with Hot Pot because these are very “cool” (涼) drinks, and help to counteract the very “hot” (熱氣) nature of Hot Pot.

My dad and I like coming here because we like the fish filets they offer, my dad doesn’t eat much red meat so it’s not a very economical meal unless there’s fish involved! There were about 10 different types of soup to choose from, and you can get it split with 2 different types of soup. We usually get a spicy one and a non spicy one. We got a spicy pork one & a fish/pumpkin soup this time (not pictured).

Satay/Fish Soup

So pretty much it’s a buffet style type of thing but with raw meat & veggies, you go up, pick what you want, and come back to your table to cook it yourself!

Meat

This plate consisted off fatty beef (肥牛), fish balls (魚蛋), tripe, squid, oysters, wontons, and some minced fish balls.

MORE meat!

This one has lobster balls, pork blood (豬紅), some minced meat wrapped in seaweed, some minced meat wrapped in tofu, and more of the same as above. There was also 牛鞭 there, I’m pretty sure that’s cow penis, but my parents wouldn’t tell me (wakaka~).

And MORE....veggies?

And some vegetables (it’s good for you!). There’s some cantonese lettuce, oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, and enoki (金菇). That’s pig intestine (豬腸)  in the little bowl – that’s the bf’s, I don’t like that stuff (yuck).

The dessert selection here is pretty slim though (no ice cream!). There was some regular jell-o, some mango jelly with whipped cream, oranges, some sesame cookies, some green bean soup (綠豆沙), some red bean soup (紅豆沙), and some grass jelly (涼粉). My aunt wanted some grass jelly at the end of the meal. There was none out at the table so we asked the server, and she said someone was cutting it right now. We waited for another 20 minutes and there still weren’t any out, so we just left.

An interesting thing to note about this restaurant is that their chairs are really low. It makes eating Hot Pot very dangerous (open flame very close to face), I had to stack 2 chairs on top of each other to be at a comfortable height.

CULTURAL CENTRE RESTAURANT (中華大酒樓)
197 1 Street Southwest
Calgary, AB T2P 5K4
(403) 262-5071

Cultural Centre Restaurant on Urbanspoon

4 Responses

  1. Hot pot was nothing special. Service was very poor. Our empty plates kept piling up so we had to bring them to the waitress. She never came by to refill our drinks or take our plates away. We declined to leave a tip but left an explanation to the cashier. The cashier yelled out to the manager that we did not leave a tip. The manager told us to leave and not come back!!!

    • Service usually is lacking in Chinese restaurants, not an excuse, but I think it’s like that for most Chinese restaurants, especially in Chinatown. They seat too many people and don’t employ enough staff – always trying to maximize their profits even if it’s detrimental to their business. We always have to flag down the staff when they walk by, and usually they try to avoid eye contact, it’s for sure not the place to go for a relaxing night out!

  2. The price and food are both great, it’s a fun thing to do with friends. But don’t go there if you are looking for service! We had to grab our own drinks and even though we tipped, we were STOPPED by the cashier saying the tip wasn’t enough..

  3. My party of 10 and i just came back from this restaurant.
    The food was good as always. However the customer service was horrid.
    We had 4 people who joined us later on just for a drink they barely ate anything (even though it was all you can eat). As we were leaving we paid all of our bills. Our total tips came to about 30 dollars. At this point the manager was present and seemed displeased and was reluctant to finish our bill. He actually asked people from my party saying “You didn’t give us a good tip, its customary to tip more” I was flabbergasted. So i went and explained that half my party came later and didn’t even eat more than 5 or 6 pieces of anything. Not to mention having to walk up to the front every time we needed to get the attention of a waiter. The service was lacking as we sat half the time with empty glasses waiting for water. The sign outside advertises all you can eat hot pot $18, but it doesn’t say monday to thursday only.
    Which the reply was a very snarky “Usually people tip 15-20%, you need to tip more”. As he poked the bill with his finger. How rude is that???? So i said fine here ill put another 20 on my debit for you.
    So at this point i was thoroughly offended. Now to add insult to injury the same said manager who grabbed my debit card right out of my hand and swiped it behind the till didn’t give me my card back.
    I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone ever.

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