I think the most anticipated restaurant opening in 2016 was Chef Duncan Ly’s Foreign Concept. They opened late 2016 and there was a ton of buzz surrounding the restaurant. There was so much hype and buzz surrounding the restaurant that I was almost afraid to go try it in fear of it falling short of my expectations. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen. Instead, my tastebuds were treated to a wonderful evening of delightful alternative Asian dishes.
We started off with the Angus Beef Striploin Tataki. The plating was beautiful and the taste equally as good. The Asian mustard nuoc cham really opened up my palate and appetite for the rest of the meal.
The Soy Garlic Caramel Roasted Eggplant is a new menu item. We had our hearts set on the scotch eggs however they’re no longer on the menu (queue sad face) so we decided to try the eggplant instead. The soy garlic flavor was very nice paired with the eggplant however I found that the eggplant itself could’ve been a tad more tender.
This Charsiu Pork & Foie Gras Steamed Buns dish was the dish we came to try. It looked simply amazing on all the pictures we’ve seen of it on social media. Now, let me tell you that this dish was everything we dreamed of and more. The bao was fluffy and light. The pork belly was tender and so flavorful in that braising sauce. The foie gras pate was creamy and rich. Plus, you have all the extra condiments and toppings like the nutty samjang sauce, the pickles, daikon, apple pear, basil and mint. Please make sure you get a bit of each component in your bao because it really makes this bao stand out from all the others in Calgary. Each bite is a perfect balance of flavors. If you’re going to try one dish here, this is the one to try.
The Braised Duck Leg Cellophane Noodles was the other dish we came to try. The braised duck leg was incredibly tender and flavorful. The cellophane noodles were coated in the flavorful braising sauce and perfect for slurping. This dish was well prepared and another must try.
We were pretty stuffed at this point and to our surprise Duncan sent us this House-made 5 Spiced Broek Farms Chinese Bacon and White Kimchi Fried Rice to try. It’s topped with an onsen egg, shaved cremini mushrooms and citrus truffle vinaigrette. The smell of truffles was driving me crazy when this dish was set down on the table. Make sure you mix everything together and swirl that egg in the dish. You definitely want to distribute and mix all the different components and flavors together. Each component was cooked well and loaded with umami flavors. Simply scrumptious!
We were more than full at this point but we just had to end our meal on a sweet note. The Vietnamese Coffee Parfait was perfect for us to share. It’s very similar to tiramisu and we really liked how it was only subtly sweet and light.
Overall, we had a great meal here and I was definitely surprised by some of the dishes. The atmosphere is lively and there are large windows all around with lots of natural sunlight. I would not hesitate to return especially for the Charsiu Pork & Foie Gras Steamed Buns.