Restaurant Review: Foreign Concept

>> Friday, August 11, 2017


My cousin moved downtown a little while ago and we were discussing how its’ so hard for her to cook for one when there were so many delicious eateries around. It must be extremely difficult to resist all the amazing new places opening up around the beltline, especially when they’re all within walking distance. One of those places opened up in the old Vicious Circle location (who still remembers that?? Yes I am dating myself). We were all curious about the new space and when we heard it was Duncan Ly and his team opening up a new Asian concept restaurant, we were all excited. So how could I not visit Foreign Concept?

Atmosphere: A beautiful dining space where east meets west. The décor definitely speaks to the menu that is served at Foreign Concept.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+


Food and Drinks: I was extremely lucky to be dining with a foodie who has been here before many many times. After chatting we decided to get some of her fave dishes along with something new that she has yet to try. We started with the Gochujang Tuna Poke, served with crunchy nori tapioca crackers. The layers of flavours and textures all worked together very well. It was refreshing and a great way to start our meal.

We also requested the Honey Butter Chips which is normally a lunch item since it came highly recommended and it definitely did not disappoint. Served with preserved lemon aioli the chips were just that…sweet and buttery. I could probably eat these every day! Here’s hoping that it becomes a staple on both the lunch and dinner menus! Alongside the chips we also got to sample a new cocktail that’s currently in the works so new that the drink itself is still in the naming process. Made with Eau Claire gin, yuzu sake along with salt cured egg yolk, simple syrup, cream and a dash of lemon, the drink was amazingly refreshing. I’m not usually a fan of creamy drinks, but this one wasn’t at all! Very pleasantly surprised and hoping to sample more from their cocktail list.


Next we had the Charsiu Pork & Foie Gras Steamed Buns served with samjang sauce. Who doesn’t love a fluffy steamed bun with fatty pork goodness? The dish comes deconstructed so you can adjust the filling based on what you’d prefer. I’m normally a huge fan of foie gras, but in this case since the pork and the samjang sauce are already quite rich, I was quite light handed with the foie or even kept it off sometimes. That’s the beauty of having the ability to control how the bun gets assembled. It really gave me the ability to play with all the different flavours. Plus the pork was full of flavour and the bun was super soft. You really can’t go wrong with this dish.

Our main was the Vietnamese Fisherman’s Stew with a mix of octopus, prawns, mussel, clams and a side of Chinese doughnut made with squid ink. It reminded me of a Thai influenced spicy and sour hotpot that we make at home. All the seafood was cooked very nicely and the Chinese doughnut was a nice addition for sopping up the broth. It was perfect for sharing and we both really enjoyed how light and refreshing. It was a nice contrast to our other dishes that evening.


My Picks: Honey Butter Chips, Vietnamese Fisherman’s Stew

Overall: If you were a fan of Raw Bar when Duncan was head chef, you’ll definitely enjoy the food at Foreign Concept. Here they’ve expanded their menu further to include dishes inspired by local Southeast Asian favorites. As for my cousin she’s definitely going to have a hard time resisting the urges to eat out, with amazing restaurants like this..she likely won’t be cooking for a while.

Foreign Concept
1101 1 St SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 719-7288
Website: foreignconcept.ca

Foreign Concept Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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