Restaurant Review: Two Penny

>> Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Now that it’s November I feel like Christmas is in full swing and I don’t think I’m quite ready for it yet. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about Christmas but admitting that its’ just around the corner means that 2017 is officially coming to an end. 2017 was an amazing year and I don’t think I’m ready to close that chapter. Luckily for me I got to add a bit more excitement to 2017 by attending a dinner tasting of the new highly anticipated Two Penny restaurant that opened on 1st street.

Atmosphere: Beautiful chic interior with an amazing vibe perfect for grabbing a drink with a quick bite or indulging in the full menu experience.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+

Food & Drinks: We were truly treated to an amazing meal where we got to sample a fair amount of the menu. Needless to say, we were extremely full but happy at the end of it all! Since there is so much to cover I’ll just provide the highlights as much as I can even though I want to talk about every dish in detail. Off the Snacks portion of the menu we tried the Baked Oysters, Sichuan Cold Chicken and Black Mushroom Salad. The standout for me was the Baked Oysters with black bean mayo, chili breadcrumbs. They were quite unique and the creaminess actually worked well with the oysters rather than overpower them.

Next was the Dumplings with the infamous Xiao Long Bao (XLB), Shrimp Wontons with chili garlic soy sauce and Chinese Cabbage Potstickers with chive and egg. I thought they were all good choices, the XLBs were soupy and the potstickers were crispy while the wontons were nice and spicy.

From the Chef Specialities we had the spicy Cumin Lamb Ribs, Mapo Tofu and Beef and Broccoli dish. The ribs would be perfect with an ice-cold beer, while the tofu and the beef reminded me of homemade comfort food. Something I could find in my parent’s kitchen. The tofu dish was flavourful and zingy with the addition of Szechuan peppercorns, while the wagyu beef was tender and literally melting in the mouth.

If that wasn’t enough food already, we were treated to their Roast Half Duck served with milk buns, in house made hoisin sauce, cucumber and scallions a la peking duck style. I love peking duck so I was all for this dish, but I did miss the traditional wraps possibly because I really enjoy the chew that the wraps provide which the buns didn’t provide. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love me a good fluffy bun, but there's just something special about the wraps.

Dishes just like the Smoke Mushrooms, Wok Fried Mixed Vegetables and the Special Fried Rice with shrimp, duck, pork, egg and bone marrow (which is to be mixed in tableside). I really enjoyed the smoked mushrooms, again a different take on a simple ingredient which really allowed it to shine. The mixing of the bone marrow in to the fried rice was also interesting definitely not what you’d except in your fried rice.

Although it was quite a full menu, we just couldn’t refuse the dessert. Starting with the Taro Wafer Chestnut Cake to Coffee and Doughnuts with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and ending with Portuguese Egg Tarts. My favorite of the three was definitely the play on coffee and doughnuts, the doughnuts themselves are traditionally eaten for breakfast in a savoury style, but here Two Penny chefs have dusted them with powdered sugar added ice cream and the works to make this a stand out dessert.

To accompany their amazing food selections are some delicious cocktails and you have to try them. With names like the Appletini 2017, 3 years in the making, how could you resist? I went with the Cocktail #7 made with gin, rice wine, strawberry, chili, thai basil and lemon. Light and refreshing, its perfect for gin lovers everywhere.

My Pick(s): Baked Oysters, Chinese Cabbage Potstickers, Smoked Mushrooms

Overall: Although we are approaching December and 2017 will eventually come to a close, I’m glad that there are all these great new places that have opened up this year so we can continue devour delectable dishes regardless of the time of year. Two Penny has definitely hit its mark serving a more traditional style of Chinese dishes albeit for a bit higher of a price point than what I’m used to at Asian restaurants, but you are also paying for the surrounding and atmosphere which are definitely outstanding. Here’s to continuing the celebration with delicious food and amazing drinks all year long!

Two Penny Chinese
1213 1 Street SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 474-7766

Two Penny Chinese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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