Gwailo, Calgary’s new Hong Kong-inspired cocktail bar and eatery, just opened its doors and people are loving it.
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Located at 1214 9 Ave SE in Inglewood, this spot serves up incredibly inventive food dishes and amazing cocktails in one very funky room.
This bar and eatery is found right underneath the very popular Rain Dog Bar.
We were lucky enough to try out most of the menu and a few of the drinks and check out the space, which is filled with stunning artwork.
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Gwailo is a Chinese term that translates to “Ghost Man” and is commonly used when referring to Chinese food dishes that have been Westernized in some way.
Chef and co-owner Chris Wong embraces the term by making it the restaurant’s name, which places fun, modern, and Western twists on traditional dishes.
We started off with a few drinks that we loved. Each one was a playful creation from a much-loved classic.
Our favourite was a balanced sour made with house-infused oolong tea and shaken with egg.
To start, we tried the garlic-infused tempura confit mushrooms, crispy marinated tofu, and the smashed cucumbers with shaved onion, cilantro, peanuts, crispy shallot, and chili oil.
It was one of the best tofu dishes we’d ever tried and the mushrooms ended up being one of the favourite dishes of the night.
There are a few rice and noodle dishes, and we shared two of them; both were fantastic.
The Dan Dan noodle bolognese, made with spicy Szechuan pork ragout, fresh egg noodles, shaved egg yolk, and scallions, was the ideal example of a Westernized twist on a favourite dish.
The rice dish, fried with Mongolian beef, pickled shimeji, edamame, beni shoga, chili, sweet soy, and a sunny-side-up egg, was sweet, sticky, and delicious.
A few of the other highlights we ordered were the honey-glazed Cantonese ribs, gyoza-style shrimp dumplings, and a few shai sticks, which are traditionally charcoal grilled.
The fall-off-the-bone ribs were incredibly tender, and they were served on a bed of coleslaw with a house-made ranch dressing.
We also got dessert, the leche flan with a cookie crumble and Ovaltine ice cream, and we can’t recommend it enough.
Definitely check this new spot out, whether it’s to impress a date with some insider knowledge, or as a group for a night out.
Address: 1214 9th Avenue SE, Calgary