Soluxe Restaurant (陽光飯店) {First Impressions}

Posted on February 9th, 2014, by Vincci Tsui in Calgary, Restaurants, Reviews. 3 comments

Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.

Soluxe Restaurant

My grandfather likes being a regular. He likes it when the servers know his name, his favourite tea, some of his favourite dishes, and when they give him discounts and sneak him some freebies for dessert. That is why for years, every family dinner we had was held at Harbour City on the corner of Centre St and 3 Ave SE, and also why my family scrambled for a little bit when the restaurant closed suddenly about a year ago. (No worries though, we eventually found Signature Palace, which is close to my grandparents’ house, as well as Lucky Place, which is owned by former chefs at Harbour City.)

Being from Hong Kong, my family swears by Cantonese cuisine, so when they saw the simplified Chinese characters on the sign for Soluxe Restaurant, it was clear that the food would be from elsewhere in China, so they were disappointed. I, on the other hand, was excited for the opportunity for a chance to try more Chinese cuisines in Calgary.

After being under construction/renovation for what seemed like forever, Soluxe finally opened its doors last month. B. and I decided to head down and see what it was all about.

Our first impression was that the new owners have really brightened up the space. The dark red carpet and purple walls have been replaced with white tile and pale yellow paint with wooden accents. Even the servers are dressed in bright colours, all uniformed in yellow shirts and beige vests.

The menu at Soluxe Restaurant was definitely different from the Cantonese ones that I was used to. I could pick out a few Cantonese and Sichuan dishes here or there, but most were unfamiliar to me, like fried intestines and celery with dry bean curd. Since there were only two of us, we decided to share three dishes and a couple bowls of rice ($1 each).

Eggplant & Minced Pork on Sizzling Plate (鐵板魚香茄子) @ Soluxe

Obviously I’m not a real risk taker because I couldn’t help but order something I’m already familiar with – eggplant with minced pork (鐵板魚香茄子, $12.75), aka Sichuan eggplant or fish-fragrant eggplant. At Soluxe, the dish is served on a sizzling hot plate (I tried to capture the bubbles in the photo). The eggplant is peeled, and they take the term “fish-fragrant” literally, with the addition of tiny bits of salted fish scattered throughout the plate. B. and I enjoyed this (though when B. realized that the salted fish were fish and not a “woody vegetable” he started picking them out), but preferred the spicier versions we’ve had elsewhere in the city.

We did try something new-to-us – Tung Pao meat (braised pork belly) in steamed buns ($15.75). Also known as Dongpo pork, it’s a signature dish in Zhejiang cuisine. When it arrived, it was obvious that it was insanely decadent.

Tung Pao Meat with Steamed Buns (東坡肉夾餅 @ Soluxe

We were too scared to eat all the fattiest bits, but save for one tough, lean square, the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender with a slight sweetness that went well with the buns. The buns were a little dried out, and clearly store-bought though. (I’ve been spoiled lately with Eats of Asia‘s BaoPop!)

Tung Pao Meat with Steamed Buns (東坡肉夾餅)@ Soluxe

We rounded things out with a dish of Chinese broccoli (gai lan) stir-fried with garlic ($10.75), which was good.

Though we weren’t wowed by our experience at Soluxe, I think it’s nice to have another solid non-Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Calgary. It wasn’t until after we ordered that we realized all the other tables had small metal woks suspended on mini-stoves – hotpot dishes! Next time we go we’re getting that.

Soluxe Restaurant
302 Centre St SE
Calgary AB T2G 0B7
(403) 269-8888
Open daily 11 AM-10 PM.
Soluxe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

3 thoughts on “Soluxe Restaurant (陽光飯店) {First Impressions}

  1. We miss Harbour City too! Thank goodness you can still get a version of their pineapple sweet and sour pork at lucky place. Thanks for reviewing Soluxe, we’ve been hoping to give it a try for a while now.

  2. my wife and I are pretty excited to try out Soluxe because its a mainland-style restaurant. The braised pork belly looks delicious! thanks for sharing that mouthwatering photo haha. Maybe we’ll go there tonight. Thanks for reviewing this place!

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