Foreign Concept, Calgary

Few restaurants in Calgary have been so anticipated at Foreign Concept. The brain child of Duncan Ly, the feisty chef who struck out on his own after a highly successful stint at Hotel Arts, Foreign Concept burst onto the scene with Chef Jinhee Lee at the helm and Michael Nop. She promptly entered Gold Medal Plates, won the Calgary competition then went on to win the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna. Suffice it to say, this young lady has energy. Another team member, French-born and raised Michael Nop, is also a Gold Medal Plates veteran with a Bronze to his credit. 

Even with the late-in-the-year opening, respected restaurant critic tagged the restaurant as #1 on his Best New Restaurants of 2016 list writing.. “Foreign Concept opened just two weeks ago with an incredibly high level of skill. The food is impeccable, the surroundings a melding of classic Asian and modern Calgary and the service is pleasant and professional.”

Likely one of the most interesting examples of the new Canadian cuisine, owners Duncan and Wanda Ly explain “Our team of award-winning chefs play with flavours from across Asia, using locally-sourced ingredients, and modern cooking techniques.”   Perhaps the best example is the charcuterie with its attention to Alberta with the vibrant flavours of Vietnam.  It’s a simply array of honey black pepper black angus beef jerky, Vietnamese mortadella (cha lua), 5 spice magret duck prosciutto, lemongrass pork belly rillettes, house apple mustard, Asian styles pickles, crostini.  The rest of the menu is no less inventive.

For this year’s Food Day Canada menu I was curious about the Alberta Trout Cha Ca La Vong preparation.  This is how Chef Ly explained it.  They marinated the trout in turmeric and yogurt overnight.  Then dredged it in a cornstarch and rice flour blend. Before pan frying it with lots of butter, they added dill and green onions to the pan and basted the trout with the butter. “It imparts a lot of flavour and adds a lot of aromatics!” They then served it with lots of fresh garden herbs such as dill, mint, basil, fresh cherry tomatoes. and finished it with confit of scallion oil.

Food Day Canada 2017


Rhubarb Hot and Sour Fanny bay mussels and clams, sugar snap peas, poached Gull Valley tomatoes
Last Best Tokyo Drift IPA (Calgary)


Thai Style Butternut Squash Slaw Cucumber, kohlrabi, radish, Spragg’s Farms pork floss
Ponzu Martini, house made ponzu with Eau Claire Gin (from Turner Valley)

Main Course

Alberta Trout Cha Ca La Vong PEI lobster tempura, dill, mint, confit scallions
Blasted Church Chardonnay, BC


Macerated Okanagan Peaches and Cherries Peach sorbet, tapioca pudding
Joie Farms Muscat, BC

Contact Foreign Concept at the number below to reserve a Food Day Canada table.

Contactez Foreign Concept directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre Journée des terroirs réservation.

Foreign Concept
1011 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0T8

T: 403.719.7288


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