U & Me (Calgary) – The BEST way to fill-up after having eaten a shoddy meal

This is an old post from May 2008. I decided to withdraw it because U & Me were handed a huge fine in December 2008 and actually closed for a while. The issues were (from the Alberta Health Services website): “Perishable foods in this food establishment are not being kept at a proper temperature or are otherwise not being handled in a safe manner. ” Also: “Utensils (specifically large items) and equipment such as tables and counters for use in this food establishment are not being cleaned and sanitized properly.” These are a few among the many critical complaints.

I have since gone back to U & Me and have survived it. It is still one my top picks for late night chinese (if you have that sort of craving. Here is my post again in adulterated form (and heckled by some dude in the comment section who knows nothing about Chinese food).

I graduated in May 2008. Our banquet was held at the Telus Convention Centre at a cost of $100/person. Very VERY pricey, especially given the fact that I had my high school graduation at the Round-up Centre and it cost $50 bucks/person.

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This is a tiny 5cmx8cm piece of steak. It is served with some mushy vegetables and an ice cream scoop of mashed potato. Very classy indeed. No requests were taken regarding how people wanted their steaks done. As such, they come out fairly variably. Most were medium-well, some were medium, and some were rare.

This is a chocolate mousse with an orange sauce. This was pretty tasty. Very cocoa-y and smooth. Only irritating part was the chocolate number 4 drizzled onto the plate. The plate must’ve been very cold when it was drizzled on because for the life of me, I couldn’t get ANY of that chocolate off. How silly I must have looked scratching away at my plate.

Pretty darn disappointing meal for $100 bucks. I dropped $200 for Jules and myself here. If it wasn’t for my graduation, I think I would preferred the chef’s tasting menu at Capo ($95/person + GST + tip).

 

So off to U & Me we went to fill ourselves up. Located on the second floor of a sketchy building in Chinatown, it is THE place to go for late night Chinese (but only if you have lots of $ to spend). Several years ago, the clientele was primarily asian but I have noticed in the last 2 years or so, there are more non-asians than asians. You won’t feel awkward when you eat here.

In chinese, this is bak-fan-yuu, or white-rice-fish. It is basically tiny little fishes that are battered and fried with hot peppers. This is my favourite dish to have late at night. The tiny little black spots are the eyes of the fish. Very yummy indeed (if you can wrap your head around eating an entire fish in one bite). Too expensive though ($14).

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This is fried rice with shrimp, scallops, peppers, egg, and tiny capelin roe. Bloody pricey for how big it is ($14).

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Jellyfish with shredded chicken breast and hot peppers. Not a bad deal for $14 because of all the jellyfish you get.

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Fried squid with hot peppers. Delicious.

You can’t go wrong with greasy Chinese food if you are still hungry after a meal. Be warned: you will sleep really sound almost immediately afterwards.

U & Me, 233 Centre Street SW, (403) 264-5988

U & Me on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on May 30, 2008.

6 Responses to “U & Me (Calgary) – The BEST way to fill-up after having eaten a shoddy meal”

  1. U & Me is the WORST place to eat Chinese food in Calgary.

    Yes, they are open very late – but the fact they only close for 4 hours each day means they never have time to clean their kitchen properly. You can tell when you walk in the restaurant that they don’t care at all about cleanliness. At all. The restaurant is seriously infested with both mice and cockroaches – Poulins is there on a weekly basis, as a requirement by the health board. (In Calgary, restaurants don’t have to be pest free as long as they can prove they are on “a plan” to “reduce” the pests.) At U & Me the “problem” is so bad that they have to have weekly pest control!

    Apart from that, their food is seriously overpriced and not even that good. Not to mention that they overload their food with MSG. (Did you notice how much tea you drank, and how thirsty you felt after your meal? MSG.) I was at U & Me once and witnessed first hand that they re-use the unused rice in the rice containers to make their fried rice dishes… That’s risky and very unsanitary. That was the same time (around 2am or so) that they had people smoking in the restaurant, and did absolutely nothing about it. But seriously, their sanitation standards are… non-existant.

    Also, the service at U & Me is so bad, it should be illegal. The last time I went there, which was when I vowed to never return, the service was so bad, I couldn’t sleep that night. I felt the same symptoms a rape victim feels – it was abusive and incomprehensible. Occasionally you can get lucky, but for the most part, their mentality their is that service is not at all important. In the words of Sherry, the restaurant Manager at U & Me, “people know that Chinese restaurants have bad service, that’s just how it is.” In contrast, Jack Lee, the Manager at Regency Palace (just a block away) told me once, I’m in the service industry so I have to make sure I align myself with companies that have the same philosophy as I do so that I can better serve my customers. Service industry…

    Anyways, there are plenty of other good choices in Chinatown, much better food, much better prices, much better service, and at least a regard for sanitation standards. U & Me is probably the worst choice of them all, and “The WORST way to fill-up after having eaten a shoddy meal” Sorry to burst your bubble ;-)

    DM

  2. Those are all very valid points you bring up DM.

    U & Me is damn dirty I won’t defend them there. However, having worked at a Chinese kitchen, I would argue that there are many Chinese establishments that are far worse than U & Me. T & T got slapped with a huge fine (largest in Albertan history) for improperly stored buns. Imperial Palace recently got caught with rat poison being stored above the dry rice sacks. Certainly the poor practices of other Chinese establishments doesn’t justify the practices of U & Me but there are worse restaurants out there. Sick as it may be, I’d rather eat at U & Me than some of the other places that have hit the Calgary Health Region Health Inspection Order Active/Inactive list.

    While U & Me is horribly over priced (we agree here), the flavours are reasonable and it stands as one of 5 late night Chinese joints in Calgary (Calgary Court Cafe, Sun Chiu Kee, Dessert House, Happy Hill being the other four). U & Me is the only option within Chinatown if you feel like Chinese food (Dessert House only serves appetizers and Calgary Court is only Hong Kong style). U & Me is what it is: late night Chinese grease. I wouldn’t compare U & Me to the more venerable Chinese institutions (Harbour City, Regency, Golden Inn, and Central Grand).

    DM, comparing your bad experience at U & Me to rape is in poor taste in my opinion. Having worked and treated first hand the victims of rape, I really don’t think that your experience can compare.

    But there is still a place for U & Me for me. If I am on foot, in downtown, and I feel like Chinese grease, there is no better place. Where do you prefer to go for late night Chinese?

  3. >I felt the same symptoms a rape victim feels

    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? While you’re at it, why not mention that this place is worse than a concentration camp and go full Godwin?

    • I know right? The guy is crazy. Also, U and Me is actually pretty good. It makes your stomach strong like bull.

  4. This place is probably the WORST place to get good Chinese food. Their kitchen is rat-infested and is definitely not clean. I have found hair and a fingernail in my rice before and it’s absolutely disgusting.

    Aside from their filthy kitchen, I was recently harassed by one of the servers to pay tips for ABSOLUTELY the worst service ever. I spilt iced tea all over me and they didn’t even bother to help out by giving out napkins or asking if I was alright. I was left finishing my food in drenched clothes, floor, chairs, tables. Then I was forced to pay tips when she counted the money. She said it was “NONE OF HER CONCERNS IF I SPILT OR NOT, THIS SHOULD NOT AFFECT TIPS AT ALL.” She called me names and wouldn’t let me leave until I gave her 2 dollars.

    • A 2 dollar tip? Wowza. No wonder you got bad service :)

      Just kidding, I know U and Me has shoddy service.. but I guess I sort of expect that. I basically only go there after 12am… so I don’t know where I’ve had better service at that hour.
      Fingernail eh? That DOES sound gross. You should take a pic and upload on urbanspoon or something!

      When it comes down to it… if I feel like Chinese and it is late… I’ll come here. Otherwise I will steer clear.

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