Foreign Concept

4.5
332 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Contemporary Asian
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Here, you will experience clean, distinctive and subtle flavours that honour authentic Vietnamese and the best from across Asia, cuisine that will leave every guest surprised and delighted.

Chef Duncan’s techniques using fresh, local ingredients bring new and unusual flavours to Calgarians who seek new gourmet dining experiences. Imagine house-made charcuterie infused with crisp Asian spices and a room styled after the elegance of colonial Vietnam with some modern surprises.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary Asian, Vietnamese, Asian
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
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Phone number
(403) 719-7288
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Jinhee Lee
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Private party facilities
Semi Private rooms or whole house buyouts
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
1st St.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 332 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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SS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Despite the restaurant being nearly empty and my partner and I having reservations, we were seated just next to the door. I understand this in a bustling restaurant, but not when it's nearly empty. The hostess did say, "I apologize for the door," but that doesn't really help all that much. There was also outdoor seating that was not offered as an option/not suggested on the website when I made the reservations.

The food was good, but the timing of the dishes was poor. We ordered three small plates and one large plate. The three small plates (tartare, bulgogi lettuce wraps, and carrots with goat cheese) came out all at once. We didn't even have enough room on our table to comfortably accommodate the dishes. Our server checked in on us when we had just finished the tartare, commented that we must have liked it, and then left our empty plate on our overcrowded table. After the small plates it felt like we waited a long time for our trout. I'm more accustomed to restaurants in this price range with a family style experience spacing out the dishes in a thoughtful way to complement the dining experience. The pacing was very very off.

The food was good, the drinks were good, the service was so-so. Nothing amazing, but good. The very loud couple of women practically yelling their conversation while sitting next to us didn't help things!

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EM
Calgary
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent quality at a fair price point. Beautifully presented food.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolute outstanding food quality. The 72h short ribs were out of this world and the beat I've ever had.

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N
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I have been to the restaurant before and have enjoyed my meal. This time, my guest and I both had the spicy crispy chicken bahn mi. We were both disappointed - the chicken was dried out and over fried and the bun was stale. We did enjoy the honey butter chips and the pork steamed bun was delicious. I hope it was just a bad day in the kitchen because I will definitely try again.

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l
Detroit
22 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Authentic and unique food, inspired by Southeast Asia. Everything was delicious and they have many Vegan options.

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JV
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently excellent food, great service.
Sad to see the tuna poke was not on the menu but the chef made us some; it is divine!

The sous-vide short ribs are a revelation. UnREAL good.

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AN
Calgary
23 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for lunch for the first time. Outstanding service and presentation. The papaya salad was very tasty and tangy. Had the trout and it was the best ever.

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N
Calgary
12 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went here for an anniversary dinner as we wanted good food without any drama! The food was delicious and unique. The service was fantastic, with extremely knowledgeable staff who could guide us through the menu and make suggestions. The food is unique and delicious; we'll have cravings for a few dishes! The Brussel Sprouts, Bulgolgi Spring Roll, Lemon Chicken and Trout were fabulous. The only dish we would not order again is the charcuterie.

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MH
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Last night we tried Foreign Concept for the first time. The food was all great, especially the steamed pork buns and the trout. The only negative was the tables are pretty small for family style dining. We will be back!

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L
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful service, great plates and atmosphere was very comfortable. If I had to make a critique, the music was a bit loud.

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l
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

We felt the food was mediocre and the large plates were still to small to share. On a positive note the waitresses were very friendly. The food was perfectly timed and the decor and atmosphere in the restaurant were very nice.

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OT
Calgary
11 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of seven and asked the restaurant to put together a tasting for us. 8 amazing dishes came out for us to share and not a miss among them! So glad we asked for the kitchen to put together the meal as we got a lovely variety of dishes. I will be returning soon!!

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JW
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to this restaurant for our 2 year anniversary. My partner and I are Food Network fans and I surprised her by taking her to one of the Top Chef competitor's restaurant. It was a surprise and she was surprised. We saw Jinhee and we posted a picture on Instagram and she wished us a happy anniversary. It made the dinner that much more special.

The service, food, ambiance, everything was excellent and delicious. I can't recommend this place enough. We got the trout because it was recommended on this website, and it was delicious. The duck was also delicous - noodles tasted like a dish I've had called beef chow fun sans the beef though. We also had the tar tar and mushrooms for appetizers - also delicious.

Thanks for the great experience.

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PT
Calgary
9 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great spot! Fun sharing plates and excellent service!

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N
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Concept was on my list of restaurants to try since they opened up. My mom & I both love Asian cuisine, so when she wanted to grab a mother-daughter dinner, it was the perfect opportunity to test it out. Due to my legume allergy (peanuts, beans, soy, etc) trying new restaurants always makes me a bit apprehensive. Fortunately, our server little Taylor was very knowledgeable about the menu and she was able to point out dishes that I should avoid, along with making stellar recommendations.

We ordered a few smaller plates and one larger plate to share. Started with the kimchi, a nice surprise to see two different kinds on the plate, a milder option, expertly rolled, and a spicier more traditional option - both were delicious. We then moved on to the eggplant dish - our agreed upon favourite. Eggplants were plentiful, with a perfect texture and well balanced flavours. From there we shared the Bulgogi Imperial Rolls, which were fun to assemble and also very flavourful. We ended with the large trout dish, on a bed of noodles. The trout was perfectly cooked, near-raw in the middle, and the explosion of flavours was a treat for our mouths. Despite being very full, Mom couldn't help but order some dessert - Mango Passionfruit cheesecake with a side scoop of coconut gelato. Mom shared that the cheesecake was a bit heavier than she likes (New York Style) and I stole a bite of icecream and found it a touch too sweet for my liking, but the plating was spectacular. We also sipped on a delightful spiced green-tea throughout our meal - also non-traditional, but a treat for the tastebuds.

Decor was an interesting modern take on traditional artifacts, strategically placed to set the ambiance of the dining hall. It wasn't too busy when we arrived at opening hour and started to fill in as we dined. Loved the modern music playing in the background, not too loud to allow us to hold a conversation with out inside-voices.

Would definitely recommend!

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OT
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant never disappoints. We had a girls’ night out to celebrate my sister’s birthday and as usual, had a great night. We started with some cocktails - their features are always a delight. This night they mixed up a delicious green tea gin martini - I could have had five. We had almost ever small plate on the menu and each was delicious. One word of caution regarding the octopus and bacon crepe - it is quite fishy but tasty nonetheless. If you are put off my strong fish flavours then best to skip this one. Be sure not to skip their signature spring rolls - way too delicious! We ordered the steak and fried rice for large plates and both were excellent. The wine selection is fabulous and we enjoyed the crisp Pinot noir as well as the more earthy Brunello - both paired well with the flavours. The atmosphere at FC is always perfect from decor and lighting to music. Best for dates and small groups. Definitely check out this gem!

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S
Calgary
69 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Must go back! I’ve been about three times now and each to me try something new. Never disappointed! Excellent fusion of Asian dishes, excellent service! Great local hot spot!

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SS
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A must for anone visiting Calgary. The menu is innovative and the preparation is outstanding. This was our second visit - a re-visit from last year's visit to Calgary. Keep up the good work.

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L
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic!

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F
Vancouver
34 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thought we'd try this out, especially because of the trout cha ca la vong, a rarity in Canada but a real treat. The service was great. Our server was knowledgeable and friendly, very helpful. The pace of service was appropriate to our chatty party, and the food was interesting, well prepared and all round great (esp. the trout). If ever in Calgary again, I'll be back.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The trout!

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G
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything delicious and excellent service! Luv the menu here, great flavours!

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L
Calgary
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 4

We were looking forward to trying this place but were disappointed in the food. We were expecting it to be great after the hype and reviews, it was surprising.

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TE
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We arrived early ad our table was Ready! Nice enough but location of the table could have been more Central for a Special Occasion. By the way, our Special Occasion was never mentioned...
a bit disappointing. The Food was Brilliant...the Rice was Perfect and the waiter was Punctual.
We found the Menu very easy to choose from for sharing plates...Awesome Variety.
ALSO lOVED THE DECOR.
The desserts were Extremely Intriguing and Delicious. We agreed we would ALL VISIT AGAIN!!
THANK YOU FOREIGN CONCEPT.

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CV
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was delicious! For a party of four we ordered 4 small plates and 3 large plates, probably could have ordered 4 large plates (we were a hungry group). For a bottle of cava, 4 small plates, 3 large plates, 2 desserts and 2 coffees the bill was $200-something, very reasonable for the quality of food.

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p
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service! We even had a chance to meet Chef Jinhee Lee who was on Top Chef Canada. She stopped by our table to say hello. Such and fun and delicious meal. Our server was exceptional as well.

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F
Calgary
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We explored Foreign Concept after we saw Jinhee on Top Chef Canada. We were excited by the food she created on the show and she and her team at Foreign Concept did not disappoint us when we visited with friends last weekend. The food was creative, delicious and beautiful. We will be back and will definitely recommend this restaurant to other friends.

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JS
Calgary
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Awesome. Great meal. Service was good - would definitely recommend

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NB
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great wine list. Foreign Concept did not disappoint. I will be back.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time dining at Foreign Concept. Had been on my to-go-list for a while, and, I had great expectations. Well, it exceeded every single one! The menu is fantastic, unique flavours and executed to perfection!! Can't wait to be back!! Ps. The Butternut Squash and Green Mango Slaw is incredible, a must have for sure.

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AP
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

The food was lacklustre. I had the ahi tuna sandwich; lacked flavour and at $21 is overpriced. The service was slow. Disappointing all around.

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g
Calgary
16 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We had a lovely dining experience. Even though I have different things to say about 3 things. First, the worst thing about this restaurant is the decor and ambiance, I thought it would be so much nicer than it is. It’s not terrible, but I expected more. Second, the food. It was soooo good. We did have one dish that was not up to our expectations which brings me to the third, the service. Our server was amazing! She made awesome recommendations, went out of her way to make our evening enjoyable and when we had an issue with one of the dishes, she took it off our tab with no questions asked. We also stayed later than closing time and we did not feel rushed to leave at all. Overall we had such a great evening here. Oh and I must add that the feature cocktail was awesome and the bottle of rose we shared was the best I have ever had! Overall, amazing!

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IN
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Mother’s day

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Soooooo great!
Our server was polite, pleasant, fast and on time.
We ordered three plates to share, the octopus crepes were my favourite of these.
After a short break we had the lobster broth, and the steam buns. The flavours and textures made my day.
No regrets, I’ll be back for the rest of the menu.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding on all fronts - Cuisine, service, decor, ambience and the welcoming nature of the team and chefs.

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G
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Food is excellent, the only problem was that it was a hot evening in Calgary and because the office bldg above has control of the heat and air conditioning it was super hot in there. We went on a Saturday evening and because the offices above closed on Friday the air was off... bummer! Hope Foreign Concept somehow gets control of the air soon!

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P
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day!!!!

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HH
Calgary
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food, atmosphere and beautifully designed interior! Great service too. We will be back again soon!

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A
London
7 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We went to this restaurant after seeing the chef on top chef Canada. The food did not disappoint. It was one of the best dining experiences We have had in Calgary, which has some excellent options. The duck was superb, the tuna carpaccio even better, and the steam buns were remarkable.

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GH
Calgary
12 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Concept is one of my favorite restaurants in Calgary. I go to lots of restaurants that serve food that is amazing but you have had it before... FC serves food you have never had before. Your reaction is... This is something different and unique

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