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Happy Sushi Bellies… in Iceland?

That’s right – Happy Sushi Belly is heading to Iceland! (Or rather, one-half of the Happy Sushi Belly team, Dawn, is heading to Iceland)

This means a few things.. of course it means that I might not have as many updates and posts for Happy Sushi Belly while I’m away, but it also means that when I return I hope to have lots of delicious things to share with you!

Iceland as a destination

Iceland seems to be a destination with growing popularity – possibly due in part to direct flights from several Canadian cities (Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton and Vancouver right now.. hopefully with more coming soon through Iceland Air) and it’s also a popular stop-over location with connections to many major European destinations. I know a few people who have taken a 2 or 3 day stopover in Iceland before heading on to other European destinations.

For film buffs, Iceland has also stood in for a number of locations for films like Beowulf & Grendel, Batman Begins, James Bond: Die Another Day, James Bond: A View to Kill, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Noah, Prometheus, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thor: The Dark World, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Wars Episode VII, and many more. (Check out this short list with video clips on the Iceland Travel Guide)

Even better, everything that happens “north of the wall” is filmed in Iceland for the tv series Game of Thrones. (No, I won’t be looking for Jon Snow during my trip…. he doesn’t know nothing.. about sushi. ;) )

Iceland sushi

Since seafood is a huge part of the island’s economy, of course I had to look up to see what the best sushi is in Iceland! I’ll be spending a number of days in the capital Reykjavik, but also some time in Akureyri, and other towns.  I checked out I <3 Reykjavik, and her top three sushi places in the capital, and am pretty convinced that Fiskfélagið / The Fish Company should be top on my must-visit list too! (As long as I can convince my travel companion to come for some tasty fish! Like Auður’s boyfriend, my travel companion would probably prefer one of the famous Iceland hot dogs from Bæjarins Beztu instead.)

Wanderlust

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve traveled and shared some of my travel-treats with the readers of Happy Sushi Belly, check out some of my other travels:

I also have a few other travel plans, as does Connie for the rest of this year… so hopefully we’ll have lots to share with you!

Recommendations

If you’ve traveled to Iceland (or if you live there!) what sights would you recommend checking out, and what dishes should we try while there? Let us know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Out of town - Europe, Sushi

 

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Hana Sushi in Calgary’s Mission district

My companion's tuna and  salmon sashimi in the foreground, and our individual pieces in the background  - from Hana Sushi in Calgary's Mission district.

My companion’s tuna and salmon sashimi in the foreground, and our individual pieces in the background – from Hana Sushi in Calgary’s Mission district.

There are three sushi places I’ve visited in Calgary’s Mission district; Towa, Kawa, and Hana. While Towa and Kawa are less than a block apart, Hana is on the opposite side of 4th street and closer to 17th Avenue. I visited Hana with a friend after a Saturday event in June, and I thought I’d share a brief post about our visit. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Midori on 17th

Rainbow sushi roll and mushroom roll from Midori on 17th Avenue in Calgary

Rainbow sushi roll and mushroom roll from Midori on 17th Avenue in Calgary

It’s actually a bit shocking that it has taken me this long to blog about Midori, a tiny little 17th Avenue SW standard for quick sushi. After Kyoto 17 (back in the day…) it was one of my favourite places to go when I needed a sushi fix while shopping or visiting with friends when I first discovered sushi.

But… then things seemed to change. I sought out more places to dine, and when I went to Midori I found myself uninspired by their menu or disappointed in their quality. It was several years since I’d been there last; until recently when a friend and I headed there for dinner after meeting with a number of friends for coffee.

Midori is a tiny little place, and it was nearly full when we arrived, and nearly full when we finished our meal as well. The menu wasn’t overly inspiring, but I selected a rainbow roll (good, but nothing special) and a shitake mushroom roll (great flavour, but the roll was falling apart on the plate).

Two sushi rolls from Midori on 17th Avenue in Calgary

Two sushi rolls from Midori on 17th Avenue in Calgary

The food was ok, the service felt more like fast-food than dining, and the atmosphere was… fine. As much as I loved Midori years ago – I wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t disappointed either, but there just wasn’t anything that really thrilled me like it used to. Next time I’m on 17th looking for a quick after-coffee nosh, I’ll probably head to Crepes and Cravings instead… (shocking! Choosing something over sushi!)

Midori Japanese Cafe
1054 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2T0B4
(403) 244-3787

Midori Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Tea: Vata Ayurvedic

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting very much in Happy Sushi Belly over the past few weeks… well I was really sick, and really sick means no new sushi adventures!

(Or energy to write up posts for that matter either…)

Now that I’m starting to feel a little better, I do have a new mini-post for you though, about a very pretty tea from David’s Tea called Vata Ayurvedic. It’s an herbal tea that I had in a multi-pack of other herbal teas, but right now it’s not available on David’s website – check back later though, it might be back…

According to ayurvedateas.com, Ayurvedic teas are caffeine-free herbal teas “that help to balance one’s doshas”. The site goes on to state that Ayurvedic teas “help to regulate and balance vata, pitta, and kapha doshas, and thus keep the body in balance and harmony” and are “an effective and economical way to bring back one’s doshas into balance”.

So…. there’s that.

On Wikipedia, I read that a “dosha” is “one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution according to Ayurveda. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory”. This is starting to sound pretty circular. Maybe I should have waited until I was totally healthy before starting this…

So, let’s just talk tea.

Since the tea is no longer on the David’s Tea website, I can’t say for certain what is in the tea, but visually it looks like peppermint, chamomile, rose buds, and lemongrass. Reading one of the Steepster reviews, it looks like the tea also contains fennel, licorice, and orange.

The David’s Tea write up for this tea is:

“Relax, help is here
5000-year-old Ayurvedic medicine says that we all consist of three doshas in differing proportions. Vata is the most delicate one, and an imbalance can cause anxiety or nervousness. Regain your equilibrium with this soothing blend of organic chamomile, saffron, licorice, ginger, fennel seeds, rose buds, spearmint, organic rosehips, lemongrass, organic holy basil and orange.”

The taste is almost exactly like the custom-blend a friend made up for me with peppermint and chamomile as the predominant ingredients. It’s pleasant, but not anything really special. I don’t think that I’d look for it again if David’s Tea brought it back, but I’ll make up a few more cups of it while I’m trying to drink lots of fluids during this cold….

Feeling under the weather?

Since I’m still not feeling well – leave a comment below with your favourite ‘feel better’ teas!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Fine dining – babies welcome?

Buffet Lunch along the Aura River

We’re safe from babies at a wine bar!

A while back on our Facebook page there was a bit of a discussion about children (specifically babies) in fine-dining establishments. This was brought about by an article on NBC news when a chef at a high-end exclusive restaurant tweeted a question if babies should be in an establishment where the price tag starts at $200 per person.

There was a lot of debate about the topic on Twitter, and a few comments on our Facebook page as well (click the link to join in).

While everyone can probably understand the frustration of finding a reliable sitter even if they don’t have a child, there are certain times and places where a screaming infant, tantrum-throwing toddler, or teething tot. Romantic dinners, catching up with long-unseen friends over coffee, or sharing a meal with soon-to-be in-laws comes to mind just for starters.

What do you think? When you go to “family restaurants” it’s natural to expect a variety of kids there, but what about when you want to go out for a really nice meal? Do you ask your hostess for a table in the the “no children zone”?

Let us know in the comments below or join us on Facebook!

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Raw Desert Crafting demo

I was invited to an event at Cafe Koi hosted by the Yummi Yogis (you’ll know them from their food truck) that I thought I’d share with you.

Unfortunately it falls on a day when I already have an art class, so I’m unable to go… but I thought perhaps some of our Happy Sushi Belly readers might enjoy it!

Copied directly from their event:

Ever wanted to learn how to make your own Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free desserts?

 

We invite you to, not only see us craft up some delicious treats, but also, learn why we pack them with Superfoods to increase libido, bone health, immunity, vibrancy and more!
Just think… a world where we can eat chocolate and feel like we’ve just had a facial at the same time!
In this special event, the Yummi Yogis will be guiding you through a journey of the senses.You will leave with:

•Take home recipes
•Tips for creating the most delectable treats
•Expertise in pairing superfoods with raw desserts in a way will increase your zest for life
• Free samples ;)

Registration for this event closes June 19″

Tickets are $35.00 plus a $1.82 EventBrite fee. You can get tickets on EventBrite.

Even more information is available on their Facebook event.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Treats

 

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Wurst in Mission, Calgary

Wurst in Mission, Calgary

Wurst in Mission, Calgary

I visited Wurst in the Mission district not too long ago for a birthday, and I thought I would share a few photos with the readers of Happy Sushi Belly.

Mushroom flatbread at Wurst

Mushroom flatbread at Wurst

While the UrbanSpoon page for Wurst suggests that they take reservations – it turns out the service is only available for parties of 10 or more. This means when we arrived we did not know if the rest of our (smaller than 10) party was there yet. The hostess wasn’t of any help – she suggested that we head downstairs to look for our party on our own.

I had checked out the menu online in advance, but when I was there I wasn’t especially inspired. I ended up ordering the “Pilz” flatbread – with “wild mushrooms, gruyere, goat cheese and rosemary oil” The menu forgot to include that there would be onions on the dish…

The flatbread was alright, though I found it a bit greasy overall.

Chocolate brownie from Wurst

Chocolate brownie from Wurst

For dessert I had the “Wurst Brownie Ever” – a rather dry brownie topped with “warm fudge sauce, kirsch cherries, whipped cocoa, and vanilla ice cream”. It was alright.. though I’ve had much, much better brownies elsewhere.  (The whipped chocolate was probably the best part of the dish.

I found the drink prices really high so didn’t bother ordering a drink at all.  One of our parties cut his lip on a chipped glass, so the bill below reflects the removal of his drinks and dessert from the bill.  

Bill from Wurst

Bill from Wurst

I found the whole experience pretty underwhelming. (Including the duck-fat fries which I had heard were great – I sampled a few from one of my companions, and they weren’t anything special either.) The meal was fine, but it just wasn’t remarkable in any way.

Wurst
2437 4th St SW
Calgary, AB
T2S 1X5
(403) 245-2345
WURST Überkitchen. Wunderbar on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Treats

 

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