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Red Ember Japanese Cuisine

Two sushi posts in a row!

Not long ago my friend suggested his favourite sushi place – Red Ember in the Kensington area. While it’s a small place, and there’s not much nearby parking, I thought it was great and would recommend you check it out too!

Sashimi and a roll from Red Ember

Sashimi and a roll from Red Ember

I had an order of tuna sashimi, along with a Kamikaze roll (Special Scallop, Tempura Flake, Tobiko, Wrapped with Tuna). The tuna sashimi was only fine- nothing special either way, however the Kamikaze roll was fantastic.

The location might be the only thing that would keep me from heading back to Red Ember – though perhaps my friend who lives close to the area will want to make a return visit sometime again!

 

Want to know more? Check out Red Ember here:

609 14 St NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 2A1
Red Ember Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in North-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Midori sushi lunch

Happy Sushi Belly has been pretty light on the sushi in the last little while, so I’m just sharing a quick photo from Midori, where I popped in for a quick lunch last week.

I haven’t been a fan of Midori in years I’m afraid, but a friend re-recommended them recently, for speed and a good price, so I figured I’d pop in between a meeting with some friends and my walk home. I ordered two pieces of chopped scallops ($3.50 each), and an Alaska roll ($8.00). While the roll was well priced, the chopped scallops were on the high side of regular pricing – nothing special there. The scallops were tasty for sure, but the roll was pretty blah, and the rice seemed a bit undercooked.

Unfortunately… my original opinion of Midori stands – I’m not super impressed. The cost wasn’t super-affordable, and the taste/quality wasn’t especially good. I want both (great quality/taste and great price) but I’m willing to run with just one… having neither doesn’t impress me. I’m glad that I checked them out again, but I think I could have had better sushi somewhere else – there are so many other sushi places on/near 17th Avenue!

Check them out yourself

Midori Japanese Cafe

1054 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2T 0B4
(403) 244-3787
http://www.midorijapan.ca/menu.html

Or check out some of the other places to eat on 17th Avenue! 

Midori Japanese Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Goro + Gun

Spicy cold seafood ramen from Goro + Gun

Spicy cold seafood ramen from Goro + Gun

Goro + Gun has been on my ‘want-to-visit’ list pretty much since they opened, but when I stopped working downtown, I stopped spending nearly as much time down there – and when I was down there it was usually for other things, so it took a long time before finally checking them out!

My companion was keen on visiting them as well – a Japanese noodle house (with a pretty respectable-looking sushi menu) we figured it would be the best of both worlds.

Despite the restaurant being pretty empty when we went (well after the big lunch rush, and on a Saturday at that) it seemed to take a fair amount of time to get us a seat – it appeared as though a family leaving were having a problem, and were rightfully unimpressed. I’ll admit, it kind of set me in a discouraged mood to start out the experience. We were seated very near the open-concept style kitchen to watch the chefs work (which I’m neither impressed by nor annoyed by, so no matter) with a somewhat distracting view of some anime cartoons running endlessly.

Goro + Gun menu partial

Goro + Gun menu partial

I had the Spicy Cold Seafood Ramen: $14:
“cold ramen noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, seaweed, smoked egg, fresh greens, sesame vinaigrette, no broth”

It was quite delicious, though very spicy, and not very much seafood – one piece each of salmon, tuna, and shrimp. I was kind of disappointed with that, though the rest of the dish was very filling – I took what I couldn’t finish in-house home to enjoy for dinner too. I don’t think I’d order it again… mostly because I’d like a little more seafood!

Mushroom tempura bento

Mushroom tempura bento

My companion had the Mushroom Tempura Bento: $14.

“tempura mushrooms, ground radish, ginger tempura sauce” served with ” 2 pieces of lobster California rolls, fresh
greens, steamed rice, kimchi + miso soup”

This seemed like a pretty nice variety of what Goro + Gun has to offer – and while the kimchi was very spicy, my companion liked it a great deal, especially with the rice. (I had a nibble too and it was good!) The tempura on the other hand was pretty oily, the greens were average, and the roll was pretty disappointing – neither of us could see nor taste any lobster in them at all.

Miso soup from Goro + Gun

Miso soup from Goro + Gun

The miso soup it came with… just miso soup. Nothing really special either way.

All in all – while I had been so looking forward to checking out Goro + Gun, it was ultimately pretty disappointing. I also thought that their sushi & sashimi selections were WAY overpriced (unless the ¬†price listed is for multiple pieces… the menu doesn’t indicate) and we really did have the two most appealing non-sushi items on the menu. ¬†I really don’t think that I’ll make a point of going back again; there are plenty of really great sushi places, noodle houses, and Japanese food restaurants downtown that I’d visit again first.

 

Feel like checking them out yourself?

Goro + Gun
Stephen Avenue
225 7th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
http://goroandgun.ca/home

Goro + Gun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, Sushi

 

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Regency Palace Dim Sum

Dim Sum at Regency Palace

Dim Sum at Regency Palace

Today I’d love to share with you a quick post about Dim Sum… when looking for a great way to dine with a big (or small!) group of people, Dim Sum is awesome, because it’s just small bowls of three to four items (heavy on the shrimp, pork, and dough though…) all the same to share around the table. Don’t like shrimp – pass that bowl to the person sitting next to you, and go after those delicious pork buns instead!

A week or so ago I got together with a small group of people for delicious Dim Sum. I’ve only ever had Dim Sum at the Regency Palace in Calgary (other places in Vancouver) so it was my recommendation. ¬†The price was quite reasonable and the food was tasty – my friends even made sure I got some of those amazing red bean paste sesame-covered balls for dessert!

That being said – the best part of this meal was the company. While I loved the sesame-covered balls and the steamed pork buns, everything else I had was pretty lackluster. I say go with 6-8 people, split things up, and re-order your favourites.

Where else?

I’m sure my friends will want to do Dim Sum again.. so where in Calgary would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

Check them out!

Regency Palace Restaurant
335 – 328 Centre Street North (Chinatown)
Calgary, AB, Canada
http://www.regencypalacerestaurant.com/

Regency Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Other dishes from a medieval pot-luck

In my last post I mentioned I’d be attending a pot-luck gathering, and was bringing some Viking Age desserts to share. Today I’ll share with you just a few of the other period food items some of the guests brought. I didn’t get photos of everything – things arrived bit by bit, and I wanted to eat too – plus the tables of food got crowded fast!ūüėČ

 


I think one of my favourite dishes was Bj√∂rn’s 15th Century Herbelade, which contained pork, parsley, sage, hyssop, dates, currants, pine nuts, powdered ginger, eggs, butter, and flour (for the pie shell) though there were so many interesting and delicious things there that night! (And many things I missed out on, because I just didn’t have room in my happy belly!)

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in North-East Calgary, Treats

 

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Viking dessert

In late August, I attended¬†a pot-luck gathering with a medieval theme (those readers who also follow my Dawn’s Dress Diary blog know more about this!) and for it I decided to pick two recipes from a Viking Age Norse cookbook. (Found online; I don’t actually have the cookbook, nor have I done any research to see if these recipes are well-documented.)

The cookbook can be found here. (PDF)

The first was honey-nut cake, and the second was wheat & hazelnut pudding.

Honey Nut Cake

The Honey Nut Cake

The Honey Nut Cake

I chose to alter the recipe as recommended, using both hazelnuts and walnuts. (the original had more egg, and no walnuts, and the poster said it was too thin). From what I’ve read, hazelnuts were grown in Viking Age Scandinavia, while they imported the walnuts. Shells of both have been found in Viking settlements, and walnut shells were also used as dye.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in South-West Calgary, Treats

 

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Golden beet salad

Beet, pecan, and feta salad

Beet, pecan, and feta salad

After trying the salt-roasted golden beet dish from Cibo’s Scodellina menu, I decided to give a whirl to dine on for dinner a week or so later. Finding the golden beets was a bit of a challenge, but I found them in the organic section of my grocery store. Although the original included toasted hazelnuts, I opted for pecans, omitted the saba¬†( a sweet grape syrup used as a dressing) and used a nice soft, creamy goat cheese much like their local goat cheese.¬†With the super-creamy cheese, I didn’t need any dressing. We didn’t roast the beets in salt either, instead we boiled them, because it was a super-hot day and turning on the oven seemed like a really bad idea.

The result – totally delicious, both warm and cool!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in South-West Calgary

 

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Cibo – tapas on 17th Avenue

Five different items from Cibo's Scodellina menu

Five different items from Cibo’s Scodellina menu

I know that it’s been a very long time since I posted in Happy Sushi Belly regularly, so it might seem strange to have the same restraunt featured twice in a row… but that’s exactly what I’m doing today!

After such a nice small meal at Cibo on 17th Avenue with some friends, on my next big walk, I opted to walk from home, down to 17th Avenue, have some lunch, and then walk back again. (approximately 13 km)

My walking companion and I shared five items from Cibo’s Scodellina menu:
white gold ricotta
whipped local ricotta, currant, fennel pollen
– this was incredibly delicious -highly recommended

roasted eggplant
local goat cheese, garlic confit, sundried tomato
– quite good, though I had others I liked more

mushroom salad
grana padano, fried rosemary, capers, roasted chili
– as the eggplant, this was good, but other dishes were better

prosciutto di parma
poached pear, grana padano, aged balsamic vinegar
– really delicious – again!

salt roasted golden beets
toasted hazelnuts, local goat cheese, saba
– like my last post, this was delicious again!

 


(all photos from my iPhone)
Click to add a blog post for Cibo on Zomato

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary

 

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Cibo – tapas on 17th Avenue

salt roasted golden beats from Cibo

salt roasted golden beets from Cibo

Not too long ago, I was meeting up with friends for a walk, and we decided to meet up for a light dinner before beginning. I don’t know 17th Avenue particularly well, so one of our group recommended Cibo – and their offering of tapas for a light meal.

I had the:

Salt-roasted golden beets

(pictured above)

toasted hazelnuts, local goat cheese, saba
– Amazingly good – highly recommended (so much so I had it later too!)

gorgonzola dolce from Cibo

gorgonzola dolce from Cibo

gorgonzola dolce

chestnut honey, spiced walnuts
– this I didn’t care for – I found the cheese too strong, and I ended up giving a fair amount of it away to one of my dining companions.

prosciutto di parma from Cibo

prosciutto di parma from Cibo

prosciutto di parma

poached pear, grana padano, aged balsamic vinegar
– Also fabulously delicious! Definitely worth trying if you like prosciutto.
Click to add a blog post for Cibo on Zomato

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary

 

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Nice Cream

Mixing up my Nice Cream order on the spot

Mixing up my Nice Cream order on the spot

There’s a new little ice cream shop in my neighbourhood, very near Sushi Hanami in the Sarcee Plaza shopping centre.

I popped in there in mid-August shortly after they opened with a friend, and gave a try to their ice cream.

When I went there, they only had four flavours on the menu – a salted caramel, a chocolate, a vanilla, and my choice, an Earl Grey.

Instead of traditional churned ice cream, Nice Cream uses liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze the freshly-mixed ingredients.

Learn more about making ice cream using liquid nitrogen here.

It’s an interesting, albeit faddish kind of idea, but the result is very tasty, smooth, and apparently less prone to those chunky ice crystals other ice creams can get if frozen too slowly. I only had a small size ($3.99 plus tax, with toppings extra) and it was very filling – I actually had to pause mid-way through my dessert, and pop my ice cream in the freezer when I got home – I couldn’t eat it all in one sitting. (Admittedly, I’d just had a great dinner at a nearby Indian place)

They’re so new, that I couldn’t find a website for them – and their Zomato (formerly UrbanSpoon) listing actually directs to a different location on 17th Avenue, but you can find them in the Sarcee Plaza, SW Calgary, near the Vietnamese place, close to Starbucks.
Click to add a blog post for Nice Cream on Zomato
Map

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in South-West Calgary, Treats

 

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