I mentioned in a previous post that Connie and I visited Shibuya Izakaya not too long ago. In my earlier post I talked about the Baby Octopus but that wasn’t all that we had!
To start off our meal we shared some raw oysters. They were absolutely outstanding. There’s a ‘rule’ (or perhaps an old wives tale?) that raw oysters are best in months that end in “R” so we’ve been waiting a few months to enjoy them again – and these were well-worth the wait! They serve them with Ponzu sauce, which I’ve never had for oysters before, but it was outstanding – they offered a lemon wedge as well, but with the Ponzu sauce, we didn’t feel the need for any further dressing to the oysters. They also have a bunch of green onions on them, which I mostly took off – I don’t like onions. Shockingly, I didn’t even get a photo of the oysters! We considered trying the gyoza, but there were other things we wanted to try more. Next time!
Next up, we had the baby octopus, and then a salad roll. The salad rolls were on the same page as the special sushi rolls, and I didn’t really know what to expect. We had a Sashimi Salad Roll, which was served cut into four pieces, and generously drizzled with dressing. There were a lot of vegetables in the salad roll, and it was wrapped in the regular rice paper wrapper that salad rolls I’ve had before are rolled in. I wasn’t overly impressed with the roll itself – though I think it would make a really nice option for someone who isn’t really interested in sushi or sashimi – or anyone who wishes they could get more vegetables when out for sushi! It definitely made me think about trying to use those wrappers again (my first attempt didn’t really work out!).
Next up, we had salmon and tuna sashimi. I find myself going back and forth – sometimes I prefer salmon, sometimes I prefer tuna. This time around I found that the tuna didn’t have as much flavor, so I preferred the salmon. Lately I’ve had a lot of sashimi that hasn’t been cut well; its been sinew-y and tough to eat compared to the sashimi I’m expecting. This sashimi was much better cut than the not-so-great ones I’ve been having lately.
Finally, we finished with some of our favorite sushi pieces. Connie had scallop sashimi and saba, while I had my special scallop battleship-style nigiri and ikura. Along with the oysters, these were really the highlights of the meal.
The ikura was firm and burst with salty goodness. The ratio of rice to eggs was good too, and it was put together well (ei: it didn’t fall apart when introduced to soy sauce). The special scallop was a bit more creamy than I had been hoping for – but it tasted fantastic and was made just as well as the ikura.
As for the restaurant itself, it’s very small and tucked into an unimpressive strip mall. The decor is clean and modern, but there aren’t very many tables. When we arrived they were almost full, and when we left they were packed, with everything from couples and friends out for dinner to families. The servers seemed to be lacking a bit of communication (two servers both seemed to think we were in their section) but they made up for it with being friendly and accommodating. The hostess (? busser?) also was very friendly and came by frequently to refill our waters.
For the amount of food that we had, I thought the prices were ok. Our total bill came to $66 including tax before tip. Sushi is never a ‘cheap’ meal….
Ok… so, what about other opinions about Shibuya? While looking for other blogs, I found Calgary Sushi (how have I never seen this before?!) who gave Shibuya a 8/10 in a 2008 article. A lot can change in a few years though. Food = Life gave it a good reviewas well, though I agree about the location – it’s not the easiest place for me to get to either. Although I liked the ponzu sauce on the oysters, the author didn’t, but liked the onions. Different tastes! The last link I’ll leave you with is from Scrumptiously Fit Food, who offers up a review along with really fantastic and mouth-watering photographs.
Have you been to Shibuya? What is your favorite item on the menu – the one item you’d recommend for the next time we go back again? Let us know in the comments below!
Central 16 Ave N
453 16 Ave NE
Calgary, AB T2E
|Special scallop||$3.25 (I think the most expensive I’ve spent!)|