My favorite place to get sushi here in Calgary thus far is a little place in the Glamorgan shopping plaza called Momo-Yama. It’s a very small restaurant, but the food is consistently excellent, so even though it might be off the beaten track for most sushi-lovers, it’s well worth the trip.
Some tips to having a great experience at Momo-Yama
- Make a reservation. This place is tiny, and if you want to go during the lunch or dinner rush, you’ll need a reservation. I’ve called for reservations before (for later the same night), and have missed out because they’re booked up all the way to 8pm (way too late for my dinner!).
- Reserve take-out. They do an awesome take-out dinner as well, but even then, the kitchen is only so big, and just dropping in for take-out can lead to disappointment if they’re too busy. I’ve usually called in the daytime, for that evening’s take out, and have always been happy with my meal. Obviously knowing what you want in advance is the key here, so it isn’t a bad idea to either know your à la Carte preferences or pick up a menu next time you’re there.
- They’re closed on Mondays. Just like hair salons, Momo-yama is closed on Mondays. This has made me very disappointed more than once, when I’ve been craving their special scallop battleship-style rolls.
- Time your visit and pick up some Glamorgan Bakery cheese buns while you’re there. If you time your visit to Momo-yama right, you can get there at the same time that Glamorgan bakery is open, and pick up some amazing, delicious cheese buns while you’re there. These are the cheese buns that friends from out of town come in specifically to pick up, and win awards in Calgary publications every year. They’re just that good.
- Large groups = not a good plan. This is a VERY small restaurant, and while they can certainly move tables around, this is not the place where a large group of people will fit in very well. If I remember correctly there are two booths (for 4), 2 tables for 4, 2 tables for 2, and then a very small counter. A better option for a large group would be ordering take out (in advance!) and heading home or up the street to one of the nearby parks and making a sushi picnic! (The park right behind Safeway is an off-leash park though.. eat at your own risk!)
Favorites: I’d totally recommend their Special Scallop Rolls, Ikura (Salmon roe), and Gyoza. One note – they don’t do a LOT of non-sushi items, so if you’re going with a bunch of people, some of whom don’t really love sushi, there will be fewer options here than at some other places. They don’t do any tempura either, which can be a typical stand-by for folks who like the sushi restaurant experience, but don’t necessarily love sushi. I have the sneaking suspicion their kitchen just isn’t big enough to do everything.
Size: I’ve chatted with people who think that they should expand, since they are so busy, there’s so much take-out traffic, and so often people are turned away because they just can’t handle the number of people who want to eat there. As much as I would love to not worry about reservations and all of that, I’d rather see them continue to be my neighborhood favorite, rather than expand too soon and loose the quality that they’ve been able to consistently produce.
Staff: While the chef is always cheery and smiling, sometimes the servers can seem a bit rushed. I’ve only ever had one not-so-good experience there with servers mind you (when I was followed out into the parking lot because I forgot to write down a tip on the receipt……) and all the rest of my visits have been pleasant.
Clearly the place to eat blog reviewed Momo-yama as well – check out the comments and fantastic (mouth-watering) photos! Another blogger Food=life checked out Momo-yama as well, with more lovely photos!
Have you been to Momo-yama? What do you think about the idea of them growing to serve more people, or staying the same size even though sometimes people can’t eat there?