Of course, Momo-Yama is one of my favorite sushi places in Calgary (my favorite sushi place I’ve ever been to is in Vancouver…) but not too long I went to Momo-Yama with a friend (after a very nice afternoon of conversation, tea, and scrapbooking!) and my experience wasn’t nearly as good as it usually is.
We started off with a shared order of gyoza. These are supposed to come in an order of 9 (which is difficult to split!) but they only brought us 8. They were deep fried (instead of pan-fried) and honestly, we didn’t miss that last one from the order. They were very small and crisp – too crisp for our liking. We generally like them when the dough is still soft (but not too chewy) and just crisp on one side from the pan. The texture of the deep-fried gyoza was off-putting, and although the flavour of the filling might have been fine, I was overwhelmed by the oily, crunchy exterior instead. Boo.
On another note, for the longest time they haven’t served tempura because they didn’t have the fryer (or so I was told one time, long ago). I am guessing they have purchased a fryer, so perhaps tempura will be available soon… hopefully nothing like these gyozas though!
Next up we split an order of salmon sashimi ($12.50 for 8 pieces) and an order of tuna sashimi ($12.50 for 8 pieces). While the tuna sashimi was nice large pieces with excellent flavour, the salmon was… bad.
The salmon was nearly impossible to ‘cut’ with my chopsticks, and while the size of the portion was fine, it was much smaller than the tuna, and also inconsistent. Some pieces were large, while others were quite small. Not a big deal, but it makes it harder to split an order. The salmon was sinew-y and very difficult to eat. Ick. Near the end, our server came by and I told her that it was not good, so she brought us four pieces of salmon to replace our order – these pieces were FAR better. She indicated that the first order had been from the tail, while these new pieces were from the belly. It made a huge difference – I would have reserved the pieces from the tail to be chopped up very small for rolls, not served for sashimi where the selection and cut is supposed to be premium – reflected by the premium price.
Connie had a roll which she said was well-flavoured, but rolled too loosely (and falling a bit apart) while I had much better luck with two pieces of absolutely delicious Ikura (Salmon Roe) battleship-style sushi pieces, and two of the special scallop pieces that were equally delicious. She finished off her meal with her favorite Saba and an omlette nigiri sushi piece.
I appreciate the good service of bringing us replacement sushi, though I have typically higher expectations of Momo-Yama to start off with. So, although I’ll be back (over and over again if I’m lucky!) I likely won’t order gyoza there anymore.