I visited Big Catch a while ago, but then over and over again I kept seeing posts, tweets, and reviews raving about the kiosk in the Kingsland Farmer’s Market (just off MacLeod Trail). I had to go back last Friday – and this time Connie came with me!
It took me a while to get back to Big Catch because of their hours. Since they’re in the market, they’re tied to the hours of the market – Thursday – Sunday only. On the Friday when we went, the market closed at 5:00 p.m., but Big Catch is open 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Thank goodness, because we only just made it in time for 5:00 p.m. after work!
While we were both tempted by the sashimi (they offer 5 pieces of sashimi for $7.50 in either salmon, tuna, toro – fatty tuna, and wild salmon) we decided to go for the rolls that they’re really are known for.
I picked out the Mount Alaska roll that I’ve had before (skipping the onions this time) and the Zesty Avalanche roll, while Connie went for the God of Wind roll and the Meteor Rain.
The Mount Alaska roll is a cucumber and tuna roll topped with smoked salmon, avocado, volcano sauce and black pepper. The roll usually comes topped with onions too, though I skipped that. I found that the topping was less black pepper and more sort of a seasoning sprinkle thing. The smoked salmon was delicious, and there was only a touch of sauce, which is good – but the seasoning on top was too big (it needed to be ground down more fine) which made it annoying to eat.
The Zesty Avalanche is listed as a “spicy miso infused salmon and daikon topped with prawn and avocado served with Japanese mayo”. I was really excited about the miso-infused salmon – but I really couldn’t taste any special flavour to the salmon itself. The roll also had the same chunky spice blend sprinkled on top which I didn’t really care for, and I found the daikon a bit too sharp with the much more delicate flavours.
The God of Wind roll is a prawn tempura roll with masago and cucumber. it’s topped with avocado, unagi (eel) and wine wasabi sauce. Hopefully Connie will chime in and let us know how it was!
Likewise, hopefully Connie will share her impressions of the Meteor Rain roll,which is a crab and wild salmon roll topped with torch seared salmon, thinly sliced onion, Japanese mayo, and mixed spices.
Service & Atmosphere
The atmosphere at Big Catch is… farmer’s market food court. Our entertainment during our meal was a little girl (about 4 years old I’m guessing?) running up to use over and over…and over and over showing us her orange slices, an infant behind us slamming his plastic bottle against the table, and a regular stream of customers coming in for take-out. (They really seem to have the take-out sushi down pat -so if you’re not in the mood for the farmer’s market food court atmosphere and more in the mood for your own dining room, consider take out instead!)
The service on the other hand – is the total opposite. Our cashier was outgoing, friendly, and eagerly helpful. He offered to help us choose which rolls we wanted while we were looking through the menu, took our orders quickly, delivered our sushi to our table while we sat, and came by several times to check that everything was good with our sushi. Excellent service for sure! As things were winding down, the chefs in their tiny ‘kitchen’ were also helpful when Connie’s eyes were bigger than her stomach and she needed to pack up her leftovers for a late-night sushi snack.
My impressions for my second visit are much like the first – Big Catch is getting a lot of great press on social media and through review sites, and the sushi is good – especially good if you consider it fast-food sushi – but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all for sushi in Calgary. The quality of food is great, but the location and hours make it challenging. It is well worth a stop by though – if you can get there during the open hours….