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Category Archives: Downtown Calgary

Sakana Grill in Calgary’s Chinatown

Salmon roe and chopped scallop rolls from Sakana Grill

Salmon roe and chopped scallop rolls from Sakana Grill

Back in late April, I met up with a friend after her work downtown – and we had hoped to go to Goro + Gun for dinner – but it was Sunday, and they were closed. So, we wandered over to Sakana Grill instead.

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Posted by on June 17, 2017 in Downtown Calgary, Sushi

 

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Nourish Kitchen & Bakery

Colourful tarts and other goodies from Nourish Kitchen and Bakery

Colourful tarts and other goodies from Nourish Kitchen and Bakery

At the end of April a friend invited me to the YYC Alternative Market. In the back of my mind I really hoped that the market would be retro-funky-goth-cool… and while there were a lot of vendors there that fit that bill – I was also super happy see my friends from Nourish Kitchen and Bakery!

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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Downtown Calgary, Treats

 

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Salad doesn’t have to be boring….

Collage of photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

Collage of photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

In my previous blog post I shared some photos from inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar – a clean, stylish shop in Eau Claire market. Today I’m going to share just a few quick photos of some of the salads I’ve put together using their product for dressings.

I don’t really LIKE to eat salad a lot – not that it’s not tasty.. it just gets BORING after a while. Putting these oils and vinegars (ok.. way more vinegar than oil.. I love the ZING) along with some delicious creamy goat cheese makes any salad WAY more interesting for me.

salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

This is tomatoes, goat cheese, and leftover beets from the previous night’s dinner over mixed greens, with blackberry-ginger balsamic vinegar along with blood orange EVOO. YUM!

Red pepper, mushroom, goat cheese and spinach salad topped off with dressing from the salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

Red pepper, mushroom, goat cheese and spinach salad topped off with dressing from the salad topped off with dressing from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar Bar

My friend doesn’t like mushrooms… but I like them, so I tossed mushrooms into MY salad.. but left them out for him. Red pepper gives lots of colour, goat cheese, and spinach are topped off with the Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil mixed with Pomegranate Dark Balsamic vinegar. YUM!
Finally one more – this is a salad with green, yellow, and red mini tomatoes, goat cheese…. & amazing dressing made with blackberry-ginger balsamic & blood orange evoo. It’s served up in my gorgeous hand-made blue pottery bowl that I got from an artisan’s show a while back.

I also picked up a few more flavours recently… now I need to find the perfect dish to try out the Dark Chocolate Dark Balsamic vinegar too…. it tastes so yummy just on it’s own. Ice cream maybe? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Downtown Calgary

 

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Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

The owner of Eau Claire Market Oil & Vinegar Bar putting together my purchase.

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or on my Facebook page, you’ve likely seen the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar pop up more than once.
Ages ago I visited a cool similar bar in Victoria, BC, and loved it… but didn’t know of any place in Calgary that offered a similar experience and product. Then before last Christmas I stumbled upon the one in Eau Claire Market in downtown Calgary and loved it!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar - such a clean, stylish shop!

Inside the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar – such a clean, stylish shop!

I love being able to sample the flavours in advance (and have taken a few friends to do the same), and love that they suggest pairings to make really lovely flavours. I will use flavoured balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil for a bunch of different dishes… but in the end I keep coming back to salads- because I don’t normally LIKE salad- and tossing on a really special dressing makes it WAY easier to get more greens into my day.

Today I’ll share some photos from inside the shop, and in a future post I’ll share some of my salad creations.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

The packaging to take home my purchases from the Eau Claire Oil & Vinegar bar.

p.s. – how do you like my new graphics? I’m trying something new with my Instagram feed and thought I’d bring some of the photos over here too!

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Downtown Calgary

 

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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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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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Canada Day Market & Block Party

Happy Fish food truck

Happy Fish food truck (I don’t know if they’ll be attending)

Back in April I posted about the YYC Food Truck Frenzy, and mentioned how some people were a bit upset that there was a $5.00/ adult entrance fee just to visit the food trucks. Well, if you were one of those who wanted to check out a variety of trucks, but didn’t see the point in paying $5.00/adult to go… maybe check out this Canada Day festival: CANADA DAY MARKET & BLOCK PARTY

It’s open noon to midnight at Eau Claire Market (both indoors and outdoors) so you can pop in, check it out, and then head out to wherever else you have planned to celebrate Canada Day!

Visit their page for more information. https://www.facebook.com/events/799590173421718/

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Downtown Calgary, Food Trucks

 

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