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Category Archives: Out of town – Alberta

Dark Iron Budda tea

Dark Iron Budda tea

Dark Iron Budda tea

This is just another super-short post. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time right now to write here, and I haven’t been checking out many new places to eat in Calgary lately either. ūüė¶

Dark Iron Budda from Banff Tea Company is really good – mild tasting oolong tea – I’d get it again (the next time I’m up in Banff that is!)

 
 

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Gyoza from Joey’s seafood

Joeys Gyoza or Dumplings

Joeys Gyoza or Dumplings

I don’t always love gyoza, but¬†I’m still constantly on the look out for really good gyoza. I found it – in a very unlikely (and very un-sushi-like) place – Joey’s Seafood!

These are their Shrimp Gyoza, described as:”Shrimp, veggies and herbs fill a saut√©ed Japanese Dumpling accompanied by a Ponzu sauce and drizzled with Hokkaido mustard.” – they had great flavour, great texture – and were easy to eat (rather than the ones that fall apart when you try to bite into them. ¬†All in all, I was really impressed. ¬†Of course, we had a whole meal, but really, it was the gyoza that I’d make a point of going back for.

I tried them in their High River location – so here’s hoping that they’re just as good at a Calgary location!

Joey's Seafood Restaurants High River on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Gyoza (Dumplings), Out of town - Alberta

 

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Tea: Kusmi Violette

Kusmi tea

Kusmi tea

One of the teas I picked up at the Banff Tea Company ages ago was the Kusmi brand Violette tea.¬† I had heard and seen a bit of Kusmi tea, but didn’t know much about it until reading a bit about it in the shop.¬† You might remember I tried some of the Kusmi Almond Green tea last May as well.

Kusmi teas were first established in 1867 in St. Petersburg, and in 1917 the company moved to Paris where it continues using “high-quality teas with natural essences to create subtle aromas and flavours“.¬† Teas come from India, China, and Ceylon, while the essences come from around the world.

The little mints – I’ll get them next time!

I had seen some violet candies in the candy store only a little while earlier, (but not picked them up, as I was only getting things for someone else.. and no sweets for myself) and so the chance to try violet tea was too enticing to pick up (even if the cost was quite dear! eep!) According to the Kusmi website (the Canadian site is all in French, so I am referring you to the English USA site instead) the tea is from Chinese black tea leaves and violet petals.

Scent

Dry, the tea is distinctly a black tea, with a light floral violet scent.¬† It doesn’t look particularly pretty – though the tin itself is especially pretty!¬† Although the Banff Tea Co. website doesn’t list the Violette in-stock, they did have a few tins, though only the large size – they did have some smaller tins of different flavours and variety packs of smaller tins, so it’s worth calling ahead and seeing what they might have in stock before making the trip.¬† I’m sure I’ve seen the tins on the shelves of other specialty tea/coffee shops as well, so you can likely find it locally as well… (though next time you’re in Banff, you know where to go!)

The scent while steeping is similar to any other black tea, with a slight floral scent – though the violet isn’t especially distinct.

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages

 

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Sushi: Kyoto in Edmonton

Sashimi plate from Kyoto Sushi in Edmonton

Sashimi plate from Kyoto Sushi in Edmonton

I was up in Edmonton not too long ago for a concert (Tyr, Death Angel, and Children of Bodom) and while I was there I of course had to go for sushi!

I stopped in at Sushi Kyoto, in the Argyll Plaza area. The restaurant was slow, though it was about 5:00 p.m. when I was there, only one other diner (one of the members from one of the bands!) was there while I was there and a couple came in as I was leaving. The restaurant is simple but clean and tidy, but I found that the menu wasn’t very diverse. One potential problem that the other diner had (and if I’d been looking for rolls, I might have as well) was that the rolls were listed by name, but didn’t include ingredients. While a California Roll might be the same all over, local favourites are sometimes regional creations. Since it appeared as though the only staff person working up front was both a chef, server, host, and cashier, this meant that it took some time to have his questions answered about what was included in each roll.

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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Out of town - Alberta

 

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Capture the Colour contest 2013

Capture the Colour contest 2013

While I was reading about the Luv Mex Avocado contest yesterday, I came across the Capture the Colour contest hosted by the Travel Supermarket.

Launched in the summer of 2012, the 2013 edition of the contest has a simple idea – “publish a blog post showcasing five of your favourite travel photographs which best capture the colour of our five categories: red, blue, green, yellow and white.” In 2012 they received over 3,000 entries encapsulating the most colourful travel experiences, and this year I learned about the contest and want to enter too!

My entries

Scroll through the slideshow below to see all of my entries, and then scroll down for the individual photos and descriptions.

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Yellow

Capture the Colour - Yellow - fortress island of Suomenlinna off the coast of Helsinki, Finland

Capture the Colour – Yellow – fortress island of Suomenlinna off the coast of Helsinki, Finland

Many of you who have been reading Happy Sushi Belly have seen some of my photos of Finland, and my entry for the ‘yellow’ category is one of my most recent photos – from Finland! A lovely bird came to sit on the bridge as we crossed from one island to another on the fortress island of Suomenlinna. The yellow building in the background is a residential building, and you can check out all of my delicious posts about the fortress island by clicking the Suomenlinna tag. (More coming in a few days too!)

Green

Capture the Colour - Green, at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Canada

Capture the Colour – Green, at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Canada

Of the photos I looked through, seeking out “green” I didn’t have to look too far from home. In Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory, I loved this lush, green moss in the Temperate gallery. Click the Edmonton tag for our posts about the delicious treats and sushi I’ve had in Edmonton.

Blue

Capture the Colour - Blue - jellyfish at an aquarium in Maui, USA

Capture the Colour – Blue – jellyfish at an aquarium in Maui, USA

I looked through a few of my different photographs, but best of all showing “blue” I thought was this photograph of jellyfish. This photo was taken on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii, at the Maui Ocean Center, The Hawaiian Aquarium. I loved this tall aquarium full of jellyfish – I could watch them for hours, floating and moving hypnotically through the water. ¬†Of course, while in Hawaii I tried lots of sushi and local dishes too – click the Hawaii tag for all of my travelling foodie posts about the beautiful islands.

White

Capture the Colour - White - near Geiranger, Norway

Capture the Colour – White – near Geiranger, Norway

My entry into the “white” category is from my 2012 trip to Norway. We started our trip by flying to London, UK, and then flew to Amsterdamn, The Netherlands. From there we took a Royal Carribean cruise. This shot is from a stop in Geiranger, Norway. In town we took a bus tour which took us up a long and winding road (the north and south sides of route 63), to an alpine lake called Djupvatnet high in the mountains. Although it was early summer, there was a thick blanket of snow, and someone had even crafted a tiny snow bunny looking out onto the snow and ice-covered lake.

Shockingly, I haven’t blogged at all about the cruise or the foods we enjoyed in Norway – I guess I know what I’ll be blogging about when my Finland posts are done!

Red

Capture the Colour - Red - at 3 Valley Gap, Canada

Capture the Colour – Red – at 3 Valley Gap, Canada

For my “red” entry I decided to select a tilt-shift photo. Now, I don’t have a tilt-shift lens, so this image has been edited through a website called TiltShiftMaker.com. The contest rules say “We are tolerant of image editing and will allow images to be edited with software as we do not wish to inhibit your creative freedom. Entries will be judged on a case by case basis” so I hope that this editing is ok! (I figure since it replicates something that I ~could~ do with a lens, if I had the money to invest in such a lens, that it should be ok!)

This photo is of the resort at 3 Valley Gap, close to Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada.¬†This shot was actually taken from our car – we didn’t have the chance to stop here, but instead you can read other posts about great places to eat in British Columbia by checking out the BC category.

More contest details

The contest will be judged by a panel of five leading travel and photography experts. Five individual category winners can choose from one of three awesome prizes (an iPad, a Fuji camera, or a Arc’teryx shopping voucher) and an overall winner will receive a huge ¬£3,000 travel fund. I know that if I won… that would go directly into one of my next travel destinations – L’Anse aux Meadows¬†in the summer of 2014, and then either back to Finland or to the Faroe Islands in the summer of 2015!

You be the judge!

So, which of the photos that I have entered do you like the best? Let me know in the comments below! Want to see the other entries? Check out the #CTC13 twitter hashtag for other bloggers sharing their travel photos! (note: it looks like there’s a conference using the same hashtag, so don’t get confused!)

Nominations

We’re also supposed to nominate others to join in the fun, so I’m nominating:

Connie Chau Arts
Throwing Horns Abroad
DDD
Boing Photography
300 pounds of metal

 

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Pi√Īa colada tea slushie

I picked up a small amount of pi√Īa colada tea from the Banff Tea Company when visiting the beautiful mountain town in August. It was the sample of the day, and was delicious!

Pi√Īa colada tea

Pi√Īa colada tea

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Bingo Blueberry

Even in a closed pouch, the blueberry scent of this tea from the Banff Tea Company seeps out, making your mouth water with the promise of those sun-warmed summer berries…

When I first saw it, and gave the sample tin a little sniff, I was immediately reminded of their Lady Hannah’s Whole Fruit, but with that dark, rich, blueberry scent alongside the fruity goodness.¬† It visually reminds me of Lady Hannah’s Whole Fruit as well, with big chunks of berry and fruit, this time accented with pink hibiscus petals and blue cornflower petals.

Bingo Blueberry tea from the Banff Tea Company

Bingo Blueberry tea from the Banff Tea Company

The ingredients of this tea include: apple pieces, dried elderberries, dried currents, dried blueberries, cornflower petals, hibiscus petals and natural flavour.¬† It’s a very heavy tea, so unfortunately a little doesn’t go as far as some other teas. I only picked up a small 50 gram bag of the tea on my last visit, and it’s not nearly enough!

The tea smells delicious, and tastes fantastic too – juicy and flavourful – highly recommended!

 
 

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Sushi: I Love Sushi in Edmonton

Of course, when I go out of town, sushi is on my mind! When I was up in Edmonton for a music festival that I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t just go out for sushi once, but twice with friends! My first trip out was to Kyoto, but my second was to I Love Sushi – a drastic difference.

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

While Kyoto had clean, modern decor, I Love Sushi is cute, and economical – the kind of place that I imagine caters more to people swinging by to pick up sushi for lunch or dinner and taking it out, rather than dining in.¬† The seating is minimal, and even though there were only three tables of customers in there (the space would seat about three times that number) it still felt a little cramped or crowded. Still, some of my favorite places have been more ‘hole in the wall’ than ‘fine dining’ so I was still up for a delicious meal with great company!

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I ordered an order of tuna sashimi, and two pieces of chop chop – the chopped scallop and tobiko sushi that in Calgary we call a ‘special scallop’.¬† The chopped scallop was fantastic (although they had that silly little ‘tail’ of nori which I always pick off – with it on there there’s just too much sticky seaweed for my taste!) with great taste and perfect quantity.¬† The sashimi on the other hand was really disapointing.¬† When it came, it visually looked mushy. It actually still LOOKED partially frozen (although it wasn’t) and when I ate it, the very small pieces also felt and tasted mushy.¬† I like a nice, firm but tender piece of tuna, and this wasn’t it.¬† This was super-cheap maki quality tuna, not sashimi quality tuna as far as I was concerned.

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

So, the food itself was a bit of a mix… with that being said, the service was friendly and prompt – a great trait for take-out sushi.¬† I did have a bit of a frown to their washrooms though – there was no paper in the ladies, so I used the mens which had no coat hooks or anything, and smelled bad.¬† However, the washrooms are not just for the resturaunt, but also for the little health food store beside it – so likely not the resturuant’s responcibility but rather the responciblity of the landlord.

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

My conclusion; although it wouldn’t be my first choice to visit again, I Love Sushi is worth checking out for a quick sushi bite. I went around 3pm on a Tuesday, but I read on UrbanSpoon that they’re pretty busy during the lunch hour, so I expect that their goal is to be a quick pop-in or take-out option for those working downtown 9-5.

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi in Edmonton

I Love Sushi
(780) 428-0606
10106 105 St NW
Edmonton, AB

I Love Sushi on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Out of town - Alberta, Sushi

 

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Sushi: Kyoto in Edmonton

I was up in Edmonton for a music festival a while back (this is another one of those delayed posts!) and while I was up there, had to get together with a friend for what else…. sushi!¬† She recommended Kyoto downtown – about 10 blocks from my hotel – where we met up for dinner.

The decor is very clean, simple, modern. They have the option of the little rooms (which I love for groups) but also lots of tables and booths. Our server was very attentive and polite, and the menu had a lot of selection.

Kyoto in Edmonton

Kyoto in Edmonton

My friend isn’t quite up to the ‘raw fish’ part of sushi yet, so we ended up sharing a love boat of maki rolls. I had been looking at their maki selection in the menu and was actually looking forward to trying a selection – but the love boat was mostly very plain, ordinary rolls. I was kind of disappointed with the selection. There was a salmon roll, a tuna roll, a spicy roll (spicy tuna I think), a giant California roll, a tempura shrimp roll, and a roll filled with tempura batter and topped with a variety of fish like a rainbow roll. Although I was disappointed with the selection, I wasn’t disappointed with the quantity. I probably ate only half of my ‘share’ of the boat, and took the rest back to my hotel. (Which I promptly forgot in my mini-fridge…oops!)¬† It has been so long since I ordered a boat, or had so much maki!

(I think because I’m used to eating sashimi so much more, and am not so used to all of that rice – I was actually uncomfortably full… so much so that for our post-dinner drink, I stuck with a plain mint tea!)

Kyoto in Edmonton

Kyoto in Edmonton

Along with the love boat, I also had a “chop chop” – the Edmonton equivalent of what Calgary sushi restaurants call a special scallop – chopped scallops with tobiko, served up ‘battleship’ style. I think I like “chop chop” better as a name really, much cuter! The chop chop was fantastic! Although they had way more nori than what was needed (I always pick off those little ‘tails’ because otherwise there’s just too much seaweed!) the flavour and texture was perfect.¬† Yum!

I also had an order of Ikura – which was also just perfect (apart from the little nori ‘tail’) I’m glad the chop chop and Ikura came before the boat so I could really enjoy them!

Kyoto in Edmonton

Kyoto in Edmonton

All in all Рthe company was wonderful, and the nigiri sushi was great.  The maki was well made and tasted good, but I think I overdid it!

Kyoto in Edmonton

Kyoto in Edmonton

Kyoto Japanese Cuisine
(780) 420-1750
10128 109 Street
Edmonton, AB

Kyoto Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Out of town - Alberta, Sushi

 

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Tea: Kusmi Almond

The last time Connie and I were in Banff we stopped in at our favorite tea shop and picked up a few favorites plus a few new things  One of the things that she tried was Kusmi Almond Tea, and I loved the scent too Рso recently she brought it by for me to try.

While I loved the tea in the store, I found the scent this time around a bit strange, almost too strong of an almond scent Рas though it were a bit chemical.  This might be that it was a fresh container (versus the container in the shop) or just my mood on the two different days.  There is a very strong almond scent, and a slight bitterness with the green tea.

When I steeped it up, the scent remained, though the green tea scent was more predominant, and the almond scent was significantly less.

In taste, I found this tea a bit too bitter for me, so I added sweetener, and yes, skim milk (I know the purists will clutch their pearls at adding milk to green tea – but it improved it for me!) The green tea flavour definitely took over the tea, and the almond flavour wasn’t hardly noticeable at all to me.¬† (Perhaps because I am so sensitive to the taste of the green tea…?)

Overall, like the Kusmi Violet tea that I tried, (which I’ll blog about later!) I found that there wasn’t enough of the flavour in the tea – that the addition seemed mostly scent rather than taste.

Have you tried the Kusmi Almond tea?  What did you think?  Let us know in the comments below!  Are there other Kusmi teas that you prefer?

Tea. Photo by Modomatic

Tea. Photo by Modomatic

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages

 

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