Unfortunately I don’t have much in the way for new posts for you right now, but in the meantime, here are two photos from The One Sushi, one of my new favourite AYCE sushi places in Calgary – largely because along with sushi they also have a wide variety of other dishes too – really excellent for when going out with folks who don’t love sushi.
Tag Archives: All you can eat
In my last post I shared some of the sushi my dining companions and I shared when we visited The One Sushi only 3 weeks after it opened it’s doors. In this post I’ll let you know about some of the other food items.
The One Sushi offers Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Korean foods, including soups, rice dishes, deep fried items, and salads.
One of my companions ordered the Mongolian Beef, pictured above. He said that this was probably his favourite dish of the whole night, and would definitely order more of it. We also ordered one order of spring rolls, but accidently got 3 orders! Ouch!
I have a bunch of other posts to share with you from delicious meals and treats in Iceland, but I’m going to interrupt just for a moment to introduce one of Calgary’s newest AYCE (All You Can Eat) sushi places.
I visited The One Sushi during the August long weekend, and the server let me and my dining companions know that the restaurant had only been open for three weeks. They’ve given a minor facelift to the previous Home Food Inn (a Chinese food buffet) on Macleod Trail, but have kept the all-you-can-eat premise. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s Daily Post Prompt is “barriers”, though I can’t say that there’s a lot that will stand in the way of getting some tasty sushi!
However, the last three times I went out for sushi, I didn’t end up photographing the meal or sharing a post about the experience… the first was a take-out sushi meal from Co-op, which I’ve blogged about a half-dozen (or so) times before I’m sure, the second was out for AYCE (All You Can Eat) sushi at Sushi Ichiban on Macleod Trail in Calgary – which I’ve also blogged about before, and the third and most recent was just last night out for a AYCE sushi with big group of friends to celebrate my birthday at Miki in Banff.
So, why no new photos? The barrier with the last two places was just feeling a little like “that gal” – the one always pulling out her cell phone in the middle of a meal. Sure I was only going to take a photo of the food to blog about, but I really started to feel like pulling out my phone would intrude on the visit, the conversation, and just generally ‘fitting in’ with the flow of the evening.
Here’s a question to other bloggers – do you ever find yourself thinking “ooh, I could blog about this” but stopping yourself just because it’s not really the time or the place – or do you take every opportunity, and not let those “barriers” stop you?
There are a bunch of other bloggers chiming in on this topic (72 so far!). So far, check out the following blogs for more on “barriers”.
- Harry Potter, Famous Dads and Stoke Newington | AS I PLEASE
- Emotional baggage | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Motivation Needed | suzie81’s Blog
- Neanderthals | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- I want to be a dreamer when I grow up | From One Crazy Life To Another
- Barriers | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
- Scenes From A Barrier Island | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course -as a Medical Student | Journeyman
- Some weeks I just wish I could hibernate | Kate Murray
- Why women put up barriers to sex! ADULT CONTENT -Daily Prompt | alienorajt
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | The Wandering Poet
- DP Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Sabethville
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Under the Monkey Tree
- Obstacles | Sue’s Trifles
- blossoming individual | peacefulblessedstar
- Getting Things Done « One Crazy Mom
- Adventures in baby cereal | Life Love Lily
- So much to do | Angel Frouk
- Getting Out of My Way | The Silver Leaf Journal
- A Day With Chef Rene | The Jittery Goat
- caught | yi-ching lin photography
- there are | y
- Obstacles to Peace and/or Prosperity/Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Purpose | Phelio a Random Post a Day
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course (to UK) | Memory Bank of the Nocturnal
- An obstacle for everyone | LauGraEva
- The “Motif” Obstacle Course! | Home’s Cool!
- Daily Prompt: Obstacles « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
- The Silent Treatment. | Hope* the happy hugger
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Awl and Scribe
- of nothingness « Anawnimiss
- Why Did I Tackle This Obstacle Course? | Sued51’s Blog
- Time and Time Again . . . But, There Never Seems to be Enough | meanderedwanderings
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | sixty, single and surviving
- Inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs | Processing the life
- Life Can Be A Obstacle Course | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Self Motivation | A mom’s blog
- Smoke Screen | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
- Busy, Busy, Busy Bee… | An Upturned Soul
- Time and Tide | Flowers and Breezes
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Kauniiksi katsottu – Seen as Beautiful
- WP Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | 101 Challenges in 1001 Days
- Bottled Gumption | A.C. Melody
- You Can’t Tie Your Shoes | Sam Wight
- Daily Prompt: Obstacles / unlocking my doors… | Louie Behogan
- Overcoming barriers | Mishe en Place
- DP: Obstacle Course |Metaphor is a pushy jerk. | thejimmieG
- Obstacle racing | Unknown File
- Lost for Words | Raspberry’s Daydreams
- Barriers | The Land Slide Photography
- I did it! | Life is great
- Early roses | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
- Obstacles and barriers | Willow’s Corner
- How Can We Overcome Barriers to Creativity? | Pairings: Art + What Goes With It
- Musings of a First Time Buyer | L5GN
- Thanks Allah! | Dreams to Reality !
- Obstacle Course | The Nameless One
- YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE | Serendipity
- My weekly obstacle course | uddza
- Life is an Obstacle Course… | The Christian Gazette
- Living With Barrier – Passionately Bored
- It’s a thirsty man who writes for any reason. [Mama #2] | Rob’s Surf Report
- A Helping Hand | LenzExperiments
- Obstacles | Step Into My Head
- Barriers | dreaming of melville
- Daily Prompt: These Are the Breaks | One Starving Activist
- Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | To Breathe is to Write
- P E R S P E C T I V E | the bippity boppity beautiful blog
- Daily Prompt – Barriers | imexcited
- Daily Prompt: Barriers | Occasional Stuff
On the search for great All You Can Eat (AYCE) sushi in Calgary I took notice of Macleod Sushi & BBQ when I drove by – and their AYCE sign. A few weeks later I stopped by for dinner.
First off, I tried the sushi & bbq place up near SAIT a number of years ago, and really wasn’t impressed. The service was terrible and the food wasn’t good, and the smell of the bbq pits was kind of gross. Still, I was up for trying something new and didn’t want one experience to influence another – so I went in with an open and hopeful mind.
The first thing that struck me when heading to the Macleod Trail restaurant, was how full the parking lot was! It was 6:00 p.m. and the commercial area is also home to a computer shop and pub amongst other things, but entering the restaurant it was clear that it was a popular place!
Next, the smell. Unfortunately the smell of the little table-top Korean-style barbeque pits was quite strong, but we followed the hostess to our table. While we were seated immediately, as we were leaving (about an hour and a half later) there were three groups of people patiently waiting for a table. Despite that, I never felt as though we were being rushed to empty the seats.
So that brings me to the service – there were many, many servers – one who seemed to rotate constantly through with tea and water refills, and at least three others in our section delivering food and pop, and taking the slips for new orders. Although the servers were busy, I thought that they were quite efficient, and generally very friendly. We were also impressed at how quickly the food arrived at our table after ordering.
The interior – ok, now this is where things started to get worse… the decor is very dated, and probably could use a good cleaning and a new coat of paint. There was a good deal of dust on exhaust vents on the ceiling, and as my dinner companion noted the paint colours seemed disjointed and like something “out of the 1950’s”. The decorating also seems to be a bit chaotic, with all sorts of nick-nacks all over – it feels a little like a diner-meets-swap-meet inside. Worse still was the state of the washrooms…
The floors are sticky, there are no paper towels (just one of those blowers), feminine product waste containers were overflowing, and the toilets and walls of the stalls have visible dirt/soiling. Gross.
Onto the food…
We ordered the regular gyoza dumplings, and the spicy gyoza dumplings (not the deep fried ones) and found that the texture was nearly perfect, but the flavour and temperature was lacking. There wasn’t much flavour to either the regular nor the spicy gyoza, and they really could have been warmer. The spicy ones were served with a bit of spicy sauce on top, but no dipping sauce, and the regular ones were served with dipping sauce as expected.
We also had two different rolls each. Although the menu didn’t indicate that the rolls were deep fried – two of them were. I had the spicy tuna roll – and this was deep fried. The tuna inside was also cooked, which I didn’t anticipate at all. The spicy sauce wasn’t very spicy, the fried rice wasn’t to my taste, and I didn’t care for the tuna – so it all -in-all was a bit of a failure.
I also had a rainbow roll (pictured on the far left above) – it was alright, nothing special unfortunately. The rice wasn’t great – a bit gummy – but it wasn’t any worse than most fast-food sushi. (Well, ok, Co-Op sushi take out is better….) The menu was also challenging – while it had a wide variety of rolls, few had descriptions of what we could expect. Having never heard of a “yellow dragon roll” for instance, we didn’t know if we would like it or not.
Following our gyoza and rolls, we also had Agadashi Tofu, which suffered from the same problem as the gyoza – it lacked flavour, and could have been warmer.
The serving size is perfect though – small serving sizes makes it easy to try lots of different things – it just would have been nicer if the food had been better….
Next up –
- chopped scallop roll – more gummy rice
- tuna sashimi – alright – the peices were small, but that’s ok.
- salmon sashimi – I thought I had ordered tuna, but got salmon instead. Good flavour, but I didn’t like the fish scales…
- yam tempura – actually pretty good!
Finally we finished the meal with dessert. While my companion had the mango tapioca milk, I had the crispy banana, which I think was 1/6th of a banana, frozen, then wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and fried. It was interesting, but too greasy, and the banana was still frozen.
As you can guess, we weren’t very impressed with Macleod Sushi & BBQ. The food ranged between not good and mediocre, and although we thought the service was good, the atmosphere wasn’t. However, the place was really busy, so we might just not have been their target market. It also seemed that most of the satisfied diners were enjoying the Korean BBQ and not so much sushi, so perhaps that’s the trick to having a good meal here. Other than that, I might suggest this for large families with growing and large appetites for sushi to fill, but really there are far better other AYCE sushi places in Calgary with far better value for the money.
Macleod Sushi & BBQ
Suite 100-5211 Macleod Trail SW
While in Toronto in February, our hotel front desk clerk suggested “Sushi Hiro” and described the location on Baldwin Street now occupied by Kuni Sushi Ya, which I can only imagine was confusion his part. Still, we were pretty happy with Kuni Sushi Ya, and I took a few photos to share with other sushi lovers!
(Yes, this is another scheduled post… I have so many things to write about and so many great places and things to share!)
The outside is fairly easy to miss, but the interior is spacious and well-decorated, with discreet lighting that changes colour (which is kind of interesting, and kind of funny.. it means each of my photos might have a certain different light cast upon them. While we were there the roads were still very bad due to snow, so the restaurant was largely empty, though a few other customers came in while we were there. There was very little staff as well, but they were prompt and attentive.
We went for the All You Can Eat (AYCE) sushi, and decided to split a few rolls so we could try a little more. We started out with an order of gyoza that came with sauce already drizzled over it. They were a little over cooked, but alright. I wouldn’t order them again – not that I imagine I’ll be in Toronto looking for sushi anytime soon again!
We shared a mushroom roll – we had tried this ages ago at a place in Calgary and really liked it – but I found this a little tough and chewy. I think that I like the flavour more than the texture – though the mushroom might be really nice with something else (if a little more tender).
We also shared a Fuji Mountain roll – this is a spicy tuna and tempura bits roll with white tuna on top. The spicy tuna was fantastic, but I really didn’t like the white tuna at all.
Also pictured above is the sashimi we ordered – one piece each of tuna and salmon, and Connie ordered two pieces of mackerel as well. The salmon was good, but we both agreed that we really didn’t like the white tuna at all. I had this earlier at Gallery Sushi (see previous post) and didn’t actually know what it was – but it was strange and we weren’t too fond of it.
Finally, from our AYCE sushi roll selections, we had a Shichimi Maki roll – this was spicy tuna, avocado, tempura bits, wasabi tobiko, and spicy sauce. I don’t really love the tempura bits, and thought this could have had much more tobiko in it, but it was certainly pretty and tasty!
Our AYCE meal also came with ice cream – I chose ginger while Connie had mango and green tea. It was lovely, with little chunks of real ginger, but I really like an AYCE menu that includes dessert!
I also took a few photos of the menu. The regular menu is above showing the regular (not the AYCE) prices.
Many selections on the All You Can Eat menu above and below. (Aka the Buffet Menu)
My experience here was wonderful, apart from one small issue – the washrooms are in the basement (accessible only through a narrow stairwell – not suitable for anyone with issues with stairs) and it was FREEZING. I couldn’t believe how cold it was down there!
In February, I headed to Toronto (for a concert by Battle Metal band Turisas from Finland!) and after getting off my airport shuttle and heading to the hotel, I popped into a little sushi place for a late lunch.
Gallery Sushi was empty when I went in, and although that might otherwise discourage me, it was during a crazy snow day, and the streets were far less busy than normal, so an empty resturaunt wasn’t a worry.
Although the sign outside said that the All You Can Eat (for 18$) started at 4pm, I wasn’t offered an AYCE menu – but decided rather than asking about it, I really wanted a bento box instead.
I really loved the sushi and sashimi bento box that I ordered. Along with tea, the bento came to just over $15.00, and included a salad, miso soup, fantastic noodles, rice, a california roll, four pieces of nigiri sushi and eight pieces of sashimi. I didn’t like the white tuna much, but the rest was quite good, and the noodles were excellent – I’d really like to try them again! (A glassy kind of noodle with slivers of green and red pepper.)
If only I knew what those noodles were called! If you know, let me know in the comments below, so I can order them again!
So here’s a case of the scheduled posts! I had a number of posts queued up, and didn’t want to inundate the readers of Happy Sushi Belly with too many posts at once (let alone my poor Twitter followers!) so I actually wrote this long before it was posted… still, it seems like it was ages ago that Connie and I went to Sushi Ichiban on MacLeod Trail for sushi… For those of you who read Happy Sushi Belly for the Sushi – I hope you haven’t minded all of my tea posts! Here’s some sushi for you!
We had wanted a sushi fix, but were in the mood for something other than our long-standing favourite places, and didn’t want to drive TOO far to get to some of the places we’ve been meaning to try (or rare visits we’d like to return to). So, we headed to Sushi Ichiban on MacLeod Trail. Unlike their Westbrook location, the MacLeod Trail location offers All You Can Eat (AYCE) which was great because we were hungry!
We started off with an order of Agadashi Tofu, and Connie had a shrimp tempura while I had a yam. The tempura was fine – and I really appreciated that they brought us each our own dipping bowl instead of making us share one. It makes double-dipping more friendly that way. I found the tempura a bit oily – but I usually do, which is why I usually only have a few pieces these days. The Agadashi Toful seemed to be lacking a bit of flavour though – I think because the first place I tried it was MomoYama, I’ve just come to expect it to taste a certain way…
The decor in Sushi Ichiban is pretty nice – there are a LOT of small ‘rooms’ for groups of people, and then regular booths in the middle. I’ve been here once before with a group, and it really does make for a fantastic group experience, being in the private booth. Near the end of our meal, a very noisy group of people were seated behind us – and although I don’t deny them their joyful conversations, I got to learn a LOT more about one of the members of the group than I would want to know about a stranger… so this was a bit of a downside to how busy and active the restaurant is.
While I ordered my favorites; Ikura and chopped scallop, Connie ordered an assortment. I really liked the Ikura, however they mix their chopped scallop with chopped crab meat as well, and I didn’t like it nearly as much.
Connie had a cone, while we also shared a roll.
Of course.. since it was All You Can Eat, we also had a second order of sushi – Tuna for both of us, more of my favorites for me, and Connie’s favorites for her to end off the night.
The bill – since we didn’t have anything other than water to drink, it was just over $50.00 for the two of us.
4014 Macleod Trail S
A few Sundays back I headed downtown for Voices in the Village – a free outdoor opera concert from the Calgary Opera. Afterwards I headed to the Latin Festival, and then out for sushi for dinner. Yep, it was an entire day of music in languages I don’t understand…
It’s been a while since I went to Sushi Tokyo in the Dragon City Mall so I popped in again. This time I didn’t have the all-you-can-eat, but instead had an order of tuna sashimi, and my two favorites – chopped scallops and ikura.
The ikura was practically perfect (perfect would have been if they were a bit bigger instead of stingy all-you-can-eat size..) but the scallops were disappointing – I’m pretty sure the scallops were cooked because they were chewy and firm instead of smooth. I should remember that they do them this way for next time – and not bother ordering them.
The tuna sashimi was awesome though!
To start off, I can’t even believe I went here to begin with, but my companion really wanted to go to the Grey Eagle Casino back in May (yes, this is a scheduled post!), and despite my misgivings, I grudgingly agreed. Every Wednesday they have an Asian buffet, which was advertised as having ‘hand-rolled sushi’ featured as a dish. Now.. what kind of sushi do you expect at an ‘Asian buffet’?
If you said anything other than “lousy”, you fail this little test.
My first issue came with the smell of the Casino. The stench of stale, recycled cigarette smoke was nearly nauseating. My stomach hurt though I didn’t actually get sick, mind you I had my nose covered for most of our wait in line to get into the buffet. It seemed poorly organized to have a line-up wait to get in, but you pre-pay to go in, and then I suppose pay later for your drinks. (We didn’t order any drinks, so no worries there…) More than one till might have been a good idea, or a more efficient process perhaps.
When we got in, I went for the first table of items – a small buffet table with two sushi roll flavours (a BBQ eel roll and a crab/radish/cucumber/salmon roll that I thought was salmon/mango…) two small platters of sashimi (which was already well picked over by the time I got there, with salmon, tuna, octopus and mackerel, a platter of nigiri-style steamed prawn sushi, and a bowl of raw oysters. I love raw oysters, but something about seeing them buffet-style turned me off. There was also a small section for condiments with cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, wasabi, soy sauce, onion soy sause, and ginger. (The ginger had already been ‘contaminated’ by a piece of shrimp by the time I got there too.)
I tried the:
- eel roll (dried out as though it had be rolled a few hours earlier)
- salmon/crab/cucumber/radish roll (which I found kind of gross, and picked off all the cucumber before having the second piece which wasn’t much better – the radish was just the wrong flavor for the salmon – mango was what I had expected, and would have been far preferable!)
- salmon sashimi (inedible because of several small bones still in the fish)
- tuna sashimi (the best of the first batch)
- mackerel (very ‘fishy’ – though I don’t often eat mackerel, so I don’t know if this is normal. It was cut strangely, and sort of fell apart on it’s trip from the platter to my plate.)
So round one was a disapointment, and I wasn’t too keen on going back for seconds of anything from that buffet table.
Next I headed to the salad buffet table where there was a large selection of (mostly mayonaise or dressing heavy) salads. I picked a Greek salad and a hard-boiled egg, then looked at the hot Asian food items. (Clams, pork, chicken, shrimp…) None of them appealed to me in any way – they were missing my favorite standards like sesame chicken, ginger fried beef, chicken balls, or salt-and-pepper squid, so I skipped that entirely and stood in line for the hand-rolled sushi and sashimi.
I would love to be able to review this properly, but after standing in line for 10+ minutes, only two or three people had been served, and I was behind about another 7-8 people… this didn’t bode well. I decided to skip this, go eat my salad (I’d eaten my egg while in line…) and let my companion go get her next plate of dinner… (We always trade off at a buffet, so that we don’t have to carry our purses, or worse still, leave them behind!)
When I was ready to go refill my plate, the line up for the hand-rolled sushi had barely moved. What a terrible system! I could see that they did have ingredients to make my favorites, but it was insane to be lined up for 20-30 minutes… since only one chef was working. This could be done so much more efficiently. For instance, you could have a menu sheet, write down your order, and your table number, and have the (ample) servers deliver it, or have more chefs working, or something. I didn’t even see a menu of what you could order – though perhaps I just never got close enough. Also, the line up completely blocked one side of the hot food… Very poorly designed!
There were a few pieces of ready-made sushi rolls nearby though, though the platters were completely picked over and apparently weren’t being replenished. I took a single tempura roll piece with a strawberry on top – which was terrible, so I didn’t go back for more! Instead I headed to the desserts.
So, my sushi experience at the Grey Eagle Casino was, in a word, horrible. I wouldn’t ever bother going back again for food. However, the desserts were much better. I had:
- A small slice of red velvet cake (good, but the icing was too sugary and not cream-cheese-y enough for me)
- A little cake ball that I thought was a rum ball, but was actually a diabetic-friendly nutmeg cake thing… it was surprisingly good!
- A square of chocolate cake (quite good)
- A funny doughnut unlike the Tim Horton’s doughnut with a FAR superior chocolate icing on it
- .. and then we went for some fruit (strawberries) and mini-cream puffs from the chocolate fountain in the middle – which was wonderful.
My advice, if some cruel, sadistic person insists you go here, skip the food and go straight for the chocolate fountain. It was the best thing about the meal.
The few positives… If you really like Asian Buffets and want to eat a LOT of food (and don’t mind limited selection), and can tolerate the smoke/etc – this might be ok. There were several families there with plates piled HIGH with food, who seemed to be enjoying their meals. Also, there were AMPLE servers, and my water glass never went empty before it was refilled, and my used plates were usually (not always, but usually) taken away swiftly. The door staff seemed overworked and irritable, but the servers were very pleasant.
So, not a place worth going or that I would ever go to again. While the stench of smoke wasn’t really noticeable within the restaurant, just the walk past the untended garden-turned-enormous ashtray outside should have been a signal that this was not going to be a place I would enjoy. And I didn’t.
Grey Eagle Casino Buffet
3777 Grey Eagle Dr S.W.
Calgary, AB T3E