I was up in Edmonton for a workshop and to see some friends, and while I was there I popped into West Edmonton Mall to do some shopping. My friend wasn’t getting off work until nearly 7pm and I was getting hungry, so I looked at the menu and saw only two places for sushi – one fast-food, and one sit-down restaurant. I opted for the latter, and found myself at Oranj Sushi Bar.
Tag Archives: bento
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.
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!
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.
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
225 7th Ave SW
Well since I took a bit of a break from my Iceland posts to share the Taste of Calgary 2014 with you, I figured I’d postpone getting back to Iceland a bit longer, and bounce off to my August trip to Victoria, BC.
I’m not entirely sure how to rate Azuma Sushi – I’m not sure if I should give it a good rating (for food, price) or a poor one (due to one really rather serious problem…so let’s start off with the good…
Regular Happy Sushi Belly readers might remember I posted a while back about a trip to Victoria, BC. Of course, I had to get my west-coast sushi fix while I was there! One of the places I visited was Itami Sushi in downtown Victoria, very close to The Bay Centre – and our hotel!
Ups and downs
There were some downsides to our experience at Itami – mostly relating to service. We went in just after the “lunch rush” and there weren’t many people in the restaurant eating – and also not very many staff. The hostess seemed to be doing double-duty, and we waited a while for her attention before being seated. Our server was also either forgetful or distracted, offering very poor service. We asked for a fork, which never came – instead we ended up going up to the counter to get one from the chef! Likewise she never came around to check how our meal was, nor offered to refill our water glasses which were empty near the end of our meal, and sitting on the edge of the table to catch her attention. Considering the number of other sushi places nearby, I’d find it hard to give a great review… except… Read the rest of this entry »
In April (yes, I know, I’m so far behind!) I convinced my non-sushi-loving friend to come for sushi with me (with the promise of bento boxes)… Since we were in my end of town and weren’t in the mood for anything fancy, we popped into an otherwise empty Sushi Hanami (Monday night, about 5:30pm). By the time we left there were a few more tables occupied, but it was kind of nice to have the quiet…
- Tuna and Salmon sashimi (3 pc of each)
- Chopped scallop battleships (They don’t carry Ikura!)
- Volcano roll
While my companion ordered the chicken and tempura prawn bento box.
The tuna sashimi was good – very good actually – better than a previous visit to my otherwise-favorite place, Momo-Yama a few nights before, while the salmon was fine, but lacked as much delicious salmon flavour as I was really hoping to experience.
The chopped scallop battlships were delicious, and left me wanting more…. (who can resist chopped scallops, mayo, and tobiko?)
The Volcano roll wasn’t quite what I had anticipated… I think I was thinking of the Volcano roll I had in Hawaii back in February, but instead this was something entirely different. This was a California roll with chopped scallops (and onions, which was not advertised.. boooo!) in spicy sauce, baked. It was very unusual. I didn’t like the onions (I hate ’em – why don’t people let me know that they’re using them when they affect the taste so much?!?) but the spicy sauce was actually alright – not too spicy, and warm, I actually didn’t mind it with the scallops. (I’ve tried spicy scallop battleships, and didn’t like them at all… the warmth must make a positive difference!) The cooler California roll on the bottom ended up being quite refreshing after the spicy and warm – really quite nice. (Just lose the onions next time!)
I had been in the mood for a specialty roll that was different and unusual, but was a bit disappointed in their selection of ‘special’ rolls. They weren’t very special at all. I guess it’s time to head back to Globefish!
My companion’s order
My companion’s bento box came with a delicious (she said!) bowl of miso soup, chicken (baked or fried, I’m not sure… there was batter involved though!), tempura prawns with a creamy dipping sauce, three pieces of California roll, a huge serving of salad with dressing already on it (not my preference – dressing on the side please…) loads of ginger, and four nigiri sushi pieces.
While my non-sushi-loving friend was fine with the California rolls, one piece of nigiri sushi was enough for her, so my generous self took the remaining three nigiri sushi pieces off her hands. *cough cough* (She also tried on of my volcano roll pieces btw… I’m not a total leech!) I was quite disappointed – the nigiri pieces in the bento box tasted pre-made.. the rice was dry and the fish rather flavourless. However, she said that the rest was delicious – and if you are going out with a non-sushi-loving friend, it’s a very affordable option – her box cost just a little over half of what my meal cost – and I think she got more food to fill a hungry tummy!
Sushi Hanami offers four all-day bento boxes, and another 5 or 6 (I didn’t look) for lunch only. I have been meaning to head over there with a co-worker for a few months now… (our Fridays start off so quiet at the beginning of the week and keep getting packed by the end of the week!) so I might have to try one of the bento boxes myself… supplemented with a chopped scallop battleship though of course!
So, I clearly need to find more places that offer awesome (and well-priced) bento boxes. Since that’s not something I normally look for on a menu, gimme some recommendations where I can go with my non-sushi-loving friends! Let me know about some of the best bentos in Calgary in the comments below!
#17, 4604 – 37th St. SW