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Tea: Devil’s Chocolate

The retail wall of David's Tea

The retail wall of David’s Tea

Ages ago I picked up a small amount of Devil’s Chocolate from Teaopia, a rooibos tea with cacao nibs, ginger, cloves, and red pepper.  The tea is intended to be a rich chocolate flavour for chocolate lovers, but I was disappointed in the tea as a chocolate tea.  The tea is tasty, but not really the chocolate flavour that I was hoping for.

Dry, the tea is mostly spicy, warm, hot…  There’s also a slight bitterness to the scent which I didn’t care for, but     I was so curious to try the tea that I went for it anyways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Sushi: Momo sushi

Momo menu

Before heading to an advance screening of a cute stop-motion animated zombie movie called ParaNorman (awesome, go see it!) Connie and popped across the street from Chinook Centre to a place we’ve seen many times, but never been in – Momo Sushi.

Like my favorite MomoYama – it’s a small place tucked into an unassuming strip mall. The decor is clean but simple, and the menu was pretty simple too – but I noticed quickly as I waited for Connie to arrive that they did carry my two favorites – salmon roe and chopped scallop, and her two favorites, the tuna/onion roll and mackerel. Before heading there, I checked out the reviews on Urban Spoon, and had anticipated good quantity and good prices for everything ecept their specialty rolls.

Small interior at Momo

Well, the reviewers on Urban Spoon weren’t wrong – the specialty rolls were very high priced, while the rest was ok – but certainly not a bargain. I would say that their pricing is along with most of the places I regularly visit, perhaps even a bit higher, though I found the quality, portion size, and overall flavour very good.

Since I new we were in a bit of a rush, I ordered before Connie arrived (I know what I like!) but she came before all of my order did.  I had the tuna sashimi (excellent! Nice large portions too – it would have been wonderful for sharing if I wasn’t feeling tuna-greedy!) to start with.

Tuna sashimi

After the sashimi, I had chopped scallop – battleship style, salmon roe (battleship style, and then a chopped scallop roll.  I was surprised to see they put avocado in their Ikura (it was fine, but not my preference.) but more surprising was the chopped scallop roll.  Instead of putting the scallop inside the roll like most places do, the roll itself was just a boring old cucumber roll, and then the pieces were put on the tray/plate, and topped with chopped scallop mixture.

yummy sushi!

The chopped scallop roll seemed strange to me because it wasn’t particularly efficient to eat – but definitely looked very pretty.  Plus, I could see this being a very efficient way to make these kinds of rolls during a big rush period.  You could make up a whole slew of cucumber rolls, and then just top them with various ingredients like chopped scallop, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, etc.

Cute signs!

So, that was our adventure with something new.  Have you been to Momo before? What do you think?

Momo Sushi
(403) 457-2602
6008 Macleod Trl SW Map.079b7c4
Calgary, AB T2H
lovemomosushi.com
Momo Sushi on Urbanspoon

Momo menu

Momo menu

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in South-East Calgary, Sushi

 

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Sushi: Sho sushi bar & kitchen

Sho

During the August long weekend, Connie and I wanted to check out a new sushi place on MacLeod Trail.  My mum had actually mentioned it to me a few weeks earlier, and after an afternoon doing other things, we thought it would be great to try  out the new place. I am glad that I did, but I don’t think I’ll be adding it to my list of places to regularly return to.

First, my general impressions of Sho

We were initially led to stools – which I don’t like. (They don`t lend themselves to grace nor comfort…)  I asked for a table with chairs instead, but was told that there weren’t any available.

The hostess also left us with a free appetizer – a little tiny tray with three different items – a mix of dried fish and peanuts (very strange, but once I got used to the flavour they were actually quite good), a few small squares of dried seaweed (nothing special but tasty) and a small serving of Korean Kim Chi (pickled cabbage with chilli – which was alright, but nothing I would order).  I thought that this was a great touch, and appreciated it.

Appie

Also notable about Sho – the washrooms are upstairs where there is a lounge.  I didn’t go up and see the lounge, but I wonder how the restaurant is set up to accommodate those with mobility issues?  They don`t take reservations, and there is a little bit of parking on site – we didn’t have a problem at all finding a spot.

Next, the service

There were two well-dressed hostesses, and our server was well-dressed as well. Our server was friendly (perhaps a little too chatty considering how long we were waiting for things) and offered to assist if we had any questions.  I have no complaints about the service, but no raves either.

Finally, the food

The menu we were brought differed from the dry-erase sheet that accompanied it.  I found it a little strange that there was a lot missing from the menu, but then found some of the items (but not all) that I was looking for on the dry-erase sheet instead.  While they had my favorite chopped scallop, they didn’t have my other favorite Ikura, nor Connie’s saba.  They had a BBQ’d saba, but not the raw which she strongly prefers. The menu in general seemed quite small, and wasn`t  as inspiring as I had hoped for. There were only a few rolls, most of which either were tempura or featured unagi sauce, only a few sashimi selections, and only a few other items.

Tuna Sashimi

I ordered two servings of tuna sashimi (three pieces each) while Connie ordered one order of tuna sashimi.  I also ordered two tobiko and two special scallop battleship sushi pieces, plus two scallop nigiri-style sushi pieces and one of their ‘crispy’ pieces – also special scallop. (Listed as chopped scallop in a crispy wonton paper cup)  Connie ordered scallop as well, plus the ‘Silver and gold’ specialty roll. (Listed as: Spicy Tuna, Chopped Unagi, Avocado, Oba, and Gold Tobiko)

The tuna sashimi was excellent, though the pieces were small compared to some of the other places we have been recently.

Yummy

The Special Scallop battleship, Tobiko battleship, and the scallop nigiri were all good – however the Special Scallop was falling apart by the time it made it to the table – it simply looked as though the chef had rushed to complete the order.  Still – super tasty!

Crispy

The Crispy Special Scallop was interesting – I can foresee my friends who don’t love nori (seaweed) liking these, and it was small enough to eat easily. There was lots of scallop, and very little rice – which is perfect!  The crispy wonton wrapper was a bit odd at first, but tasted fine and didn’t seem oily in any way (I presume it is fried…)

Silver and Gold roll

I’ll let Connie comment on her Silver and Gold roll – but just comment that there was some herb leaf on it as well which was not part of the description.  It looked like basil to me in a way, though it was hard to say just visually. The roll was large, but not overly large, which is good.

The server offered dessert – but nothing on the menu appealed to us, so instead he brought three frozen red grapes on a skewer for us each.  They were nice and refreshing, and a nice way to finish off the meal.

So…

Have you been to Sho yet?  What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Sho Sushi Bar & Kitchen
(403) 975-7799
7212 Macleod Trail S
Calgary, AB T2H

shosushicalgary.ca
Sho Sushi Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in South-East Calgary, Sushi

 

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Tea: Baked Apple Pie

For my birthday/Xmas, a friend got me a tin of tea – how sweet!  (Birthday/Xmas is what happens when your birthday falls two weeks after Xmas…) Since she doesn’t really drink tea though, it was a bit of a conundrum, so she went to Teaopia and told them the following:

  • Should be good iced or warm
  • Should be good made into a latte
  • Sweet/fruity over bitter
  • Should be pretty!
  • … and maybe a few other things that I’ve forgotten…

Of course, where did she know about my preferences? From reading Happy Sushi Belly!  Heheeh.. how thoughtful!  From the sounds of it, their first recommendation was an oolong Peaches and Cream which I have already tried… so instead their second recommendation: Baked Apple Pie.

Baked Apple Pie from Teaopia

To start off, the scent is amazing – it definitely smells like apple pie, and there are big chunks of apple, so it’s very pretty too.  It’s an oolong, which I’m really starting to like a lot more lately, as a nice ‘happy medium’ between green (which I often find bitter) and black (which I’m not always in the mood for).

Baked Apple Pie from Teaopia steeping away in the new strainer

Oh, the tea also came in a super-pretty little tin!

I made it up using the new Teaopia strainer that I got at our holiday party, and it steeps up a very pretty pale green.  The smell remained just as nice as when the tea was dry, and the taste was remarkably similar as well.

I got 3 infusions easily, so while the first one shown here is plain (ok, a little bit of sweetener!) the second one I made up as a latte.

Baked apple pie from Teaopia

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Baked Apple Pie from Teaopia

As a latte it is REALLY good, and to round out the whole ‘apple pie’ taste, I sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg on the top too. Yum yum!

12 New Teaopia Teas recommends Baked Apple Pie with honey or brown sugar and milk as well (I’ll have to try that later… ), while Teaexperience recommends adding sweetener (like me!) to this one to bring out the real dessert taste.

Have you tried Baked Apple Pie yet?  What do you think? Leave your comments in the space below!

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Sushi – Sushi-Q

Roll from Sushi-Q

A while back I shared with you a fast-food sushi place – Sushi-Q in Chinook Center.

Well, my love of sushi usually takes precedence over other foods, so while at Chinook the other day for something else, I still grabbed a quick 6-pack of their Philadelphia rolls to tide me over.

The rolls didn’t have the strong cream cheese flavor that these rolls have elsewhere, and likewise the smoked salmon wasn’t too smoky.  For fast-food sushi, it wasn’t bad at all!  Another bonus – no sesame seeds!  I find the flavor of sesame seeds really overpowering, and really prefer my rolls without them.  My only suggestion for a better fast-food roll would be for the rolls to be a bit firmer.  I found that there was a bit of rice loss to my zealous soy sauce dipping.  😉

Have you been to Sushi-Q for fast food sushi?  If you must fulfill your sushi craving with fast food – what do you usually get at Sushi-Q?

Sushi-Q
Chinook Center
F009-6455 MacLeod Trail SW
Calgary, AB T2H 0K8
(403) 253-0055

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Sushi – Sushi-Q

Boxed meal from Sushi-Q

If you love sushi, you’ve probably been tempted to take the ill-advised jump into ‘fast food sushi’ in the past to feed your craving while in a hurry, while out alone, or while faced with a food court.  I’ve tried a few different kinds of sushi-to-go and fast-food sushi, and while there are some that make me regret the decision, there are others that are a welcome alternative to the food court hamburger and french fry option.

Sushi-Q serves up what I imagine are ‘western favorites’ – California rolls, spicy rolls, Alaska rolls, Philadelphia rolls, and then salmon, smoked salmon, tuna, and prawn nigiri sushi.  There are also a few other things like miso soup, seaweed salad, bubble tea, etc.  The sushi is offered in a cool case in clear plastic containers, and with most of the sushi meals you get a free miso soup included.  I’ve seen the chef behind the counter endlessly making new rolls and adding them into the case, so I’ve never had a problem with freshness.

For fast-food sushi, the rice is actually quite good, and while lacking the atmosphere of a lovely sushi restaurant, the sushi is actually pretty good.  I’ve had a few experiences where the prawn is too chewy (It is cooked) but for the most part I’ve had good experiences with Sushi-Q.  Part of my positive experiences are probably due to low expectations.  I don’t expect a gourmet meal, so the risk of disappointment is low.  It’s a good alternative while in the mall, especially while shopping with someone who doesn’t care for sushi.  She gets a hot dog and fries, and I get my sushi fix.

Last week I was at Chinook (trying to avoid the hoards of people who were there especially for the new Tiffany’s and Victoria’s Secret stores!) and I picked up one of the meals (with 6 California rolls, and two each of salmon, tuna, and prawn nigiri sushi).  The rice wasn’t quite as firm as I would like (I tend to be a bit soy sauce heavy, and needed to be careful to avoid crumbling) but the flavors were good all-around!  My meal came with a free miso soup, which I didn’t finish – it was a bit too salty for my taste, and not enough of the miso flavor.  The big chunks of seaweed in the soup were great though, though a bit chewy.

I’d love to share a link to another blog about Sushi-Q, but I couldn’t find any! If you have a blog post about Sushi-Q, please share your URL with us in the comments below!

Sushi-Q
Chinook Center
F009-6455 MacLeod Trail SW
Calgary, AB T2H 0K8
(403) 253-0055

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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