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Sushi & Co

If you follow my personal account (@SadinaDawn) on Twitter, you might have already had a sneak peek of my visit to Sushi & Co in September.  A friend (who runs the Dyeing for It hair page on Facebook) recommended Sushi & Co – because it was super-close to MC College where she was studying in the Hairstyling Program at the time. Due to the location I tried to get there twice with no success before finally getting there in September.

Cali Sunshine roll from Sushi & Co

Cali Sunshine roll from Sushi & Co

Location

Downtown apartments near Sushi & Co

Downtown apartments near Sushi & Co

Located just on the west edge of downtown Calgary, Sushi & Co is a take-out sushi shop ideal for grabbing a quick lunch (it’s steps away from the West Downtown/Kerby C-train station) and they have three options specifically for lunchtime diners.  Situated close to a number of beautiful downtown apartment towers, it’s also a good consideration for take-away dinner, which is what I had.

When I say take-away… I mean it. While there are three stools (with a small ledge) and a bench, it’s clear that these are only for people to sit and wait for their order to be ready.  While I was in there, there was one other person waiting for her order, and as I was leaving another came in to do the same.

Presentation

When I got home I was seriously impressed.  Many places just don’t know how to pack sushi for take-out. They pack it in the container like they would serve it on the plate, and by the time I get home with my dinner – everything has fallen all over the place and it looks terrible.  Sometimes filling falls out of battleship-style nigiri sushi, sometimes rolls unroll themselves, and sometimes the wasabi gets smeared all over everything…

Sushi & Co knows how to pack up to-go sushi! Not only did it arrive home intact (after a walk and a bus ride during rush hour!) but also still LOOKED beautiful.  The presentation was designed with travel in mind for sure!

My order

I ordered an order of Tuna Sashimi (7 pieces), a Rainbow Roll, and a Cali Sunshine Roll.  They have a fairly large selection of ‘large’ rolls, several of the small rolls, and then a few types of sashimi, nigiri sushi, plus cooked items like tempura.

The tuna was pretty much perfect – loads of flavour, and fantastic texture. The cuts were thick “fingers” rather than slices which was a bit different, but totally fine.

The two rolls were both crab and avocado on the inside, and the Cali Sunshine had a bit of tuna, a tiny sliver of mango, and a generous scoop of massago on each slice of the roll.  The Rainbow Roll was the same crab/avocado on the inside, with toppings of mango, shrimp, tuna, and avocado – plus more massago. The crab/avacado was delicious – cool and fresh-tasting, and the mango (which often can be just slightly off if cut up too early) was perfect.

Item Price
Tuna Sashimi (7 slices) $12.95
Rainbow Roll $13.95
Cali Sunshine Roll $13.95

Of course you’re welcome to follow me personally on Twitter, but if you want to get regular Happy Sushi Belly updates in your stream, consider following @HappySushiBelly too!

Sushi & Co
683 10 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5G4
(403) 532-7876

Sushi & Co. on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2013 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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We’re heading to Vancouver!

Later next month, Connie and I will be heading to Vancouver for a little trip and we’re looking for hints, suggestions, and tips on where we should eat!

Send us your ideas, and if we visit – we’ll share your recommendation on Happy Sushi Belly!

Tasty sushi from Yamoto

Tasty sushi from Yamoto

We’ll be staying in Downtown Vancouver in the West End close to Yaletown, and last time I was in Vancouver I stayed in around-about the same area.  There are some great places to eat – and last time I visited Yamoto on Davie Street, and Sushi Star on Nelson. Click the BC tag for all of the posts we’ve done in the past few years from British Columbia.

We’ll also be looking out for great places for loose leaf tea – so if you have recommendations for either sushi or tea in Vancouver (especially downtown Vancouver) let us know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Out of town - BC, Sushi

 

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Sushi: Sushi Hiro

Now that I’m returning to talking about Happy Bellies here at home, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite places for sushi in Calgary for getting together with groups.

Group dining criteria

Sushi  from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

Sushi from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

For groups, I look for a place that is central, and easy to get to by transit or vehicles – plus something that has parking nearby. For big groups I have plenty of friends who rely on transit, so being close to the train is important, and a central location means it’s not too far for any one person.

I also look for a place with good service – where servers don’t have a problem splitting a bill, and know the fine art of how to not interrupt good conversations. The physical layout is important too – not all spaces can accommodate groups of 8-10 people, and give us the space for semi-private conversations.  That good service comes into play with the space too –  groups often don’t all arrive together, and having a space that can stretch if needed, and servers who roll with the changing numbers is important too.

Of course, good food is important too!

Sushi Hiro has generally met the mark on all of my criteria every time I’ve invited a group of friends out for sushi.

I was there not too long ago, and took a few quick pictures.  Since I was there with a group of friends, I didn’t spend as much time as I sometimes do recording the menu or pricing – I just took some quick iPhone photos – this just means I’ll need to return to Sushi Hiro another time!

Sashimi from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

Sashimi from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

Instead of being fussy and ordering a la carte sushi by the piece which is what I usually do, I had the combination dinner (I think it was $19.95) which starts with miso soup and a salad, and then I chose the sushi and sashimi option, which came with tuna, salmon, and scallop sashimi, a bowl of rice, and then five pieces of nigiri sushi, and three pieces of tuna maki sushi (a roll).

Combination dinner  from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

Combination dinner from Sushi Hiro in Calgary

Delicious!

Want more opinions? Food = Life thinks that Sushi Hiro offers up some of the best sushi in Calgary (as per a 2011 post) and Cody from Calgaryism considers Sushi Hiro to be traditional and authentic Japanese food. Likewise, Foodosophy considers Sushi Hiro to be an ‘institution’ for sushi-lovers in Calgary.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Calgary (sushi or otherwise) for a group get together? Let us know in the comments below!

Sushi Hiro
727 5 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 0N2
(403) 233-0605

Sushi Hiro Japanese on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Sushi & more: Taste of Calgary

A number of years ago I was down in Florida at EPCOT Centre (which stands for, as our driver let us know: Every Person Comes Out Tired) and they were having an international food and wine festival.  For a few dollars, you could try different samples of foods and wines that were paired to match, representing a number of different countries.  The prices were decent, some of the food was good, while some was terrible, but it was a neat way of trying different things.

The following year I realized that we had something similar, right here in Calgary – the Taste of Calgary food festival.  The basic premise; you buy some tickets (this year they were a dollar each, though in the past I could have sworn that if you bought more tickets you got a price break) and then trade the tickets for individual items from different vendors.  All of the vendors are local restaurants.

Last year (and the year before) one of the items I really wanted to have was sold out by the time we got there – so this summer we went much earlier – arriving close to 11am.  When we got there it was fairly calm, but by the time we were settled and ready to get our tickets, it was busy!

It took me a while to get the photos off my iPhone, hence why this post is coming so late after the event itself!

So, what did we try?

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Tsatziki from Pegasus ( 2 tickets = 2$)

The potatoes were ok… a bit hard, a bit tough on the outside for a plastic fork (the tines bent!) and a styrofoam plate, but the tzadziki was AWESOME – lots of little pieces of cucumber, very fresh. I’ve had better potatoes from Opa though – though perhaps it’s because it had been sitting in the warming tray for too long?  There were three potato wedges and a good helping of sauce.

Sushi combo from Sumo Lounge ( 5 tickets = 5$)

Sushi

Not nearly as good as what they serve inside, and it was a bit fussy to try to balance the little container of sushi, the little container of soy sauce, and the little container of ginger, but still a cute little sushi sample.  I found that their rice wasn’t as firm as I would like, but the fish tasted nice and fresh.  This was a piece of tuna, a piece of salmon, and then four California rolls.

Fuji Scallop from Fuji Yama ( 5 tickets = 5$)

Scallops

This is a fried chopped scallop with mayo, tobiko, and mandarin orange slices.  We split this one, and although there wasn’t a lot there – I’m glad that we did.  This would have been much nicer if the scallops had been raw instead of fried – they had a toughness, and lacked the fresh flavor that I prefer.  The orange gave it a nice taste though.  While I don’t think that I would order this – I did like the idea, and could see myself asking for this raw instead!

SoHo Gyozad from Soho Bar & Grill ( 5 tickets = 5$)

Gyoza

We split this one as well, and I kind of regret even bothering to begin with.  The Gyoza were very perogie-like – very soft and dough-y.  The filling might have been flavorful, but we wouldn’t have known it – because there was so much chili on the outside of the dumplings that I couldn’t taste any other flavor.  This one left us NEEDING a drink of water or something, so from here we went inside and got something substantial to drink.  This would be a definite NO if I were to go to SoHo…

Persian Ice Cream (Saffron-flavored) from Shiraz Persian Cuisine ( 2 tickets = 2$)

This was just a tiny sample of ice cream – but that was ok, because half way through I was tired of the flavor.  It was ok, but nothing really special.  It was one of those “oh, let’s try this, it’s different” kind of things – rather than something I could see myself getting again.

Thai Fresh Spring Roll from Delicious Thai ( 4 tickets = 4$)

Salad roll

After the hot Gyoza, we were ready for something cool and refreshing, so while my companion got a salad from Delicious Thai, I ordered the spring roll.  It wasn’t a spring roll as I’d normally have it – in fact most of their dishes weren’t what we would have expected based on the name.  Normally I’d call what I got a Salad Roll – with noodles, lettuce, cilantro, carrot, tofu, and a prawn wrapped up in a rice wrapper.  They did have an interesting mint sauce for it though instead of the regular peanut sauce which was nice, albeit a bit sweet.  I normally find that I can only eat two full-sized salad rolls – these were half-sized (and two of them) which was just right.  Too much more and I would have been tired of them.  I could have split this order and been happy too though.

Ginger Snapped & Bodacious Black Currant mead from Chinook Arch Meadery ( 3 tickets = 3$ each)

While I ordered the Ginger, my companion ordered the Black Currant, and frankly, I liked the black currant better.  There was a slight ‘heaviness’ to the mead, though the flavors were pleasant and not overpowering.  I could see both of these being very nice during a meal, though sipping them on their own (one only has so many hands!) I didn’t fully appreciate them.

Lemon drop shot from Dr. McGuillicuddy’s ( 3 tickets = 3$)

Inside the Cheers Garden (aka the beer tent) it was really hot, so I asked for my shot over crushed ice.  It was cool and refreshing.  Not much more to say really.  The server was really nice and accommodating though!

Frozen Mud Pie from SoHo Bar and Grill ( 5 tickets = 5$)

We had seen this earlier, and weren’t ready for a whole piece each, so we split this one too – it was yummy, though I prefer it without peanuts, and my companion thought the crust was a bit too dry.  Considering how hot it was – I think it was ok – to soft of a crust wouldn’t have held up well once the ice cream started to melt! I really liked this and would share it again.  (A whole piece would probably be too much).

Mango Smoothie from Jugo Juice ( 3 tickets = 3$)

I’m not actually a big fan of these places – I find them overpriced.  However, this was nice – but too much of the banana flavor, not enough of the slightly tart mango flavor I was aiming for.
There were a lot of additional vendors at the market this time around – there was a car display that was taking up a huge amount of room, and a number of other vendors were there giving out freebies (we got some Dove shower gel, and tree seeds) plus a few fashion/beauty vendors selling things.  Some of them made sense, others didn’t.  I find too often that big corporations come to these street festivals and seem to almost be intruding.  You can always tell when others feel the same way by the big empty spaces in otherwise packed areas….

One complaint (and it’s the same one I’ve had for a few years now) – although there are lots of recycling bins for drink containers, there is nothing there for all of the plastic forks, plates, etc.  Each year I make a mental note to bring my OWN dishes the next time around, but other than a water bottle – every year I forget.  A reusable plate program with a rinse station would be awesome… or even just making all of the vendors use paper plates instead of styrofoam.

In some cases you get a LOT for your ticket, in other cases, you get very little.  Generally speaking I’d say it’s mildly overpriced, but an interesting option if you want to try a new food but don’t want to commit.  It’s also very social and active, which makes for a fun day or evening out. Nubian Express has what I can imagine is the best deal – last year I had something from them, and it was a large plate of food – this year their display looked equally as large.

Want to try it next year?  Their website states that the next one will be Aug 16-19 2012!

I know it’s a bit late – but if you attended this past year’s Taste of Calgary, what was your favorite food vendor? Share with us in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Downtown Calgary, Gyoza (Dumplings), Sushi, Treats

 

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