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Tag Archives: salmon

Azuma Sushi – Victoria, BC

 

Tuna sashimi from Azuma Sushi

Tuna sashimi from Azuma Sushi

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…

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Sushi

 

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The One Sushi

Sushi order at The One Sushi - with the iPad menu in the background

Sushi order at The One Sushi – with the iPad menu in the background

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 »

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Dinner in Höfn, Iceland

Seafood dinner in the Höfn restaurant

Seafood dinner in the Höfn restaurant

Our next stop on our Icelandic tour was in Höfn, where we enjoyed dinner at the upstairs restaurant in Hotel Höfn, Ósinn Restaurant. It appeared that the main floor restaurant was for walk-in customers and couples and families staying at the hotel, while the upstairs dining hall seemed to be for tours – during our dinner, we were one of three tours dining there!

We started with rolls and butter, which was followed by a very beautiful and tasty dinner.  This was a layer of mashed potatoes, a large piece of skin-on salmon, a large scallop, and a small lobster-like langoustine. The plate also included a few cherry tomatoes, greens, and a lemon wedge (which I used for the salmon).

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Posted by on August 7, 2014 in Out of town - Europe

 

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Cafe Flora, Reykjavik

Gravlax in Cafe Flora

Gravlax in Cafe Flora

My travel companion and I arrived in Iceland just shortly before we were set to start a tour of the island, and we started off at the Hilton, located in Laugardalur district, not far from the Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, Zoo, and National Stadium. After sleeping most of the day (we were awake over 24 hours!) we got up in the afternoon and wandered down to the gardens. I don’t have many photos to share of the gardens themselves, as I didn’t find them especially beautiful – but I did find Cafe Flora beautiful!

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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Out of town - Europe

 

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Vancouver: Sushi Star

Vancouver: Sushi Star

The last time I was in Vancouver, I visited Sushi Star – and with good luck, I stayed close to there again – right across the street in fact! This meant that good sushi wasn’t far away, and I visited twice while in the city. (I also checked out Juno Japanese Sushi Bistro – click the link to read my review!)

On my first visit, my companion and I had a few different things at Sushi Star, including Agedashi Tofu (a battered and fried tofu in a fish-based sauce), Tuna sashimi, Salmon Sashimi, and then two rolls. We split both of the sashimi orders and the tofu, and then had the chance to try one another’s roll as well.  My companion and I also ordered a piece of Saba (Mackerel).

Salmon sashimi in Sushi Star  (iPhone photo)

Salmon sashimi in Sushi Star (iPhone photo)

We started off with the Agedashi Tofu, though the sashimi came shortly after.

The bowl of tofu was piled high – which was a great sign of quantity to come.  The tofu pieces were a good size – not too big (which made them easier to grab and eat rather than when the pieces are too big) but the tall pile meant that the tofu pieces at the top never got to sit in that delicious fish-based sauce, but the ones at the bottom were soaking in it. We quickly rotated things through, setting the top tofu on our sashimi plate to make sure each piece got to sit in a bit of sauce – but not long enough to get super soggy.

The (sockeye) salmon sashimi (pictured above as well) was good, but honestly wasn’t anything special for me. It had a decent flavour, but really didn’t stand out.  I haven’t been having ‘good salmon luck’ lately though – each time I’ve had it lately, it really seems to be unimpressive. This is the sockeye salmon that seems to be more common here on the west coast, and although it might have other benefits, I think for sushi I really do prefer the salmon that I usually have here in Calgary.

Delicious tuna sashimi from Sushi Star  (iPhone photo)

Delicious tuna sashimi from Sushi Star (iPhone photo)

The tuna on the other hand, was amazing! It was flavourful, super tender, fleshy, and delicious! I really enjoyed it, and when I returned to Sushi Star for a second time during my all-too-short visit to Vancouver, I made sure to have it again! Highly recommended!

Both of the sashimi dishes were served garnished with a large quantity of grated daikon, lemon slices, and a few slivers of cucumber – which I figure is the most vegetables I’m going to get when sushi is on my mind…

scallop-topped roll at Sushi Star  (iPhone photo)

scallop-topped roll at Sushi Star (iPhone photo)

My companion had been craving a baked scallop roll for a while, and ordered one of the rolls topped with baked scallop. However she hadn’t read the menu’s top comment, where it said that all of the rolls were topped with sauce, so when it came with spicy sauce (just sniffing it was super-spicy) she had to send it back – but quickly had the above roll which was really good!

A mouth-watering mango and avocado-topped scallop roll from Sushi Star   (iPhone photo)

A mouth-watering mango and avocado-topped scallop roll from Sushi Star (iPhone photo)

I enjoyed the Tropical Roll though (and shared a piece with my companion of course!) which is a scallop roll (with fake crab too.. see more about that below) covered with avocado and mango and a really delicious (though not identified on their menu) sauce that I really liked.

The upsides and downsides

While I really enjoyed my meal, my companion was a little less impressed I think, largely because of the mix up with her roll.  I was happy with the prices and with the food, as well as the service, but I didn’t like two things…

1) The temperature

It was super-cold inside of Sushi Star! With no double-door system, and not even a bend to break up the incoming cold winter winds, it was mighty cold inside.  This wouldn’t be nearly so much of a problem in nicer weather, but we visited during a chilly patch in mid-December, so it was pretty uncomfortable at times.

2) Pollock filler

I understand that pollock (or that fake crab stuff..) is an inexpensive fish, but I really didn’t like that they used pollock as ‘filler’ in what was advertised as a ‘scallop roll’. I would have at least expected the roll to be advertised as a ‘scallop and fake crab’ roll instead of being advertised as a scallop roll – where I expect just scallops!

Our receipt from Sushi Star

Our receipt from Sushi Star

One of the sights I went to see while in Vancouver was the Bright Nights light display on Stanley Park. So pretty!

Bright Nights light display in Stanley Park

Bright Nights light display in Stanley Park

If you’ve been to Sushi Star in Vancouver before – let us know what you thought in the comments below! If you want to see some of the other places we visited in Vancouver, make sure you follow Happy Sushi Belly on Facebook!

Sushi Star on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Sushi, Uncategorized

 

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Vancouver: The Elbow Room

Vancouver: The Elbow Room
BC Benny from The Elbow Room in Vancouver, BC.

BC Benny from The Elbow Room in Vancouver, BC.

Years ago a friend took me to The Elbow Room for a late lunch, and during our visit to Vancouver in December, I added it to my ‘must visit’ list to show Connie as well. (Especially since it was just a few blocks from our hotel!)

The food at The Elbow Room is good, with a varied menu, but it’s really the atmosphere or attitude that makes the diner stand out. With a list of ‘common sense’ rules listed on the blackboard (as well as the menu) it’s good for a chuckle when you are picking out what to order or standing in line to get in.

(Luckily, due to an unanticipated bit of snow, The Elbow Room wasn’t terribly busy while we were there, so we didn’t have to wait at all!)

BC Benny from The Elbow Room in Vancouver, BC.

BC Benny from The Elbow Room in Vancouver, BC.

At The Elbow Room they have assortment of “rules” (including one that insists that quick service is important, and as long as they’re finished chatting they’ll be quick to take your order…) which make for a funny, different experience. The staff are chatty and opinionated, but it’s all in good fun – go with an upbeat and easy-going attitude and you’ll have a good time. If you’re in a hurry, feeling irritated, sensitive, easily offended, or are having a bad day, skip the Elbow Room and check out one of the dozen other places to eat within spitting distance.

I had the BC Benny – “Two large poached eggs, smoked salmon, cream cheese and fresh chives on an everything bagel and smothered in hollandaise.” Though of course I had to pick off the chives. (No substitutions is one of their rules too…)

Have you been to The Elbow Room? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! 

The Elbow Room
560 Davie St (Yaletown)
Vancouver, BC

The Elbow Room Cafe on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Out of town - BC

 

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Sushi: UBU Lounge

After checking out Market Collective’s 5th Anniversary event at the Mewata Armoury in July, Connie and I were keen for some sushi. It would be the first real sushi (as in, not fast-food take-out sushi!) that I’d have since returning from Finland, and since we were already downtown, I was keen to try some of the places I’d read about on UrbanSpoon.

UBU Lounge was not disappointing!

I’ll admit, we were a bit hesitant when we entered the lounge to see we were the only customers there… even throughout our visit, I think I only saw one other customer come in, but luckily we still had excellent service and good sushi in a gorgeous location.

Location

UBU Lounge is located in the historic Grand Theatre, a building first built in 1912. In it’s heyday, The Grand (previously known as the Sherman Grand Theatre and the Sherman Grand Opera House) attracted stars like Sandra Bernhardt, George Burns, Fred Astaire, Ethel Barrymore and the Marx Brothers. Nellie McClung, Prime Minister Robert Borden, and Premier William Aberhart also spoke at political events hosted in the Theatre. It was once the biggest and best (and most modern) theatres in the Pacific Northwest. In 2004, the Grand was slated for demolition. Not far from the Grand is the towering Bow Building, and the small complex which houses the theatre along with retail and residential space is dwarfed by it’s glass and steel neighbours. Theatre Junction made a $12 million bid to save the Grand with a significant donation from Calgary philanthropist Jackie Flanagan and support from Calgary citizens, corporations, and all levels of government. The space is now known as Theatre Junction Grand, and presents new, experimental, and interdisciplinary art while maintaining the original architecture.

UBU Lounge is just one of several retail businesses on the ground floor of the Grand, including a coffee shop and their sister restaurant, the burger and wine bar Black Betty. We entered the lounge through the building’s main entrance, headed up the few stairs, went down the hall, and arrived at the dimly-lit lounge. UBU felt like a lounge with few people in it, though I imagine when it’s full it feels more like a nightclub with red lighting, an upstairs mezzanine, and high-end furnishings.

Of course, that dim lighting also meant it was really hard to get good photos!

Not just sushi

UBU Lounge specializes not just in sushi, but offers a “fresh take on traditional Asian” cuisine. While we were there for the sushi, we noticed that they had a number of other dishes if you happen to be dining with a non-sushi lover. They call their selections “Asian Avant Garde” though we didn’t find that the description or presentation overshadowed the food. (I really hate it when there’s more words on the menu than there is food on my plate….)

Still, despite the menu options, we were a bit hesitant.. after all, an empty restaurant is usually empty for a reason. We ordered one roll each to “give it a try” and realized that our worries were for naught – the food was wonderful. (Of course, this meant a second roll each was ordered to complete our meal!)

UBU Lounge menu

UBU Lounge menu

Our rolls

Hopefully Connie will chime in with her own experience and impressions of UBU Lounge, but just in case she forgets, I’ll try to share with you my thoughts on all of our rolls (of course, she tried some of mine and I tried some of hers!)

Roasted Duck Roll

Roasted duck roll from UBU Lounge

Roasted duck roll from UBU Lounge

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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Downtown Calgary, South-West Calgary, Sushi

 

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Smoked Salmon Appie

Just a super-quick post, to share a delicious appetizer, featuring smoked salmon, dill, capers, and all piled on top of a rosemary and olive oil Trisket cracker. Yum!

Smoked Salmon appies

Smoked Salmon appies

(I bet this would be great with a dollop of cream cheese on the bottom too!)

The salmon I picked up from Ikea, and I suspect this might be my next go-to “potluck” appetizer, along with prosciutto-wrapped-melon..

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Treats

 

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