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: Sashimi
While I was in Vancouver in late September I popped into a sushi place close to my hotel that was celebrating it’s grand opening.
I ordered a half-order of tuna sashimi, two ikura (salmon roe) and two chopped scallop rolls. They were all pretty much perfect! The meal also comes with free green tea, like most places in Vancouver seem to… different from Calgary restaurants.
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 »
I’ve used Towa sushi (occasionally mis-calling it Tawa) as an example a few times before in Happy Sushi Belly, but I have yet to actually review it here in the blog. I use it often as an example of annoyingly huge rolls. You know the ones… they look so amazing, but then when you go to eat them… you either have to take them apart (which in my opinion kind of defeats the point of blending all of those flavours together) or make a huge mess trying to bite into them.
However, Towa offers the kind of roll that one of my friends really likes, (pictured above) which doesn’t include any raw fish or nori (seaweed). That meant that on a recent get-together, we headed to Towa!
I was up in Edmonton not too long ago for a concert (Tyr, Death Angel, and Children of Bodom) and while I was there I of course had to go for sushi!
I stopped in at Sushi Kyoto, in the Argyll Plaza area. The restaurant was slow, though it was about 5:00 p.m. when I was there, only one other diner (one of the members from one of the bands!) was there while I was there and a couple came in as I was leaving. The restaurant is simple but clean and tidy, but I found that the menu wasn’t very diverse. One potential problem that the other diner had (and if I’d been looking for rolls, I might have as well) was that the rolls were listed by name, but didn’t include ingredients. While a California Roll might be the same all over, local favourites are sometimes regional creations. Since it appeared as though the only staff person working up front was both a chef, server, host, and cashier, this meant that it took some time to have his questions answered about what was included in each roll.
Driving down 8th Avenue SW in Calgary I saw a “now open” sign hanging over a sushi restaurant. When it came time for Connie and I to grab some Sunday lunch (after attending the Calyx art show) I suggested Kanpai Sushi on 8th Avenue S.W.
Overall our meal was… ok. While there wasn’t anything distinctly wrong with anything at Kanpai, nothing really stood out for me to recommend you check them out, or to encourage me to return again.
First off, the service was ok. The food came out quickly, and as it was ready (rather than all at once which is good) but when we needed things, it was hard to get our server’s attention.
Decor & atmosphere
The interior was quite nice actually (and the restrooms were clean and nicely styled too – not a huge thing when it’s right, but its definitely better than when it’s wrong...
Then there’s the music… There was a weird mix on ranging from Alanis Morrisette to John Mayer (or one of those other male crooners…) which I found all just kind of annoying. Perhaps it was a matter of volume, or perhaps it was just that the music didn’t really suit the restaurant at all. Either way it was just a bad, disjointed fit.
Tuna & Salmon sashimi – $12.95
There were a number of rolls that we both wanted to try, so we agreed to split two rolls, and then we ordered individual items for ourselves. Connie had a plate of tuna and salmon sashimi along with a scallop (they didn’t carry her favourite Saba/Mackerel) while my individual item was a sashimi roll.
Sashimi roll – $9.95
The Sashimi Roll is listed as “tuna and salmon sashimi wrapped in rice paper with house special sweet sauce” – I’ve tried a rice-paper roll once before and didn’t like it because the rice paper was really thick and chewy- but this was perfect rice paper, and I’d have it on a roll again. However, I wouldn’t have THIS roll again. Missing the rice was fantastic, but the menu forgot to mention that the roll also included avocado and cucumber. The cucumber completely overwhelmed the delicate flavour of the sashimi, and the pieces were so small that it was hard to get any of the flavour other than cucumber.
Alpine Delight – $14.50
The first roll that we split was the Alpine Delight roll (or at least it was the first one I had!) which is listed as “fresh tuna, salmon, mango, cucumber, tomato, dill & red tobiko served with mango creamy sauce”. This roll, like much of the experience at Kanpai was ‘ok’. It wasn’t exceptional in any way… the mango wasn’t flavourful (although the drizzle of sauce on the plate was, I later found out when Connie urged me to try it) the tomato was without flavour, and there was far too little dill to get a dill taste to the roll. Ultimately the roll was underwhelming and forgettable.
Lotus Blast – $13.50
The second roll we split was Connie’s choice, the Lotus Blast. This is a “lightly battered crispy tuna, salmon cream cheese roll topped with spicy crab meat, (and a) lotus root chip served with teriyaki sauce”. Connie commented that she couldn’t really taste much flavour in the sauce, and I agreed. The spicy crab meat was tasty, and the lotus root chip was cute (but not really flavourful). The whole roll was battered (and fried) and served warm. It was interesting, but not something I’d order again.
I noticed a few things about the menu – first off there were a number of price corrections on it. I understand that suppliers change, and that when a new business starts it takes some time to work out the kinks, but it just looked bad to see SO many adjustments to their pricing.
I also noticed that a lot of the specialty rolls were similar to some of the other well-known sushi places in Calgary. Yet, there were a lot of things that were new to us which was great – though made it hard to decide! 🙂 I took a few photos of the menu – if you want to get a sneak peek of what you might want to order, click the photo for a larger version.
You can also see their full menu on their website.
Have you been to Kanpai? Let us know what you think (what are the stand-out best dishes and which ones to avoid…) in the comments below!
Kanpai Sushi on 8th
110, 1414 8th St SW
Calgary, AB T2R1R7
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.
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.
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!
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.
|Tuna Sashimi (7 slices)||$12.95|
|Cali Sunshine Roll||$13.95|
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Sushi & Co
683 10 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5G4
Izumi. In Japanese, this means ‘spring’, source of water. It is also commonly used as a given Japanese name, family name, and place name. Although, it is used as a unisex name, it is more feminine. I find it quite pretty, in that sense. (Oh, and of course I noticed, the staff were all women! Ha, go us women!! Ooops, sorry about that outburst)
This is actually located in a food court, in the shopping centre, named Metrotown, in Burnaby, British Columbia. I had decided to fly down to Vancouver, one weekend, back in August, for the Michael Jackson Immortal Tour, with the Cirque du Soleil. And what better way, to incorporate some sushi in my diet! But hey, when do I really need an excuse to consume some delicious sushi, hahaha!! ;D
So, I decided to order a Negitoro roll, (tuna & green onions with rice & nori, not one of Dawn’s favorites, as she is not a fan of green onions!) along with one of their given combos. This consisted a mini California roll, and the standard pieces of Nigiri sushi. (tuna, salmon, shrimp, and yellowtail) It was quite scrumptious, even being served from a food court. Of course, I do believe, since I was on the West Coast, I wasn’t that surprised about the quality, as it is closer to the ocean, than Alberta!
Therefore, if you are ever in the Burnaby area of Vancouver, and feeling like you need a burst of energy, from all your hard work at shopping, Izumi Sushi, might become a mini stop for you, for some quick & delicious sushi. Just try not to forget, to let us know what your thoughts are!
Metrotown Food Court
Burnaby, British Columbia
Momoyama. It is a name, from 500 years ago, in the Japanese era. It is also the original name for Kokeshi wooden dolls, with simplified bodies, which are also traditional craftworks in Japan. When I researched this name, I found it quite interesting!
Yes, I am finally posting about my beloved favorite sushi restaurant! Figure it would be a nice change, as I have been posting about sushi places, which are out of town. Momoyama is located in the Glamorgan Shopping Plaza, in southwest Calgary. It is a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, but has by far, the freshest tastiest sushi in town. it is usually quite busy, reservations of party of two or more, is highly recommended. On that note though, I was surprised, it wasn’t packed this past Saturday. With that being said, it was quite late in the day for lunch. By the time I had finished getting my flu shot, at my doctor’s office, down the street, it was already 1/15pm. Of course, I had to invite Dawn on this impromptu, last-minute late sushi lunch date!
Last time, we visited Momoyama, we had ordered the appetizer, Agedashi Tofu. I have had it many times, as it is one of my mom’s favorite dishes. However, it was Dawn’s first time trying it. She enjoyed it so much, we decided to order it once again. We then proceeded to order our favorite sushi. She ordered Tuna Sashimi, while I had the Tuna & Salmon Sashimi combo. Then of course, I ordered two pieces of Saba, (Mackeral, my favorite!) and a piece of Tamago. (sweetened egg omelette, which I classify as my dessert sushi, and always eaten last, lol) I was going to also order the Negitoro roll, but wasn’t hungry enough to this time. That’s fatty tuna with green onions, rolled with rice, and the Nori (seaweed) on the outside. Dawn ordered her favorites: two pieces of the Special Scallop, and two pieces of the Ikura. Both in battle ship style sushi. Everything tasted perfect. Fresh, scrumptious, tasty, and best of all, satisfying, especially with great company! (:
I highly recommend this sushi spot. The food is fresh, service is friendly, and atmosphere is fun. The sushi chef always greets you, when you walk in the door. And always thanks you, when you leave. Prices are pretty good as well. Very comparable to many other sushi joints. So, the next time you are in the area, why not consume some delicious sushi at Momoyama, and then bringing home some tasty cheese buns, from the Glamorgan Bakery as well! To me, that is the perfect day altogether. Just don’t forget to share your experience with us!
3919 Richmond Road SW
Calgary, AB T3E 4T6
Sushiyama. Excellent fresh sushi, without costing you an arm & a leg. As I had mentioned in a previous post, regarding Izumi Sushi, I was in Vancouver, for the Michael Jackson Immortal Tour with Cirque du Soleil, back in August, and had also decided to catch up with an old friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other for twelve years or so! Crazy how time does fly by. Naturally, I suggested sushi. There were no objections there. Hooray! So, he took me to his favorite sushi restaurant. It happened to be located in Burnaby, on Kingsway, not too far from where my hotel was. Well, walking-wise, it would’ve been too far, but he came to pick me in his car, much quicker. And off we go, to fill our bellies with yummy sushi! (-:
As we drove up, I noticed parking is at the back of the building. Upon entering the restaurant, I did notice how bright, open, & clean it was. Good sign thus far. We were seated immediately, and given menus. I was impressed to see many different sushi items, I had never tried before. But of course, I always
have to order a few of my favorites!
For appetizers, we ordered the Agedashi Tofu and Gyoza. For me, the tofu is always a delight. However, the gyozas were deep fried, versus pan fried. Deep dried is not my method by choice at all. Therefore, they were too oily. Flavour-wise though, wasn’t bad.
We then followed the appetizers, with an order of Assorted Sashimi and Saba. (mackerel, my favorite!) Both items were beyond fresh, and tasted delicious. The pieces of Saba were gigantic, so juicy, the flavour just burst in my mouth!
After that, we ordered three different rolls. Oh yes, how can you tell we were quite hungry! Lol. There was the Caterpillar, Dungeness Crab, and Deep fried Chef’s Special roll. The Caterpillar roll was very good, lots of advocado. Yum! The Dungeness Crab roll was tasty as well. And I know how I just mentioned, deep fried, is not my favorite, however, when it comes to rolls, I do not mind it at all. It adds a different texture to the roll, a crispy effect.
Yes, it was a huge meal! And it all was very fresh. This is what I love about Vancouver, is fresh & inexpensive sushi. Actually, the farther one travels, on the west coast, the more fresh sushi is available. Definitely a Happy Sushi Belly for me! (:
You might be wondering about what the bill came to. I had no idea, as my friend picked the tab up! Lucky me. But all I can remember, from looking at the menu, is that it wasn’t very costly at all.
So, if you are ever in the Vancouver area, Sushiyama is a must-visit. It will be worth your trip, out to Burnaby, whether you are driving, or taking the sky train. The service was fast & friendly. How could you say no to that? And once you have tried such fresh sushi, please let us know what your thoughts are!
371 East Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia