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Posts tagged ‘creamy scallop’

Restaurant Review: Goro+Gun

Location: 225 7 Ave SW (Scotia Centre in the Core)
Website: http://goroandgun.ca/

These last few weeks have been hell for me. Though I’ve taken some time off of work, it’s far from relaxing. These two months off are meant for me to study for the LSAT. I promised myself this would be the last time I take this damn test. It’s becoming incredibly stressful to continually have to endure the four hour exam and besides all that, it’s costing me a fortune just to try and get in. Today I took a much need break and went shopping downtown at The Core with my sister. I’ve passed Goro+Gun several times on my visits there and was initially informed of it’s existence by my cousin, Yulin.

Today we finally had a chance to stop in and give this place a try. The entrance was not exactly as I expected. There wasn’t really a podium/counter where the host or hostess could stand and the doors opened up into what looked like the middle of the restaurant. My sister and I approached cautiously and were immediately greeted. As it was nearly three in the afternoon, the place was pretty empty and we were promptly seated and served. My sister, Valerie remarked that the place had the feel of a tapas bar. With the open kitchen and a lot of bar seating, it certainly seemed that way.

We started with drinks: the elderflower power and yuzu soda. Both brought me back to Mexico when we had the alcohol free margaritas. In short, way too sweet. The other thing was that I expected the yuzu soda to be less…washed out in colour. It looked almost exactly the same as the Elderflower Power and tasted almost the same. I expected that the blood orange would have brought a vibrant redish orange to the drink, but that wasn’t what happened. We quickly worked through the menu, deciding to go with a calamari, a tuna poke, the Paitan Ramen, the chef’s selection of sashimi, a rainbow roll, and the special yuzu scallop.

The calamari were so perfectly fried that at first I was shocked. Most of the restaurants I’ve been to in the past have vastly over-fried the calamari so that it’s hard and rubbery. This was not the case for these calamaris. They were soft and succulent, leaving me wanting more. It served with a yuzu and spicy mayo sauce, which tasted a little different than most spicy mayo sauces I’ve had. One obvious reason was that there was yuzu in the sauce giving it a unique taste, but the other was that the mayo was actually spicy. The only complain was that it was a bit on the salty side, but other than that, best calamari I’ve had to date. The second appetizer we ordered, the tuna poke, is equally fantastic. Though, also on the salty side, they had large chunks of tender tuna and smooth, creamy avocado on a bed of fresh greens, dressed with a sweet sesame dressing and served with fried wonton crisps. I feel that my ability to handle raw fish has grown substantially. I remember a time when the idea of putting a raw piece of fish into my mouth made my stomach turn. But now, I can appreciate it as well as the skillful seasoning of the chef.

We had just finished with our appetizers when the rainbow roll arrived. It certainly was rainbow. The roll consisted avocado and cucumber topped with tuna, salmon, prawn, scallop, and ikura served atop two sauces: a spicy mayo and a garlic aioli. I didn’t have a chance to have much of the spicy mayo, but it was essentially the same as the one served with the calamari except no yuzu. The garlic aioli was surprisingly good with the roll, the slight saltiness was perfect so that I didn’t have to use any soy sauce. As we worked on that, the sashimi came. Now, I can handle raw in small quantities. I still can’t handle eating a slab of sashimi so this one was all for Val. When we were ordering, the waitress informed us that the Chef’s Selection would have two more pieces of sashimi than if we ordered any of the other types of sashimi on the menu. Unfortunately, it was short one piece. Though this is not a huge deal, considering the price, I’d really have wanted that piece, although it wasn’t like we could say, hey, we’re missing a piece because by the time we realized it, it was at the point where she could have just said, you ate it and no one could prove anything. We let it go, but it’s something I’m going to soon forget. After that was the Paitan Ramen. Apparently, Goro+Gun is known for its ramen, so this was a must for us. I don’t particularly like miso based soups simply because they have a tendency to be very salty. And while tonkotsu broths have a richer pork flavour that is creamier in consistency, sometimes the porkiness can be a bit overwhelming for me. So today we decided to go with a chicken broth based ramen. The Ramen had pork belly, bamboo shoots, boiled bean sprouts, and heaps of green onions and seaweed. The broth was phenomenal especially since they don’t use any MSG in any of their food. The noodles, when I first had them were slightly chewy, just the way I like them. The only sad thing was that there was very little of much else. The heap of bean sprouts was so small I could have eaten them in one bite and there were only about four slices of bamboo shoots, but the worst was that they only gave two small slices of pork belly. I get that pork belly can be expensive, but come on. For a dish of comparable size and price, Anju gave us four large slices of pork belly. I was unimpressed to say the least. The last dish was the special yuzu scallops. The menu doesn’t ever indicate how many pieces are in a roll or how many pieces of sashimi per order, which I wish it had. At first, we thought that the price was for one piece and we were completely appalled. It turns out that it was for two pieces. I mean, that’s not much better, but I’d have to admit, it was pretty good. It’s similar to the creamy scallop dish that most sushi restaurants have, but it’s funny how a touch of citrus can elevate the dish.

In the end, we decided to round out the meal with a dessert, something we hadn’t tried before: a green tea white chocolate brownie. It was unlike any dessert I had ever had. The “brownie” looked more like slices of cake topped with chilled and sweetened red beans, a berry compote and spun sugar. I’ve never had spun sugar in my life; it something I’ve only ever seen on TV. It’s even more beautiful up close. Eating it was like eating needles, but in a good way. The green tea was very light and the chocolate undetectable. I preferred the compote to the red bean, but the red bean was still pretty good.

Though expensive, the meal was pretty good. It seems as though there is a touch of yuzu in everything and at this time I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. In most of the dishes we ordered, it was undetectable. Even in the drink I could barely taste anything but the overbearing sweetness of the other ingredients in the drink. All things considered, I would definitely recommend this restaurant for their ramen and appetizers. Next time I’d like to try out their bentos and teppenyaki. That’s another thing for another day though. Based on today’s experience, I’d rate them 4.25/5.

Panorama of Restaurant Interior

Panorama of Restaurant Interior

Calamari

Calamari

Tuna Poke

Tuna Poke

Rainbow Roll

Rainbow Roll

Chef's Selection of Sashimi

Chef’s Selection of Sashimi

Special Yuzu Scallop Sushi

Special Yuzu Scallop Sushi

Paitan Ramen

Paitan Ramen

Green Tea White Chocolate Brownie

Green Tea White Chocolate Brownie

Restaurant Review: Sushi Boat

Location: 806 Crowfoot Crescent NW
Website: http://www.sushiboat.co/

This is one of the sushi places that our family returns to time after time. Not only is the food reasonably priced, but it’s also good. They are constantly introducing new items to their menus to keep it fresh and up-to-date. Today for example, there were about 6 new dishes added to the menu, with about that many being discontinued. What I enjoy most about sushi boat is their boats (hence their name). Styled like a self-serve tapas bar, different coloured plates float past you showcasing a few of their popular plates. Of course if you don’t see what you like you can always order from one of the many waitresses hovering by waiting to help.

Normally we go for dinner, but today we decided to go for lunch, just my sister and I. The place opened precisely at 11:45 and there was a mad rush for the seats. In total we ordered “19” plates. Sushi rolls usually come in fours, while nigiri comes in twos. We had two plates of the spicy tuna, two plates of uni, four plates of creamy scallop, one plate of toro nigiri, one plate of tuna nigiri, one of seared salmon, one plate of Hawaiian Poke, two of unagi nigiri, one of salmon nigiri, one plate of gyoza, one of korokke, and two green tea ice creams to round out the meal.

The spicy tuna is the pretty much one of the only dishes in which I’m able to eat raw fish. Typically I go with salmon because it has a firmer texture and doesn’t feel like I’m eating raw mush, but the spicy mayo sauce atop the spicy tuna rolls makes it one of my favourites. Uni is an acquired taste. It has a very unique taste that is very clearly seafoody, but the fishiness is not the same as the taste of when seafood goes bad, rather it is a pure, crystalline taste, if that makes any sense. In addition to its pure taste it is rich and smooth, but not creamy. My sister originally hated it, but with time she came to love it. The four plates of creamy scallops was a bit of a mistake. We had intended to order four pieces (two orders) not four plates. However, this is my sister’s all time favourite, so I guess it wasn’t so bad. I tried this dish again today but can’t see why she would like it that much. The scallops don’t have much taste, but the crunch of the tobiko provides a nice contrast to the soft, slimy, mayo coated scallops. Toro is tuna belly and due to the fat marbling, it is one of the most delicious pieces. It is so tender and the melt in your mouth quality of this cut of fish has made it one of the staples when we go to this restaurant. Another staple is the seared salmon.It’s not bad, but it’s another of my sister’s favourites. She doesn’t even know why she likes it but she does. However, in recent times she has been disappointed because they used to sear the salmon and then top it with a thin line of mayo, but now they sear it with the mayo on top leaving it a messy, melty blob of unappealingness. The Hawaiian Poke is one of their new items, so we decided to give it a try. Upon lifting off the lid, we were greeted with the delightful aromatic scent of sesame oil. This was my first time I have had a poke and it was delicious. If you’ve read my other reviews, I don’t handle my raw fish well, but now I’m happy to say that I can add this to my repertoire of raw fish. Unagi….where do I start with this one. Best. Thing. Ever. It’s fresh water eel, grilled and coated in a sticky, sweet, teriyaki sauce. Usually we have unagi as a nigiri, but sometimes we have it in a roll or on top of rice, all of which are delicious. The salmon nigiri was also for my sister. Her advice when choosing a piece is to look for a piece with consistent marbling. Of course it’s important to also check the cut (was it shredded or nicely sliced) as well as the thickness. Obviously, a thicker cut is more expensive, but when you’re getting a piece of nigiri, they are all the same price (if they’re on the same coloured plate) and the chef who prepared it may have made it slightly thicker, so be on the look out for that. The gyoza and korokke were primarily for me and I would have grabbed the calamari if I wasn’t already as full as I was by this point in the meal. The gyoza had an excellently crisped exterior and had just the right amount of sweet and spicy sauce drizzled on it. This is my first time trying korokke. I’ve had it in a roll before, but I’ve never had a whole piece. It was served with BBQ sauce on the side to help cut through the greasiness of the fried potato, but I didn’t used all that much because it felt strange to have BBQ sauce with Japanese food. The tanginess of the BBQ sauce did help a little though, so I can understand why it was served alongside the korokke. Korokke is a borrowed word; it comes from the French word croquette. As always, we round out our meal with a dessert and I really love their green tea ice cream. It’s nothing like Sakana’s, but for the price we’re paying it’s good.

Sometimes the waitresses need to be flagged down, but otherwise they are pretty attentive and service is good. Based on price and taste I would certainly return and recommend this place to everyone and anyone (especially if you enjoy sushi). I would rate this place a 4/5.

Uni

Uni

Creamy Scallop

Creamy Scallop

Starting Top Right going clockwise: Hawaiian Poke, tuna, seared salmon, toro

Starting Top Right going clockwise: Hawaiian Poke, tuna, seared salmon, toro

Unagi

Unagi with a piece of salmon nigiri behind

Gyoza

Gyoza

Korokke

Korokke

Spicy Tuna

Spicy Tuna

Green Tea Ice Cream

Green Tea Ice Cream

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