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Posts tagged ‘Sushi’

Restaurant Review: Kinjo

Location: 415-5005 Dalhousie Dr NW
Website: http://www.kinjosushiandgrill.com/

The first few times we went, the impression was not good. Maybe it had to do with the crazy butcher knife wielding owner who went around threatening people with it to make them say loving things to their parents or partners which I didn’t feel particularly comfortable with. I could hardly enjoy my meal for fear of that guy coming to our table.

So for a few years we didn’t go. And recently we went to the one on Macleod trail before I came here to this location in Dalhousie. The Dalhousie location seems a little sub-par compared to places like Sakana, but I don’t judge a place solely on how it looks. After all, it is a restaurant and if the food cannot speak for itself, there’s no point in going.

The last time I went with my cousins/the part of the wedding party it was pretty good. Especially since we didn’t have a crazy guy with a knife coming at us. The only thing was they had to be prompted to bring us our pocky at the end of the meal.

Today, I went with my sister and we decided to try some of the menu items we hadn’t tried the last time we’d been there (excluding the staples like salmon sashimi for her and scallop nigiri). In addition to those two things, we ordered the ginger shrimp, tuna combo, grilled BBQ eel, Vegas roll, and Ikayaki tempura. Like many places now, Kinjo gives a complementary assortment of rolls to promote some of the rolls on their menu. The assortment this time included the volcano roll, hot California roll, spicy salmon roll, and some roll with squid legs in it. The “hot” was not referring to spiciness, rather it was referring to temperature and I was a little disappointed because I find that having  a bit of spice makes sushi more appetizing (I mean with all that rice!). The first to come was the Ginger Shrimp. Though it was good, it was disappointing because it, in fact, was not ginger, but sweet chili sauce. We demolished that one pretty quick. It was after all,  was an appetizer and had only four shrimps. Next came the salmon sashimi, scallop nigiri, and tuna combo plate. Those were Val’s and I had no desire to try them…well not really. She did encourage me to try one of the pieces of tuna sushi from the combo plate. It didn’t taste all that spectacular to me, but then again I’m not a raw fish connaisseur like she is when it comes to these things. Though it was good, Val said that she was disappointed that they had run out of two of the items that were supposed to be included on the combo platter and had to substitute them for one of the other items. After that came the grilled eel and Ikayaki tempura. The grilled eel is substantially smaller than what I’m used to buying at T&T, but I know I shouldn’t compare to that. The grilled eel practically melted in your mouth. It was so tender that it was nearly impossible to pick up large sections with your chopsticks without dropping at least a small bit of it. The Ikayaki tempura was a change from our usual calamari. Although both dishes are made from squid, ikayaki refers to squid that had been grilled. In this case since it was an ikayaki tempura, it was grilled then battered with tempura batter and deep fried giving it a unique taste as opposed to calamari which is squid that is simply battered and fried. Both are good, but I still prefer calamari over ikayaki.  Ironically, the first dish we decided on was the last dish to arrive. The Vegas Roll was one decided with apprehension, but also intrepidation. The part I was most concerned about was the fact that it contained cream cheese, which I don’t like in my sushi (I’m sorry, in my mind cream cheese doesn’t go with rice and seaweed). And I’ve always had a thing for mixing sweet with savoury. Obviously there’s a limit, but a slice of fruit or a sweet mango sauce on my sushi is not unheard of. For the first few pieces of sushi, the cream cheese was small enough to be undetectable, but I was unlucky enough to get a giant chunk in the last one and it kind of ruined it for me. The piece of sushi was so big I couldn’t fit it all in my mouth. I first had to break it into two sections and it took a couple bites to eat all of it. Surprisingly, despite having to take several bites, the pieces held together quite well.

Overall I was pretty impressed. Since the knife wielding psycho was no longer around, eating here has become so much less stressful. And eating should never be stressful. Based on my experience today I’d rate it 3.2/5.

 

Ginger Shrimp

Ginger Shrimp

Salmon Sashimi

One of Two Salmon Sashimi

Scallop sushi

Scallop Nigiri

Tuna Combo

Tuna Combo

Unagi

Unagi

Ika-something

Ikayaki Tempura

Las Vegas Roll

Las Vegas Roll

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 Hiyori

Location: 1348 Hornby St

Day one, restaurant one. After being dropped off at the airport at 7:30 there was a lot of time to wait before our flight, so unsurprisingly, when we finally landed in Vancouver, everyone was starving. We looked up restaurants before we headed out, but decided that the best course of action was to go into the first appealing restaurant that we saw on our way to Granville Island. This was the restaurant we stumbled on.

As it was 2 in the afternoon, we decided to go with something light so that we could still have dinner at a reasonable time. We ordered the eight piece tuna and salmon sashimi, takoyaki, Energy Roll, and okonomiyaki. I didn’t have any sashimi, but my sister described it as being well chilled with no fishy taste for the tuna and that the slabs were sufficiently thick. The takoyaki is comparable to the one served at Sakana Grill. It too is served with a generous helping of fish flakes on top. However, I’d recommend these ones over the Sakana ones simply because it had a crunchier exterior, which I enjoyed immensely. The okonomiyaki batter is pretty much the same as the takoyaki except that it has onion and is flattened out into a pancake shape. This one was a bit of a disappointment as it was most unlike the picture that was printed in the menu. The menu promised a large pancake not unlike a Korean pancake in Korean BBQ. The first few bites were really enjoyable, but the sauce to pancake ratio was a bit off and there wasn’t enough sauce to go with all the pancake. The Energy Roll was essentially a dynamite roll with fried unagi on top, dressed with spicy mayo and unagi sauce. This roll is one of my favourites to date and this is the first time I’ve tried fried unagi (unagi in tempura batter and deep fried).

 Since it was so late, there were few patrons, but when we walked by around 7 pm, they were packed, which is always a good indication. Service was a bit lacking, but again, because of the late hour this was technically their lunch time. Having taken everything into consideration, I’d say that my experience here was pretty good and that I would recommend this place. I would give this restaurant a 3.75/5.

   

  

Restaurant Review: Globefish

Location: 6455 Macleod Tr SW Website: http://globefish.ca/ The first time I visited this restaurant was with my family. We had heard rave reviews about this place and as my sister was a sushi fanatic, it seemed natural to pay this place a visit. When we first arrived, we had a hard time finding a parking spot so my dad dropped us off to get a seat while he parked. The restaurant interior was fairly small and there was already a line up out the door. This was a good sign, it meant that it was popular and we could expect the very best. We waited for over half an hour outside in the heat with the disgusting smell of sewage wafting up at us. After a very long wait, we got in thinking we had escaped the smell, but alas, that was not true. They decided to keep the doors open, making the smell unbearable as we ate and I had no appetite for food. And it wasn’t as though we could eat quickly and leave to escape for service was incredibly slow. However, in this situation I can understand, as the restaurant was packed with a line out the door; it’s easy for the kitchen to quickly become overwhelmed. My dad has always emphasized giving restaurants a second chance. Today was their second chance. As we walked over from the mall to the restaurant in the rain the familiar smell of sewage rose up to greet us. We arrived a little early (five minutes or less) so the restaurant wasn’t open yet. We waited outside, being one of the first to enter. From the moment I walked in, I did not feel welcome. The hostess who seated us pretty much didn’t even say a word and just led us to our table and left. Our waitress was not any better. We were barely even settled when she came over and asked what we wanted to drink. We hesitated momentarily earning us an irritated look.  She returned quickly with our drinks and asked if we were ready to order. Having just come from my ophthalmologist appointment, my pupils were still so dilated that I couldn’t read and had to ask my sister to read off the menu to me. We asked for a couple of minutes to agree on the last few rolls and she walked away irritatedly. When we were finally ready to order, she was nowhere in sight. We ordered takoyaki and a mentai calamari to start, a prawn tempura, a tuna and salmon sashimi, and three rolls: the Power of Love, Tokyo Sky Tree, and Men in Black. Of course we had to get a calamari, it’s me we’re talking about. This calamari, as expected, had a Japanese spin to it. It was strips of battered and seasoned squid served on a bed of mixed greens and three slices of red bell peppers, drizzled with what appeared to be togarashi mayo. The first few bites were delicious and the balance between the oily heaviness that often comes with deep fried foods with the tartness of the mayo were spot on. However, as the ratio of mayo to calamari was a bit off, the calamari began to get heavier and thus harder and harder to eat. On top of that, it appears that someone was a bit heavy handed with the Japanese spices which I’m pretty sure had salt, so I had quite a time drinking the whole pot of tea trying to maintain the balance of sodium to water within my body. The takoyaki here is a bit better than I’ve had at most places. It isn’t swimming in sauce and it has more octopus in it. The prawn tempura was just sad. It was very clear that these were from frozen. They were tiny and stick like (like a little too rigid). I didn’t have any of the tuna and salmon sashimi, so I can’t comment much on that, but according to my sister they were up to par. The first of the three rolls, the Power of Love, wasn’t all that special. It was essentially a California roll topped with Unagi and Red & Green Tobiko. The second, the Tokyo Sky Tree, just looked so bizarre. The roll was stacked in three columns and topped with a tendril that looked like a piece of whole wheat deep fried Vietnamese vermicelli (inedible) and shredded green onion. Inside the rolls themselves were salmon, mango and the outside had avocado. The strangest part was that there were Cajun spices sprinkled on it and the menu stated “spicy mayo” but it was hot sauce and mayo drizzled on the plate. I liked the bit of sweetness from the mango in the roll, but other than that I don’t have too much to say other than I didn’t like it. The last roll, the Men in Black roll is a roll specific to the Chinook location. Unlike the other rolls, this one is made with black rice. I can’t remember exactly everything that went in there, but I do know there was cucumber, salmon, avocado, and tobiko. There may or may not have been Unagi. It was drizzled with a sweet sauce. It wasn’t like the Unagi sauce that I was used to though it tasted similar. This has to be my favourite roll. The addition of the cucumbers gave it a fresh taste in contrast to the heaviness of the calamari and takoyaki.

Based on the food and service, I most likely will not be returning here. When I go for sushi I prefer it to be a little more on the traditional side. I don’t ever want to find cream cheese on my sushi at any point in time. The presentation was a bit lacking and the wait time for service and food was a bit long for my tastes. For those reasons and those listed above, I’d give this place a 2/5.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki

Mentai Calamari

Mentai Calamari

Prawn Tempura

Prawn Tempura

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi

Men in Black

Men in Black

Power of Love

Power of Love

Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree

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

Restaurant Review: Joey’s

Locations:
Joey’s Eau Claire: 200 Eau Claire Market, 208 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, AB
Joey’s Crowfoot: 50 Crowfoot Way NW, Calgary, AB, Canada

Website: http://www.joeyrestaurants.com

This evening I returned to Joey’s Crowfoot to share a meal with my best friend before she leaves the city for Vancouver. The first time I was here was with my cousin for my eighteenth birthday and I don’t quite remember what I had, except that the starter was a Ahi Tuna Taco with Wasabi aioli. The second time I went to the Eau Claire location with my cousin and best friend for my birthday. Both my cousin and best friend ordered the lobster grilled cheese while I got the Butter Chicken. I really enjoyed the naan and butter chicken, but the strange crunchy thing and the basmati rice was okay. There was nothing actually wrong with the rice, it was made as it should be, but I just prefer naan over rice.

Tonight we decided to go all out: appetizer, main, and dessert. We started with the pesto shrimp flatbread. It was different, a nice different since we are always getting calamari because of me. This time I let her decide and it was really a good choice. The flatbread was nice and crunchy around the edges, the cheese wonderfully stringy, and it was topped with fresh basil and a chipotle aioli that gave it a nice kick. The only thing I could say I disliked about the flatbread was the chunks of sundried tomatoes. As I’m already not a huge fan of sundried tomatoes, I felt their presence was unnecessary and didn’t bring an extra flavour profile to the dish.

For our mains, my best friend ordered the Sashimi Tuna Salad. Now the last time we went for sushi, sashimi wasn’t one of her favourites, so it surprised me when she ordered it and it surprised me even more when she said that she had enjoyed it despite not enjoying the sashimi we had at Sakana Grill. The salad is unlike any I’ve seen on menus elsewhere. I mean, how often do you find a salad of seared rare Ahi, mango, peanuts, avocado, and crispy noodles with a cilantro ginger dressing. She described the salad as being “well balanced, has some sweetness, but also nice flavours of the cilantro and garlic olive oil dressing” come through on the palate. All in all the tuna was a good pairing and “it had just the right amount of noodles, just the right amount of everything really.”

I ordered the steak and sushi at the recommendation of a coworker. It was essentially a Japanese surf & turf, tataki style CAB® PRIME steak, with Ponzu sauce, and rainbow roll. The rainbow roll consists of Ahi tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, sriracha aioli. She wasn’t kidding, this was amazing. This is the only time I will ever eat raw fish. I absolutely can’t stand sashimi, but I was totally fine with it on the rainbow roll. The contrast between the steak and the sushi was absolutely delicious. However, as I’m used to having Japanese sushi, the rolls were a little squished and not really filled with much. Naturally I didn’t touch the ginger or wasabi but it wasn’t like they gave me soy sauce to dip it in, not that I minded as I was busy wiping up the sriracha aioli off the plate with the rolls. There wasn’t really any heat from the sriracha aioli, but it was delicious nonetheless. The steak was so tender and flavourful that I wanted to eat another whole steak.

For dessert we both got the molten lava chocolate souffle. It was not as I thought a souffle ought to have been. For one, it looked more like a molten lava cake rather than a souffle and I’m pretty sure, though I’ve never had a souffle I’m sure the bottom isn’t supposed to be crunch and near impossible to cut through with a spoon without sending something semi-flying across my plate, but I loved the contrast of the whole dish: warmth of the molten cake and the cold of the vanilla ice cream, the sweet of the ice cream and cake contrasted to the tartness of the raspberries and raspberry compote.

Overall the food here is amazing, however the price is a completely different story. The service is much better than a lot of places I’ve been to. Our server was ultra helpful and incredibly accommodating to our needs.  Taking everything into consideration I would rate this place 4/5 primarily because my wallet would greatly suffer if I went there frequently.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Lobster Grilled Cheese with Yam Fries

Lobster Grilled Cheese with Yam Fries

Lobster Grilled Cheese with Fries

Lobster Grilled Cheese with Fries

Steak and Sushi

Steak and Sushi

Sashimi Tuna Salad

Sashimi Tuna Salad

Pesto Shrimp Flatbread

Pesto Shrimp Flatbread

Molten Lava Chocolate Souffle

Molten Lava Chocolate Souffle

 

Restaurant Review: Sakana Grill

Locations: 116 2 Ave SW
10 Crowfoot Cir NW

Website: http://www.sakanagrill.ca/

I’ve been to both Sakana Grill locations, but usually the Crowfoot location is more convenient for me. Tonight was a special occasion as I had finished the last final exam of my undergrad. I can’t say that it will be the final exam of my entire university career as I plan on going to law school, but it’s still a good feeling. It feels odd that I’m graduating. It definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been four years.

I met my best friend, Julia (http://wallsandstalls.wordpress.com/) when I was in first year in an introductory English class, special topics: gaming and ideology, so fittingly, I have ended it with her for dinner this evening. My sister has also been a really important person in my life, so she came along too.

I’m not usually one for sushi, but I felt that it was something I wanted to have to celebrate this epic achievement. I remember the first time I got a job, I spent my entire paycheque treating my family here.

Normally when I go with my family we get the sushi boats because they are the best deals considering the amount my father and sister consume, but today we went primarily with appetizers and a couple of rolls. My sister suggested that we try the takoyaki because they were particularly good. I think that they weren’t any different from other restaurants that serve the dish except that at Sakana there are fish flakes…which just make me think of fish food and ironically, I’m not a huge fan of fish. Tonight’s special were squid legs. I have a personal weakness for squid/calamari so we decided to give it a try. I was in love. There wasn’t a ridiculous amount of batter on the squid and there was a sweet-spicy sauce that was drizzled on top making it absolutely delectable! Of course this dish is squid, so keep in mine my bias. The Red & Black Ninja Roll is a must have at Sakana. It has salmon, unagi (freshwater eel) over shrimp tempura, tobiko (flying fish roe), mayo, finished with sesame seeds and unagi sauce. This roll is the only one I’m willing to eat raw salmon on. The second roll we ordered for the evening was the Ocean Mountain Roll, Julia’s pick. Now, the other ironic thing is that I hate wasabi. It’s not that wasabi is spicy, well okay, it is if you eat a spoonful, but really, who does that if they’re not being dared to. But anyways, wasabi has this really weird plant-y taste that I can’t get used to. So, the Ocean Mountain Roll has salmon, avocado and ebi (sweet shrimp) over tempura yam, cucumber and mayo, finished with sweet wasabi and sweet spicy sauces and tobiko.  Now I didn’t even know there was such thing as sweet wasabi so I was willing to try it. Sweet wasabi was true to its name. It was definitely not spicy and a spoonful of that stuff wouldn’t kill me, but the plant-y taste. Oh that disgusting plant-y taste killed me. Of course, my sister had to get her salmon and tuna sashimi because what is Japanese food without a couple slabs of raw fish. I won’t touch the stuff and I can’t tell the difference in textures of the meats, but then again I don’t care to put slimy raw stuff into my mouth. Another staple when going for sushi is tempura, especially if raw stuff doesn’t sit too well in your stomach. Of course, tempura, as I learned in my art history class did not originate from Japan, but was the result of contact with Portuguese traders during the Momoyama period (1573-1615).

For the first time, we also had dessert at Sakana. Okay, like we’ve all probably ordered a green tea ice cream, but tonight we ordered like a coconut surprise and a lava cake. Now I strongly suspect those aren’t made in the restaurant, but still yummy. I don’t care. . The lava cake, as my sister so expertly pointed out came with two scoops of ice cream. If I had known that we would have ordered not another ice cream dessert. The coconut surprise is like this giant egg shaped ice cream that had mango ice cream of the “yolk.” I got brain freeze. It was nice. I was tired and needed it anyways.

I would recommend the Crowfoot location over the downtown location because of lighting and atmosphere. It’s way more comfortable at the Crowfoot location than the darkly lit and kinda old looking downtown location. That being said, due to the dark and older appearance of the downtown location, it is a little bit more private for large parties.

For a Tuesday night, Sakana was pretty full. Every table had patrons. A good sign. I think.

All in all I would recommend this place for sushi, but I wouldn’t really suggest going with the yakisobas, they really aren’t that authentic. If you’re a big eater, get a boat. It will save you a lot of money.

Taking into consideration the price and quality of food, I would give this restaurant a 4/5

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Complimentary sushi that I have no idea what’s in it, but I just ate it anyways*

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Squid Legs

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Tuna and Salmon Sashimi

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Left: Red & Black Ninja Roll
Right: Ocean Mountain Roll

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Takoyaki

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Regular Assorted Tempura

Green Tea and Lychee Slush

Green Tea and Lychee Slush*

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Coconut Surprise

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Lava Cake with two scoops of vanilla ice cream

*Starred images: photo credit goes to Julia

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