Location: 344 17 Avenue SW
Another night on the town enjoying great food with great company. Tonight I had dinner here with my best friend, Julia. I’ve wanted to come to Anju for a long time and tonight I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is new and different as fusion food often is.
We ordered four dishes and one side which turned out to be completely unnecessary. The Spicy Buckwheat Noodle Salad was the first to come. When I hear “buckwheat noodles,” my first thought is of soba, but these were not that; they looked more like instant noodles. The dish was chilled, hence the salad served with grilled pork belly. The salad consisted of the noodles, kimchi, cucumber, carrot, daikon, nori, and half an egg served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce, but the daikon was kind of hard to find in everything. The choice to serve it with grilled pork belly was a good one. The sour spiciness of the kimchi serves to counterbalance the richness of the pork belly. And deciding to simply grill it without the addition of a lot of seasoning was a good contrast to the aggressively seasoned noodles. The next dish that arrived was the Spicy Salmon Tacos which are tacos with salmon mixed with spicy mayo on a sesame slaw topped with avocado mousse and seaweed and lime wedges on the side. The taco shells are made of a wonton wrapper, giving it a much need crunch. I’d have to say this is my favourite dish of the entire evening. Not only is it fresh tasting, there are a variety of textures that make it so much more interesting to eat. Though the menu stated that there’s masago on it, there wasn’t any tonight. It didn’t taste as though anything was missing, but it would have added another level of depth to the dish. The Poutine For Your Seoul came next with the kimchi (the side we ordered). Had I known how many dishes contained kimchi, I wouldn’t have ordered this as a side. The poutine had cheese curds and fresh cubed tofu, drizzled with Kabayaki Gravy, topped with dehydrated Kimchi. This one was primarily chosen because of the punny name. Julia loved the name so much and I thought why the heck not, it made me laugh, so let’s give it a try. It was a good dish, but so heavy. It really could have done with some citrus accompaniments. The last dish to arrive were the KFC sliders. I think this item is a modification of one of their existing menu items (it’s not on their online menu). They are buttermilk fried chicken topped with two sauces: a mayo one and a Gochujang sauce (spicy fermented bean sauce), served with kimchi flavoured chips on the side. After all that kimchi, these chips didn’t taste of much. This one was as heavy as the poutine and by this part of the meal, all the carbs were really getting to me, so much so that I had a hard time getting down my allotted one and a half sliders.
This place, like all tapas bars, are pricey. Now I know that going to a tapas bar with one other person is a no-no. Next time I’m bringing at least two other people as the serving sizes are a better fit for parties of three or four. Next time less kimchi and fewer dishes of carb heavy ingredients. I don’t think I can eat kimchi for the next few weeks and feel as though I’ll be full for a long time to come. There are still so many things that i’d love to try out on the menu. I would definitely recommend this place and i would most certainly return here. Based on today’s visit, I’d give this place a 4.25/5.