Beer · Japanese · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion · Sushi

Sukiyaki House – Ichiban (#1 in #YYC)

Now that L and I no longer have our annual trip to Japan, we crave sushi all the time. I noticed on Instagram, Sukiyaki House receives constant praise from foodkarmablog, Miss Foodie and Loaf2go. Sukiyaki House is located in the heart of downtown core. Pro tip – after 6:00 p.m., there is complimentary heated parking.

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Sukiyaki House is known in Calgary for Head Chef Koji Kobayashi’s elaborate omakase dinners. Chef Kobayashi was born in Osaka and trained in “kaiseki”, the highest form of Japanese fine dining. Below is a picture I took without permission from their Instagram account.

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Foodkarma recommends the agadashi tofu, tempura and special event dinners. Miss Foodie orders the sukiyaki hot pot and other specialty dishes. I like to focus on the nigiri. For this post, let’s listen to “Lights Out” by Santogold.

L knows the owner’s son – Justin – a graduate from the Haskayne School of Business. I think it is endearing that when we visit, there are other U of C graduates dining there. I’m thinking of organizing a get together with our previous Japan kids at Sukiyaki House, who are also Haskayne alumni.

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Justin impressed me with his knowledge of sake. He treated us to a glass of premium sake – Kozaemom Junmai Ginjo Omachi ($90 bottle, 3 oz glass $12). Wowzers. The sake was flavourful and it smelled incredibly nice. I loved the dryness and the viscosity of the sake. This is hands down my favourite sake. I would order this again.

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We started our meal with a dish off the regular menu – Sawara Tataki ($24). Holy Mackerel! This dish made me appreciate the subtlety of fine dining. The delicate textures of the daikon and chrysanthemum was a nice contrast to the mackerel. The greens and garlic chips added a dainty crunch to each bite.  The sauce was refreshing and perfectly balanced.

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We ordered an assortment of nigiri and maki rolls, as well as a pint of Asahi ($7, 16 ounce). Justin informed us that he imports the beer from Japan. I could tell the difference between Asahi made in Japan and the stuff made elsewhere. In 2019, L and I visited the Asahi factory to learn about their brewing process.  Asahi made in Japan tastes purer and the bubbles are tinier.

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The Aka Maguro (red tuna, $4.20) is a must order. The tuna was firm in texture but rich and fatty. The tuna literally melted in my mouth when I slowly chewed it. L noted that the fish to rice ratio was balanced.

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Amaebi (raw prawn, $4) is one of my favourite things to order. The prawn was cool on my tongue, sweet and crunchy.  Equally delicious was the accompanying fried shrimp head, dusted with matcha salt.

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The shrimp head was served still warm. The fried shell was covered in a soft, light layer of tempura. The texture and taste of the shrimp head meat reminds me of fried soft shell crab.

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I think Sukiyaki’s Ebi (steamed prawn, $3) is the best in town. The prawn was tasty with a pleasant crunch to it. We both thought the Shake (Atlantic salmon, $3) was creamy with a rich, smooth flavour. The Tamago (egg omelette, $2.40) was sweet with a light, almost foamy texture.

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The Hotategai ($4.20) was large and plump. The freshness of the scallops was exceptionally lovely – silky smooth with a clean flavour profile. L noted the use of wasabi in the sushi was just as it should be – present but not overpowering.

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We also ordered one of the specials of the night –  Sawara ($6). When I put this piece of Spanish mackerel in my mouth, my head exploded with the realization that I don’t have to go to Japan in order to eat excellent sushi.

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L enjoyed the Special Scallop ($3.80) even though he doesn’t care for scallops or mayonnaise. Despite the thick and almost buttery dressing, I could still taste the freshness of the scallop. The pop of saltiness from the flying fish roe added to this insanely decadent bite.

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L ordered a Prawn Dynamite ($11). What a rookie move! I didn’t want L to order a dynamite roll but sometimes you gotta let your man order his food.  Don’t get me wrong – the dynamite roll was made well, but there’s so many better things you can get. For example, my Shake Skin Roll ($12). Now this is a roll worth ordering.

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The semi raw salmon was scorched on the top. The salmon skin was crunchy and smoky. I enjoyed the sauce which added a touch of sweetness. L doesn’t like salmon skin but he admitted that he now understands the appeal of BC rolls.

After our meal, L spoke to Justin to book my milestone birthday at Sukiyaki House. I normally shy away from extravagant meals but at Sukiyaki House, I see the value in such an experience.

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The sushi was so excellent, I couldn’t stop raving about our meal. I haven’t been this excited in a long time. When we went to bed, I told L that if I died that night, I would die happy. I was serious. If you love sushi, you must check out this restaurant out. Hitting the Sauce thinks Sukiyaki House is the best sushi restaurant in Calgary.

Sukiyaki House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Restaurants · Special Occasion · Steakhouse

Hy’s Steakhouse – Lunch

For Cruising’s birthday lunch, I wanted to take her to Caesar’s Steak House. However, due to her busy work schedule, Hy’s Steakhouse was the more convenient choice. For this post, let’s listen to “I Want to Take You Higher” by Sly and The Family Stone.

As I had to work after lunch, I couldn’t order a glass of wine. Instead, I stared enviously at the carefree couple next to me who were two martinis into their lunch. Cruising wanted hot water but Ms. Biz and I told her to forgo cultural stereotypes for this lunch. Cruising and I ordered an Earl Grey tea ($4.99) and Ms. Biz requested a club soda with lemon ($3.50).

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To start, we shared an order of the Cheese Bread ($10.95). One order contains two slices, each cut into three pieces. As the cheese bread is so decadent, I felt like two pieces was almost too much for me.

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The bread was crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle. The layer of warm creamy cheese had a deliciously mild tang to it. I’d order this again.

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Cruising and Ms. Biz ordered the Sliced Calf Liver with Bacon and Onions ($23.99). I’ve never tried calf liver. Ms. Biz instructed me to eat the meat with the onion and bacon. The liver was crisp on the outside and velvety tender. The flavour was intense but there was no bitterness or gameness to it.

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I ordered the New York Steak Sandwich ($29.99). I upgraded my side to a double stuffed potato ($8.99). My steak was cooked as requested – medium rare. My steak was too salty and a tad tough. The double stuffed potato was light and fluffy with crispy edges, garnished with bacon bits, green onions and sour cream. So tasty and worth the extra charge.

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The lunch portions at Hy’s are so filling, both Ms. Biz and I took more than half our food home. L heated up my steak for his dinner. He said the steak was delicious but salty and  the potato was awesome.

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Service was professional and attentive. The staff worked efficiently to ensure customers receive their food in a timely matter. I’d recommend coming to Hy’s for their well priced lunch.

Hy's Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Burgers · Happy Hour · Patio · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion

Klein & Harris

L won an award! To celebrate this special occasion, he took his parents and I to Klein & Harris Restaurant. For this post, let’s listen to “Whatta a Man by Salt ‘N’ Pepa.

Originally, L wanted to take his parents to Caesar’s Steakhouse. I convinced him to change the venue to Klein & Harris. He was initially worried his parents would be confused with a menu that wasn’t just meat and potatoes. Klein and Harris only uses Canadian produce, wines and spirits to create a ‘true North cuisine’.

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I first met Christina Mah – the co-owner of Klein & Harris – when she was the GM at Raw Bar. When she heard we were celebrating a special occasion, she sent over a complimentary round of prosecco with sumac and kiwi bitters. L’s teetotaler mother Loving Disapproval admired the pretty pink hue so much, she even took a sip. This is the sort of drink I adore – light, refreshing and bubbly.

mocktailWe arrived early enough to partake in happy hour drinks. L and his father Bobbino enjoyed an easy drinking beer – Philips Kolsh ($5.00). Loving Disapproval ordered a mocktail made with seasonal ingredients ($5.50). I found a new favourite white wine – Longhand Pinot Grigio 2017 ($9, HH $5). The regular price for a bottle is only $42, which is a wicked deal, particularly on Stephen Ave. The wine was pleasant, smooth and clean. I also tried a buttery, full-bodied glass of Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay 2017 Niagara on the Lake ($14.75, 7 ounce).

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For appetizers, we ordered Diver Scallops ($20), Mushroom Ravioli ($16), and Grilled Humboldt Squid ($18). For our mains, we ordered Alberta Lamb Loin ($26), Duck Breast ($26), and the Wednesday’s Coastal Feature ($25). I only ordered three appetizers and three mains because L had to leave early to prepare for the ceremony and I’m trying to eat smaller portions. If you have a regular appetite, I would highly recommend that each person order an appetizer and main.

Loving Disapproval thinks she’s allergic to peppers. As a result, the chef prepared all the dishes without peppers, and instead, put it on the side for us to enjoy. We really appreciate the extra effort, as that was a lot of  work for the chef to accommodate one guest while still allowing the rest of us to taste the dish as it was originally intended.

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The Diver scallops were cooked to perfection.  The outside was caramelized brown and the inside was silky smooth. These scallops were savoury from bacon and sweet from the apple nosh.

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The grilled Humboldt squid was overwhelmingly impressive.  Unless someone told me this was squid, I wouldn’t have known because the smooth, soft consistency was unlike any squid I have ever had.

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Loving Disapproval was enthralled with the mushroom ravioli. The filling was finely chopped, almost like a puree or a pate.  L is not a fan of mushrooms and he was impressed. The pasta itself was tender and delicate. The addition of the leeks, blistered tomatoes, greens and smoked Gouda made this dish quite substantial for an appetizer.

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The lamb loin was pink and juicy in the middle.  Like the Humboldt squid, I’ve never tasted lamb with such a succulent texture. The sauce of green tomato and rosemary relish was really tasty and a wonderful compliment to the mild flavour of the lamb.

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L enjoyed the Coastal Feature, a white fish. He said it reminded him of Scandinavian cuisine. He liked the pickled potatoes, the freshness of the flavours, and the crispness of the fish and lettuce.

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My favourite entree was the duck breast. The meat was thick, soft and satiny. I’m familiar with Chinese BBQ duck, which is more gamey, dry and has a rougher texture. At home, I’ve made duck breast twice before and it was so rubbery, I had to throw it out.

This was an eye-opening experience for me. I am astonished that scallops, squid, duck, and lamb can taste like this.  I credit executive chef James Waters’ technique and skill. Truly, he is a master with meats and seafood.

I think Klein and Harris offers some of the best value in Calgary. That’s saying a lot because I find my go to restaurants in the city are well-priced. This gem makes it on my list of favourite restaurants in Calgary. Hitting the Sauce gives Klein & Harris two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Klein & Harris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Burgers · Restaurants · Special Occasion · Steakhouse

Bar Modern – No Man’s Dinner #2

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Photo Credit: Loaf2go

For our second No Man’s Dinner meetup, our supper club met at Bar Modern on Stephen Ave. L was initially hesitant to join our club due to a past negative experience. In 2012, I dragged him to a food event. We learned years later that one of the guests we met was charged for child luring and sexual touching of a minor. C came to L’s defense and said she doesn’t blame him, as she too would be jaded if she accidentally met a pedophile. For this post, let’s listen to “Heebie Jeebies” by The Bosell Sisters.

Bar Modern offers a daily happy hour menu from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For six bucks, you can choose from house red or white wine, beer, highballs and some snacks. I detest house wine so I ordered a 5-ounce glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (Submission, Napa Valley $12.25). The wine was plummy and jammy, with a sweet vanilla aftertaste. I preferred my second glass of wine – a light and peppery Pinot Noir (Spy Valley, New Zealand $9.75).

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Our server Jordan gave us a rundown of the menu. His mouth-watering description of the Modern Smash Burger ($19) sold us. L liked the ratio of meat to produce. The double patty was crispy on the outside and the meat melted in your mouth. L described the burger as a sophisticated Big Mac but with top quality ingredients.

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I’d recommend you add bacon ($2) and upgrade the fries to truffle ($2). The bacon was crisp and arrived still glistening. Every element in the burger was excellent. Even the slice of tomato was a treat – so sweet it tasted like it was plucked from a garden.

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Photo Credit: Loaf2go

I announced that L’s burger was one of the best I’ve tried in Calgary. Seashell said she is wary when people claim something they have eaten is the best, because what is that based on and how can you compare that to someone else’s experience? Someone at the table clarified that I said it was the best burger I had in Calgary. C said she needs to eat more burgers before she can decide. T was impressed the bun held up to all the juices and sauces in the burger. @pak_to_eating_yyc tried a bite of her boyfriend’s burger and wished she ordered that instead of the beef rib. All I know is that if we spent this much time talking about a god damn burger, it must be something special.

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C enjoyed her New York Striploin Steak frites ($34). She thought the striploin was nicely cooked and simply seasoned. I tried a piece of C’s meat and I could tell the difference between Modern Steak’s beef and what L normally buys on sale from Safeway. The flavor of the steak and the juiciness was superior. @kimrobynyyc ordered the 7 oz Flat Iron ($29) and she thought it was yummy.

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I ordered the Steak Tartare ($18). Lately, I’ve been on a steak tartare bender. The tartare  was both tender yet chewy. I forgot to give C a piece to try.

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C permitted Seashell to pick the next venue. I suggested that she pick whatever she liked – be it the Ship and Anchor or some other Calgary institution. She nodded and said she would need some time to think about it. I just hope Seashell picks a restaurant with a decent wine list. Otherwise I’ll be irritable and likely focus my negative energy on L.

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Thanks to the members of No Man’s Dinner for the good company and fun. I’m looking forward to the next meet-up.

Modern Steak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer · Burgers · Cheap Eats · Restaurants

El Furniture Warehouse

Loaf2go and I met up for lunch to discuss our upcoming No Man’s Dinner event. She wanted to check out El Furniture Warehouse for the $5.99 menu. For this post, let’s listen to Sia “Cheap Thrills“.

Before I eat anywhere, I always look up any information I can find. I check Instagram, Facebook, Google reviews, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Zomato, and of course, food reviews. I saw on Twitter that Crackmacs was wowed by the Cranberry Turkey Sandwich. Bill Kaufmann from the Calgary Sun praised the braised beef pasta and a salad.

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Loaf2go ordered the Braised Beef Spaghetti. She wanted to share an appetizer that wasn’t fried, so I suggested the Beet & Goat Salad. I picked the Roasted Turkey BLT. We didn’t wait long before our food arrived.

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The greens in my side salad and in the roasted beets were not fresh. There were some brown stems and wet, brown leaves. The beets were wrinkled. Also, there wasn’t any mint in the beet salad, as described on the menu. Our server Nicole came by twice to ask how we were doing. I could have told her that the salads were bad and I’m sure she would have fixed it, but I didn’t want to make a fuss over such a cheap dish.

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I tried a bite of Loaf2go’s pasta. Kaufmann described El Furniture’s spaghetti as “… a meaty, zesty pasta pile that, for $5.95, was a sweet deal.” What little beef there was I would not describe as meaty. The sauce tasted like it came from a can. But Kaufmann is right, for six bucks, it was a good deal.

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I liked Crackmac’s pick. The sandwich was tasty. The cranberry sourdough was crunchy and sweet, stacked with slices of turkey, tomato, stuffing and cheese. The sandwich wasn’t large but enough to satisfy me. The turkey sandwich was cheaper than the gross $7 sandwiches with processed cheese sold at Bow Valley College, plus you get a side.

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I like the music, service and vibe at El Furniture Warehouse. I’d return, but I would stick to the fried food and beers. This is the sort of place I would frequent when I was doing my undergraduate degree. You get the experience of eating out without going over your budget.

After our meal we checked out Bar Modern on Stephen Ave. When we walked in, I told the assistant GM that I wanted to look around to get an idea of the space for an upcoming party. She gave me a tour of the two floors and showed me the difference in the two menus. Loaf2go and I have decided to host our next No Man’s Dinner at Bar Modern. I can’t wait – I know the wines will be superb and I’m looking forward to trying the beef tartare and steak.

El Furniture Warehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Patio · Restaurants

Earls on Stephen Ave

Soup received a $150 gift certificate to Earls. She and her partner Ottawa invited me, L, Soccer Mom, and McCartney out for drinks and food. In light of recent news, let’s listen to “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg.

Our table was next to the patio. We got the best of both words – a view of Stephen Ave, fresh air and spacious, comfortable seating. I preferred to sit inside, as I feel that people who sit on patios on Stephen Ave get stared at by passersby.

I won’t drink house wine. I can’t do it. Two weeks ago in Kyoto, I ordered a bottle of house wine. It was so nasty that I couldn’t choke it down. Last week, I was at Bank and Baron and my colleagues were drinking happy hour house wine. I went against my better judgment and had a glass too. It was vile. At Earls, I ordered a 9 ounce glass of Quails Gate Pinot Noir ($20.25). I thought it was full-bodied and juicy for a pinot. Delicious. I’d come back to Earls just for a nice glass of wine.

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Ottawa requested input from us and ordered for the table: Calamari ($14.25), Pan Wings ($13.75), Warm Spinach Dip ($13.75), Green Dragon Roll ($13.25), Garlic Fries ($6), Street Chicken Tacos ($11.75), and Yam Fries ($7.50). She tried to order the Hawaiian Coconut Prawns but the restaurant was out.

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I was surprised I liked the chicken taco so much, because I don’t normally enjoy tacos. The flour tortilla was crisp and held up to the saucy mixture of tender, slow roasted chicken, cilantro, salsa and cabbage. The taste of cilantro was subtle. The combination tasted fresh yet decadent, most likely due to the jalapeño crema and white cheddar. I thought it was odd that Earls named these ‘street tacos’ because street tacos are simple and pretty basic.

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I liked the yam fries more than the garlic fries. I don’t normally like yam fries because I find the flavour taste fake. Earls make a batch that taste like it’s actually a yam and the fries were fat and crispy, just the way I like them.
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One of my favourite items was the Pan Wings. These aren’t on the menu but our server told us it’s her favourite because they are twice baked and spicy. The sauce was tangy and the skin was crisp. There was a lot of white meat on them bones. The celery was fresh too, sweet and crunchy.

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Japanese · Restaurants · Seafood · Special Occasion · Sushi

Sukiyaki House – Valentine’s dinner

I took L out for Valentine’s Day. I picked Sukiyaki House because he knows the owner’s son and he’s heard a lot about the restaurant’s legendary special dinner events. For this post, let’s listen to L’s favourite Japanese band, Tokyo No.1 Soul Set.

When I received a call from the restaurant to confirm my reservations, I was reminded of the complimentary customer parking available after 6:00 p.m. We were planning to Uber but when we learned of this awesome perk, L decided to drive. Sukiyaki House is a sleek, upscale Japanese restaurant in the downtown core. The picture below is of the washroom’s sink.

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Within ten minutes of being seated, L waved at three people he knew from his place of employment, each sitting at different tables. Note to self – do not go nuclear.

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I ordered a glass of Leiz “Eins-Zwel-Dry” Riesling ($11.00) and L predictably ordered a pint of Asahi ($7.00). We picked the Valentine’s Menu for Two ($95.00) plus a Sunset Cone ($6.00), Shake (Atlantic salmon, $2.60), Shake-Sockeye (Sockeye salmon, $3.00), Special Scallop ($3.50), Tako (steamed octopus, $2.80), Amaebi (sweet prawn + fried shrimp head ($3.50), and Hokkigai (surf clam, $2.80).

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The nori in the Sunset Roll was crisp, layered with smoked salmon, scallop, cucumber, romaine lettuce, capelin roe and mayo. The flavours of all the ingredients were clean and simple.

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The generous portion of Spicy Black Tiger Prawns pleasantly surprised me. The prawns were large and crunchy, lightly battered with a hot kick to it. A squeeze of lemon made this dish pop. I would order this again.

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We enjoyed our extra order of nigiri. Each piece contained well-seasoned rice with the proper proportion of fish to rice. I found the fish quality superior to Zipang and Red Ember, and I like those restaurants.

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We started off with the Chef’s Choice Fish Carpaccio. The arugula was crisp and peppery. The ponzu was light and bright. Make sure you eat the fish with all the ingredients in one bite. Delicious.

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The oshizushi was different than my Vancouver experiences at Miku. Sukiyaki House is more delicate and healthy tasting, the use of torch more subtle and there’s less of a reliance on a heavy mayonnaise glaze. The ikura was slippery, slightly salty and fresh tasting.

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Our server forgot our organic miso soup. I’m glad I reminded her because this is one of the best miso soups I’ve tried. The miso wasn’t overly salty, filled with oyster mushrooms and enoki.

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The dishes were really coming fast when we received the Beef Tataki. Our server asked L to finish the last piece of oshizushi so she could move the plate to make room for the tataki.

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The beef tataki was a stunner. The beef was a brilliant ruby red. I could taste citrus in the sauce. The daikon was cool on the tongue. Excellent.

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We shared six pieces of assorted nigiri. The best of the bunch was the ebi shrimp. The shrimp was noticeably sweet with a pleasant crunchy texture. This is normally my least favourite nigiri. However, when I return to Sukiyaki House, I’ll have to order it again.

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Dessert consisted of spinach sponge cake parfait. The fresh strawberries and the crunch of drizzled hardened chocolate was out of this world delicious. I liked the tartness of the kumquat and grapes. The addition of cornflakes gave a nice contrast to the rest of the ingredients.

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I’m not surprised I enjoyed the food so much. My previous favourite sushi restaurant was Sushi Club, which closed a few years ago. One of the owners and chef of Sushi Club – Steve-San – is now at Sukiyaki House. The head chef is Koji Kobayashi who was professionally trained in ‘kaiseki’, the highest form of Japanese dining. There’s also a third chef who previously worked at Shokunin.

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My work friends are coming with me for lunch at Sukiyaki House for Big Taste of Calgary. L and I plan on returning to try the entire menu. Sukiyaki House is a tiny bit pricier than other restaurants, but the ambience and quality of the food make it more than worth it. Hitting the Sauce gives Sukiyaki House two fat thumbs up and this fine ass Japanese restaurant makes it on my list of favourite restaurants in Calgary.

Sukiyaki House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chain Restaurants · Restaurants

DavidsTea – Stephen Ave

Lately, I’ve been on a DavidsTea kick. I’ve been rotating between Live Wire Lemon, Organic Mother’s Little Helper, Organic Cold 911 and The Buzz. I find the staff at the Stephen Ave location friendly.  I struck up a conversation with the manager who mentioned DavidsTea hosts complimentary tastings in the downtown core. Say no more. I’m there. For this post, let’s listen to David Bowie and Queen Under Pressure.

Tobias and Evan brought a trolley full of cups, lids, teas, tea paraphernalia and large carafes of hot water to our lunch room. The carafe of 75 degrees Celsius water was for green and white teas and 95 degrees Celsius for black teas. We were informed that for green tea, anything hotter than 75 would burn green and white tea leaves.

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I have to give extra points for Tobias and Evan’s kick ass personalities. May I say that you two make a big difference in Calgary, one tea at a time?

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We mulled over the selection of teas, read the labels, sniffed the cannisters and peppered our tea-ristas with questions. When we finally picked our poison, we grabbed a cup and told to pick a level scoop of tea leaves.

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We popped the leaves into a bag and tightened the bag so the tea wouldn’t spill out. I found out that my coworkers had their own quirky way of tying a teabag. For example, Rascal likes to rip the label off. I had another colleague tell me a convoluted process of tying a teabag. I didn’t want to look like a moron so I just nodded like I understood.

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Our selection of teas included: Organic Cream of Earl Grey, Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai, Vanilla Orchid, Jasmine Cream Brûlée, Buddha’s Blend, Magic Potion, Live Wire Lemon and one more that I forgot to document. The majority of teas were unique and very fragrant.

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The fan favourite was Live Lemon, a natural tasting refreshing tea with a lemony zing to it. This is an ideal tea for me to wake up my tastebuds to in the morning.

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The Buddha’s Blend would be a nice relaxing tea to sip in the afternoon. A mix of white and green tea, this is a subtle tasting tea with a hint of sweet hibiscus blossoms.

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Magic Potion was the most in your face tea I tried. We were informed if we put a squeeze of lemon, the colour would change from indigo to violet. I found this tea tart and sweet.

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The special ingredient in this tea is butterfly pea flower, which turns the tea blue. Don’t let this one steep too long, otherwise the taste is quite potent.

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We appreciate DavidsTea for making our Monday afternoon. Muni-sip-ality work is tough, but your tea put a spring in our steep.  Thank you for tea-ching us how to make a brew-tea-ful cup of tea. If you work in an office downtown, call DavidsTea and see if your own private par-tea is a possibili-tea. Tea-hee.

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DAVIDsTEA Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Happy Hour · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Klein & Harris – Stephen Avenue

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I recently discovered one of Calgary’s secret gems – Klein & Harris on Stephen Ave. This place has it all. Excellent service, a beautiful space and elevated cuisine at incredible prices. My recent lunch with Jaime was so good that I cancelled my office lunch reservations at another downtown restaurant and booked with Klein/Harris instead. For this post, let’s listen to some groovy music I overheard while dining at this fine establishment.

Jaime ordered the Mushroom Ravioli ($16). Oh my goodness, this was so good that I am going to order next time. The pasta is made in-house daily. The stuffing of earthy mushrooms was buttery, flavourful and plentiful. The addition of the blistered tomatoes, green and shaved smoked gouda was heavenly. The pasta was thin and delicate like a won ton wrapper. Amazing. Jaime said the pasta was actually quite light, so she didn’t feel uncomfortably stuffed.

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Our excellent server – Amber – recommended the Apple and Walnut Salad ($12). She made it sound so good – quinoa, sunflower seed, hemp hearts and green tomatoes tossed in a buttermilk dressing. I’ll have to try that next time. I noticed several vegetarian dishes that looked delicious to me, a meat eater. The K/H Potato Salad with caramelized onion aioli and poached egg, crusted boursin cheese with crispy leeks, and the toast three ways. Sounds kinky!

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For my lunch, I ordered the One Punch Lunch. The feature was duck confit sandwich, a side, two butter tarts and a mocktail for only $16.00. This was a steal. My mocktail was almost like a dessert – bubbly, sweet with ginger, orange fruit and mint.

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I order the butternut squash soup as my side. I liked the addition of the jalapeno oil as it gave it a warm, spicy kick. I was surprised by the generous amount of shredded duck in my sandwich. The bun was soft, toasted and squishy. The juices from the sweet meat dripped down onto my plate.

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My next visit at dinner, I have my eye on the diver scallops, Alberta lamb loin and duck breast with duck leg. What can be better than duck on duck?

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I tried to book a table for 12 coworkers for happy hour but Klein and Harris was already reserved for a private dinner function. I’ll have to try again in January. If you haven’t been, you need to check this restaurant out.

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Hitting the Sauce gives Klein/Harris two fat thumbs up. I like it so much this restaurant is going on my list of favourite restaurants in Calgary.

Klein & Harris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Brunch · Burgers · Happy Hour · Restaurants

Local Public Eatery – Stampede 2017 Series

For this post, I’m going country. Let’s go!

Don’t wantcha for the weekend, don’t wantcha for a night
I’m only interested if I can have you for life, yeah
Uh, I know I sound serious; and baby, I am
You’re a fine piece of real estate, and I’m gonna get me some land

It’s pretty square at my office year-round, but during Stampede the whole office loosens up. My colleague Aycaramba and I use up our extra lieu time to enjoy the merrier mood. On Thursday, Downtown Calgary hosted the first pancake flip of the Calgary Stampede. We ate pancakes with whip cream and berries, savoured each bite of our sausage and washed it all down with orange juice and Starbucks coffee.

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We went back to the office to work and headed out again for lunch. Aycaramba has never worked downtown. During Stampede, the whole core comes to life. We sailed by the patios at Milestones, Catch, The James Joyce, Original Joe’s, The Unicorn until we came to the Local Public Eatery. This spot is the best for Stampede vibes because it’s filled with locals and not tourists.

As we were not returning to work, we indulged in a couple of beers. I picked a refreshing, easy gulping beverage – Shock Top. This was a fruity wheat ale with a sweet aftertaste. For $5.50, it’s also a wicked deal on Stephen Ave.

The patio was packed and every time a server walked by with hot wings, I started to salivate. Aycaramba and I shared the Tuna Club Sandwich with truffle fries ($17, + $2 for upgrade). Our server was awesome and didn’t rush us out. She also split our food and bill. I wish I asked her name to give her props. She’s a petite brunette that was working the corner of the patio by the door.

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The tuna club was delicious. Packed between toasted bread was a cool piece of seared tuna, crispy smoked bacon, melted cheese and ample slices of avocado and tomatoes. I liked that each bite of my sandwich contained some tuna. The yam fries had this decadent truffle lemon mayonnaise with parmesan cheese. My half portion was perfect. I was left full but not stuffed.

half sandwich

The crowd was fun and friendly. We chatted with the other people at our communal table. The oil and gas guy sitting next to Aycaramba picked her up and asked if she was free during Stampede to have a liquid lunch with him or (after he watched her expression) a coffee. I watched Oil & Gas drink from stemless wine glasses with a liquid that was filled to the top. I asked what he and his friends were drinking. Oil and Gas responded it was white wine. Puzzled, I asked why it was filled to the top. His friend said it was because they ordered doubles. Aycaramba!

For people-watching and food, Local is my new favourite hangout. I’m already planning on returning for lunch next week. Hitting the Sauce gives Local two fat thumbs up! Yahoo!

Local Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato