Sushi BBQ – Cold Rice, Bad Service

Sushi BBQ

Sushi BBQ

I’m guilty of not trying new things out but after my experience last Monday, I see why. I had an eye appointment with Dr. F. Adatia in the SE and decided to give Sushi BBQ a try. What a mistake!

The All-U-Can-Eat lunch special is a decent $15 per person price. Nigiri sushi includes salmon, tuna, shrimp, masago and tamago (or egg). Kitchen dishes include chicken teriyaki, agedashi tofu, chicken karage, salmon teriyaki, etc. And they have pizza bites too. A slice of salmon on top of spicy shrimp on a fried rice ball. (It was not as good as it looked and it didn’t look so hot either)

Sad to say, the nigiri rice was cold. And the fried eel maki had a taste of moldy bread in it. When I complained to the waiter, he brought it in to the sushi chef for examination then he came back and told me it was fine. Did the chef try it himself? I doubt he did.

They also had a Korean cooktop and Korean meat for you to cook your own. If you decide to order that, make sure you give yourself plenty of time because you are allotted 1.5 hours to eat and get out.

The decor is run down and dirty. I was surprised not to see a cockroach here and there. The service was horrible and they wouldn’t serve you a free cup of hot water. Instead they gave us an excuse that they don’t have hot water on the premise. Interesting. They do serve hot tea, don’t they?

My advice: stay away.

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Koreans Serving Pho

Spicy Squid on Rice

Spicy Squid on Rice

I haven’t seen Huong for a long, long time. He used to visit our table on a frequent basis when we dined at the ‘Pho Huong Viet’ restaurant on Bow Trail but when he moved to 17th Avenue, we no longer ran into him. I think his family is running it for him so if you see him, tell him I said ‘Hi’.

His brother used to run the second location, next to the 7-11 on 37th Street between 16th and 17th Ave where I would see him in the kitchen sometimes.

But there was a time last year when they ran out of the soup stock. That went on for a number of weeks and I couldn’t really understand that. They were serving everything else but the bread and butter which for a Vietnamese restaurant, was the PHO.

Now in 2014, it is under new management. The first thing you will notice when you walk in, is the new expanded menu. The same noodle dishes and subs are available on the right side of the menu but now, there are Korean dishes. We ordered two dishes, Spicy Squid on Rice (pictured) and Sate Beef Noodle in Soup. The Spicy Squid was delicious and very Korean. However, I was disappointed with the Sate Beef Noodle in Soup. I found it to be more Korean than Vietnamese because it lacked the cardamon/ cinammon flavoured beef soup that usually comes with Pho. Also, the pho was replaced with very thin vermicelli instead of the flat thin noodles that I have grown accustom to liking.

Asian Heaven

Asian Supermarket

Asian Supermarket

Residents living in the SW would love it if Loblaw’s opened a T&T Asian Supermarket in WestHills or the Signal Hill area. Slowly, we’re beginning to see more and more asian products at Superstore including potstickers, taro and cassava desserts, tofu and rice crepe rolls. These products usually sell at T&T and now are available at Superstore Westhills.

New to the 17th Avenue and 37th Street corridor is E.mart. If you enjoy making your own Asian concoction then you’re going to love E.mart. The selection is fantastic if you like cooking Korean or Japanese dishes. They have specially prepared sushi fish in the freezers including salmon and tuna, ready-to-eat once thawed out. There’s also unagi or bbq eel, the yellow turnip, masago or smelt egg and surf clam. They have a dedicated aisle for all sorts of rice including jasmine rice, basmati, long grain and short grain. There’s a drink aisle with all the exotic fruit juices, milk and tea drinks, soya milk drink and powdered drinks. E.mart also have a meat counter in the back to provide short ribs for your Korean Bulgogi recipe. If you don’t want to mix your own sauce, you can get the Kalbi sauce in the sauce aisle.

On the right side of the store, you will find the electronics and beauty aisle. There you will find all the latest gadgets for cooking rice, beverage maker and skin care. There’s quite a selection for your Asian tastebuds at E.mart, next time you’re shopping for auto parts (ie. next door) or had a donair at Little Lebanon (across the street).

Cafe Momoko

Beef Yakisoba

Beef Yakisoba

With the leaves turning yellow, you know winter is around the corner for us. On my endless quest for good food in Calgary, we decided it was time to try Cafe Momoko, a neighbourhood eatery on Weston Drive, just across the street from West Springs. Walking in, we were delighted with its decor. It is cozy and comfortable with soft plushy seats, glass tables and wrought iron furniture.

We had a craving for Japanese food but the menu also had Korean dishes too. The lunchtime menu caught our eye because of the prices but it was well into dinner so these dishes were unavailable. Shucks!

Cafe Momoko on Urbanspoon

We ordered a number of rolls and the Beef Yakisoba. We found it a tad sweet for our liking. The rolls were nicely presented and the fish seem fresh which is a mandatory for us. Sushi and sashimi needs to be fresh and not fishy in any way. We noticed something different with the rolls here. They used lettuce and a green tobiko instead of the red or orange types that we are used to seeing. The green tobiko reminded me of the fresh wasabi that were served to us at Ken of Japan in Simi Valley.

The service is awesome. The owner/ waiter/ chef is genuinely friendly and seems to want to know their customers’ response to the menu, taste and presentation. After serving us, dried peas in a package from Taiwan, he mentioned that he tried buying it in bulk but decided against serving it because he didn’t want his customers to think that he was reusing the peas. We told him the dried peas were tasty and he should continue serving them this way.

For those of you who are interested in these packaged dry peas, they are available at the Canadian Superstore in World aisle.