$20 for $40 worth of food?

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

I had a coupon to use up at Fuji Yama’s on 17th Avenue and 8th Avenue before it expired at the end of February. You know the type, pay $20 to get $40 worth of food. With this coupon, I had to give it to the hostess when I checked in. You also had to make reservations but I figured it was a good idea for a Friday night.

I have to admit that I’m always wary about giving up the coupon before ordering my food. How can I trust the restaurant? With a coupon at hand, would they cut back on my dish?

I ordered my usual which was the chicken teriyaki entree and a soft shell crab roll. My wife chose the salmon teriyaki and a sashimi salad. In my opinion, the teriyaki’s were worth the $13 – $15 price they charged. They were both tasty and satisfying.

The dinner  bill came out to a little over $50 for the two of us. With the $40 coupon, we paid $20 and walked out happy and stuffed. If you’re in the neighbourhood, call first and ask if they have any $20 for $40 gift cards left. If so, I would highly recommend that you buy them.
Fuji Yama on 17th on Urbanspoon

Hurray for Haru Sushi

Tempura and Teriyaki Lunch

Tempura and Teriyaki Lunch

Another craving for sushi this week led us to trying a new sushi restaurant in the SW. This time, we ventured past 69th Street in Springborough to Haru Sushi.

On the window, they advertise an incredible lunch deal. At $7, you get a plate of teriyaki chicken with a scoop of rice and vegetables. I wanted a little more food so I decided to choose the Tempura and Teriyaki Chicken lunch combo (pictured left).

Minutes after taking our order, a bowl of steaming miso soup was served. The soup was nicely seasoned and not at all salty like a lot of miso soup around town. The decor is pleasant with a silk cherry blossom tree hovering over us. Everything was decked out in expresso colour making the place pretty modern.

Haru Sushi is a classy Japanese restaurant with lots of booths and ambiance. The seating is comfortable and can easily accomodate larger groups. The service was excellent.

The lunch menu was impressive with sushi and sashimi choices as well as tempura and teriyaki combos, all averaging about $12 per plate. I had ordered a negi toro maki and was pleasantly impressed that they used whole chunks of tuna rather than a mash up. The sashimi slices were generous and fish was fresh. I found the tempura batter on the light side which is what I prefer, spring mix salad was fresh and dressing was delicious.

We will certainly return for dinner one day for great sushi and friendly service.

Haru Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Free parking is available up front as well as behind the restaurant but not on the streets. We will definitely return for dinner one day.

Misato’s for Lunch

Lunch Box at Misato's

Lunch Box at Misato’s

We used to go to Misato’s in Signal Hill a lot more but after their renovation last summer, we found they had jacked up their prices and hired more waitresses. When we used to go as often as we did, we started getting to know some of the servers but I can safely say, I don’t recognize any of them now. The sushi chefs behind the sushi bar are all familiar so I guess they kept the owners.

Misato’s serves very high quality sushi but you won’t find the exotic stuff here such as Uni (sea urchin), Bluefin Tuna, Belly Tuna or Blowfish. I don’t even know if I’ve seen Hamachi or Quail eggs on their menu.

Their signature roll here is the Calgary roll but I heard it’s over $22 now. I remembered it to be around $16 once upon a time. But as a signature roll, I guess they have the right to raise the price on us.

They are totally into presentation and not quantity. So if you’re looking for more quality and less quantity then Misato’s is your place. Pictured here is their lunch box. It’s very pretty but it’s more of an appetizer than a lunch meal. Luckily dinner was around the corner for me but if I had to go back to work, I would probably need something to tie me over. The tempura batter was nice and light. Salad with ginger dressing was nice. A few strands of edamame was a treat and a few slices of sashimi were excellent. A few more slices of teriyaki chicken would have nice or instead of bean sprouts, a bed of rice would had worked better. And the miso soup was not salty like a lot around town.
Misato Sushi & Grill on Urbanspoon

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.

Momo-yama the best for Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Momo-yama is the still the best when it comes to Chicken Teriyaki. After a long day fighting the crowds at the zoo, we were starving for good sushi and a Sapporo beer.

Without reservations, we had to wait 20 minutes for a vacant table which was not bad on a Sunday night. We made a promise to the waitress to always make reservations for now on. It gets busy there, probably because of the good food and prices.

Clearly the best thing on the menu is the Teriyaki dishes. We’ve had the Salmon Teriyaki before which is always my wife’s favourite. Mine has always been the Chicken (pictured) which is grilled and sits on top of a bed of cabbage. The sauce is drizzled on and plenty of it too.

The chicken is cooked with the skin so that it stays nice and tender. I always remove it before eating it but occasionally, some of it goes down with rice. Oops. But it’s tasty and it won’t kill me. I just need to walk it off once dinner is done.

 

Maruju Sushi – Reasonable Eatery

Maruju Sushi

Maruju Sushi

If you’re ok with Chinese sushi chefs and waitresses then you’ll be ok with Maruju Sushi on Centre Street, next to Starbucks. We’ve been coming here ever since and like their reasonable nigiri sushi prices, especially our favourites which includes salmon, sea stick, arctic surf clam and uni (when in season). Their rolls are a bit regular and not the flashy types that you find at some of the fusion restaurants in LA but sometimes, regular is ok and reasonable. We always order the Negi Toro roll because we enjoy tuna with green onions.

Maruju Sushi on Urbanspoon

Their hot dishes are generally good. I’ve had their BBQ Pork Ramen and the broth is really nice. This is the first ramen I’ve had with Chinese BBQ Pork but it’s a nice dish overall. I’ve had their curry dishes and they are good, but I wish they had more meat and potatoes in it. They have about five specials on their lunch menu, ranging from sushi to a lunch box. Look for the menu on a rolodex instead of on their menu.

The salmon pieces in the nigiri sushi are long and slender. It makes it hard to eat with the rice but I’m sure you can get creative eating it. I tend to eat the salmon by itself then chase it down with the rice.

There are a limited number of booths which are always occupied when we arrive. Make reservations if you want the privacy and experience inside the booth. I think there’s only three of them. There’s room at the sushi bar but their display of drinks take up all the counter space. Prices are reasonable making this place a favourable stop after work.

Momoyama is the best

Salmon Teriyaki

Salmon Teriyaki

Momma knows best! And she is the best sushi and teriyaki house in Calgary. They only serve Uni or sea urchin in the weekend but most importantly, it has to be fresh and in season. When I came deliberately in the weekend to order my favourite dish, the sushi chef had to turn me away. He told me it’s not Uni season and they are bitter this time of year. That’s good to know because I do see Uni served in other Japanese restaurants. Perhaps they order it from somewhere else or they just don’t know better and they serve it to their customers anyways.

My favourite cooked food at Momoyama’s is their teriyaki chicken or their teriyaki salmon. If you order the latter, prepare yourself for a good serving of salmon. It’s usually not just one filet but you can get up to three filets. The chicken is plentiful too, again not just one breast but often it’s almost half a chicken worth of boneless meat. It’s not skinless but I rather them cook it and for you to remove it because it is more tasty that way and the meat stays tender throughout the grilling. The teriyaki dishes come with cooked cabbage and a broccoli for vegetables and miso soup to start.

The nigiri sushi is a good size. Not too big and not too small. The rice is usually soft and slightly warm. The sashimi is good too, with relatively fair sized pieces of fish. We like the salmon mostly but the tuna is good too.  Momoyama has lunch specials too and they like it if you can make reservations. They have a lot of take-outs and a lot of fans too!

Momo-Yama Sushi Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon