I thought it’d be fun to do a summary of what I thought were some of the best things I’ve ate this year in Calgary! I’ve tried to mix it up a bit so it’s not just sushi in every entry… 🙂
List is in no particular order… except maybe based on cravings the day I’m finalizing this.
1. Chirashi Deluxe – $30.00 @ Wa’s Japanese
Wa’s hands down has my vote for the best, authentic, Japanese restaurant in Calgary. I’ve never had a bad meal there – only questionable service. Wa’s is also the only restaurant in Calgary that serves this beauty. It is expensive at $30.00, but for the quality of fresh sashimi that you get – and you get a good amount of it too, I would say it’s worth it. Note that it is not available at all times – usually only when the restaurant gets a few exotic fishes in that day.
2. Prime Rib Sandwich – $8.50 @ SAIT Culinary Campus
Even though SAIT posted their recipe for their prime rib in some newspaper article, I still go back and buy this… quite often. I introduced this to my coworker T and she couldn’t stop telling me how much she loved it. The meat is so soft and melt in your mouth… the bread is baked in house and is slightly softened with the drizzle of olive oil, oh my! And the watercress adds that slight hint of peppery taste which sorta balances out the slight fattiness of the prime rib. Oh God. I actually just ate this for lunch as I’m typing this up. I can’t stop thinking about it. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
3. Salchipapa – $5.99 for a regular order @ Pio Peruvian
You might think it’s funny to include fries in the list, but Pio serves absolutely the BEST hand cut fries in Calgary in my opinion. Always hot, fresh, and crispy when brought to the table. Absolutely perfect to eat with Pio’s secret yellow sauce. And the beer sausage? Perfectly grilled. And juicy. Meaty. I actually crave for this dish, and if you know me in real life, I’m not big on potato fries.
4. Black Cod – $10.95 @ Shibuya Izakaya
I think if anyone hates eating fish, they should try this dish first. The key to cooking this dish is to marinate the fish for a very long time, and I believe I’ve read that Shibuya marinates theirs for a good 48 hours. Perfectly grilled – the fish is soft, flaky, and melt in your mouth in a very sweet and tasty miso dressing.
5. Pan Con Chicharon – $11.90 @ Inti Peruvian
I have a immense love for pork belly and this was the first item I tried at Inti. Even though the pork belly isn’t fatty, it’s still pretty tender and Inti does not cheap out on ingredients. They pile on all the right ingredients to compile this lovely sandwich… my only wish is for them to add more sweet potato to it. I wonder if they would by request?
6. Montreal Smoked Meat Omelet – $14.25 @ Galaxie Diner
An abundance of ingredients all wrapped in a thin egg crepe. I don’t know where Galaxie gets their Montreal smoked meat from but it is one of the better ones I’ve had and they give you a lot in this omelet. The portion is so huge that it can satisfy two small stomachs.
7. Duck Benny – $15.00 @ The Fine Diner
Perfectly grilled medium duck breast slices on soft poached eggs, drizzled with maple syrup. Eggs Benedict are usually the favorite thing I order for breakfast but I find that a lot of places don’t make a good Hollandaise sauce. Well here… they don’t even use that! I think this is a great twist on the traditional fare and if you enjoy duck and eggs Benedict, you will enjoy this.
8. Venison Rack – $36.00 @ Open Range Steak Chops
This is not a regular item on their menu, but I never stopped thinking about it. Even on a recent visit I was secretly hoping it’d be on the menu… nope. Open Range is the perfect place for carnivores and they have lots of specialty items. While some people don’t like seeing blood on their meat, I have to say medium rare was the perfect way to enjoy this venison rack. Extremely meaty and not really gamey, it’s a little something different from your usual steaks.
9. Imperial Chicken – $13.95 @ Snow Palace
A lot of Chinese restaurants cannot get this dish right, but Snow Palace does. The owner told us that they marinate the chicken with a lot of herbs and ingredients to ensure all the flavor goes right into the meat – not just on the skin. As a result you get a very flavorful chicken that does not require the minced ginger in oil.
10. Chicken and Anchovy Fried Rice – $9.95 @ Gong Gee
I haven’t been back to Gong Gee for a long time, but I will never forget that they make the best chicken and anchovy fried rice (hubby’s favorite). Even though it is a tad greasy, you can tell they throw all the ingredients very quickly in a hot wok and just fry and fry and fry… this dish oozes “wok hey (essence)”. The anchovy is also made in house!
There you have it! Just looking at these pictures make me hungry again. Hmmmmm! Feel free to share your thoughts of you think was the best things you’ve ate in Calgary this year!