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Good, cheap sushi for tonight in Calgary?

LittleMrs Sep 1, 2006 09:01 PM

I'm a regular at Sushi Kawa, which I love - but am hoping to try something else tonight. Preferably inner-city location. Not looking for an all-you-can-eat deal, but would love a place that is VERY reasonably priced. There will be four of us. One of us loves sashimi, but the others gravitate towards good maki rolls.

Suggestions? I've been to Hana Sushi, but wasn't impressed. Anybody recommend Reiko's Sushi Bar or Sakana Grill?

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  1. John Manzo RE: LittleMrs Sep 2, 2006 02:46 AM

    Reiko's is not good. Given your preference for Kawa, I'm not sure our tastes jibe (I don't like it), but here goes:

    The most reasonably-priced, best bang-for-your-buck place in the inner city is absolutely Uptown Sushi at 11/11 SW across the street from Co-op Midtown Market. You will be stunned at the prices ($2.50 for a small but delicious spicy tuna roll, for example), and dinner is a good time to try as it's never busy at night.

    Another option that is quite inexpensive and that has improved immeasurably over the last couple of years is Midori, on 17th Ave at 9 St SW. This place used to serve tuna rolls with canned tuna- now their spicy tuna rolls are among my favourites in the city.

    The sushi place at the bottom of Calgary Centre apartments (8 St and 6 Ave SW) is a very good deal but I was not terribly impressed at their quality on my one visit. Cheap, though.

    Happily, the days of really expensive sushi a la Zen on 8 are over in this city, and sushi is rarely an expensive evening out anymore.

    1. c
      cowtownhound RE: LittleMrs Sep 7, 2006 02:07 AM

      For a dine-in experience, you might want to try Yuzuki (9th Ave SW next to Cowboys). Their sushi is quite god, reasonably priced, and the little model train they use to deliver your food is cute and kitschy. Usually not busy at night, either.

      A little farther afield, you could try Yamato, across from Northland mall in the NW. The prices are a little higher, but they ahve a lobster sashimi meal in the evenings which is AMAZING, and not found in many places. They do deliver.

      Good luck.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cowtownhound
        newJJD RE: cowtownhound Sep 7, 2006 09:24 PM

        In the city, I will second Uptown Sushi on 11th Ave. I have always had good results at Sushi Hiro on 5th Ave as well.

        Outside the core, I love Misato up in West Market Square (17th Ave just west of Sarcee Trail) It remains my favorite in the city... love the Yam and Avocado roll, the Spicy Roll and the Soft Shell Crab. They make excellent Gyoza and Short Rib appies as well.

        1. re: newJJD
          LittleMrs RE: newJJD Sep 8, 2006 02:41 AM

          Thanks for the recommendations. We ended up going with our stand-by, Sushi Kawa. But, having heard only positive things about Uptown, it's definitely on my list to try. I've also heard good things about Misato and would love to try that Yam and Avocado roll!

          1. re: LittleMrs
            newJJD RE: LittleMrs Sep 8, 2006 03:48 PM

            It is my favorite veggie roll in the city, just edges out Uptown's Yam Tempura Roll.

            Oh, they also have very tasty toro nigiri sushi... my friend calls it the "foie gras of the sea" and I kind of agree, although monkfish liver is a little closer to that title IMO

      2. c
        CODA RE: LittleMrs Sep 22, 2006 07:52 PM

        in my opinion,

        sushi HIRO... expensive but real japanese sushi(owner japanese)
        sushi HIBIKI..it's ok but service is very slow.(owner japanese)
        sushi KAWA..ummm,(owner japanese)
        TOWA suhi&sushi boat..it's ok(owner japanese)
        sushi Man..they don't have liquor licence yet(onwer japanese)
        sushi kyoto..taste terrible!
        Tokyo garden sushi..very japanese style (owner japanese)
        sushi kinjo,sumo..out of the question.
        Zen 8..just expensive and taste is not japanese.
        Hana sushi..reasonable(owner japanese)
        Shikiji..sushi?ummmm(owner japanese)
        Fujiyama..ummm (owner chinese)
        Misaibo...ummm (owner chinese)
        cherry bento..resonable (owner japanese&korean)
        MIKI suhi..very japanese style and expensive(owner japanese)
        MISATO..ummm.i think expensive(owner japanese)
        Banzai..resonable, but not use for date(owner japanese)
        sushi bar zipang..good and resonable. (owner japanese)

        so try sushi bar zipang 262-1888

        3 Replies
        1. re: CODA
          canadiantensai RE: CODA Jul 13, 2011 03:11 PM

          This is the best review I have seen of Calgary's Japanese food. You match my tastes almost exactly. There is a few on your list I haven't tried and one or two you missed like "Wa's," and Muku for Ramen but overall I like your recommendations. I am Canadian but lived for a long time in Japan and have a Japanese wife.

          1. re: canadiantensai
            sharonanne RE: canadiantensai Jul 13, 2011 09:08 PM

            Was Muku even open 5 years ago? Wa's was.

            1. re: canadiantensai
              23skidoo RE: canadiantensai Jul 14, 2011 03:15 PM

              Besides being horribly out of date, it's kind of a useless list because he keeps repeating the phrase "ummm"... what is that supposed to mean? Good like yum or bad or mediocre or he doesn't know, or what?

          2. John Manzo RE: LittleMrs Sep 23, 2006 06:06 PM

            CODA, I am humbled- I don't know where a lot of these places are.

            I was chatting with a U of C student who is from Vancouver and she predictably said that she's unimpressed by Calgary sushi; I ask where she has been and she says.... Sumo.

            I gave her a list of recs. It occurs to me that a lot of the younger crowd thinks that calgary sushi begins and ends at that horrible place. Really sad.

            3 Replies
            1. re: John Manzo
              CODA RE: John Manzo Sep 28, 2006 05:37 AM

              i went 'globefish sushi&izakaya' yesterday.(on 14th N.W)
              well, they are not japanese izakaya and sushi.
              sushi is very contemporary style. (towa style)
              i really missed japanese izakaya!!
              but taste was not bad.

              1. re: CODA
                yen RE: CODA Sep 28, 2006 02:28 PM


                I went there 2 days ago to give them a second try, and the nigiri was not good. mushy, strong fishy taste to the salmon. Poor tuna.The Maki were ok... but not great.

                And it is definitely not izakaya.

                1. re: CODA
                  Fid RE: CODA Sep 28, 2006 08:00 PM

                  Unfortunately, the closest authentic izakaya is over the Rocky Mountains in Vancouver... Guu is a very rambunctious, fun izakaya with great eats! It seems even livelier than some of the ones I'd been to in Japan.

                  I agree that Calgay needs some fun restaurants like Guu.

              2. h
                Hart50 RE: LittleMrs Sep 28, 2006 05:48 PM

                Has anyone tried the Sushi place (starts with a M) at the Glamorgan strip mall(Corner of Richmond Road and 37th Street SW)?

                1. MandalayVA RE: LittleMrs Sep 28, 2006 06:29 PM

                  My husband and I were vacationing in Calgary and I can recommend Sakana Grill--I'm not crazy about sushi but my husband loves it and said SG's was extremely good. I can vouch for SG's tempura, though!

                  1. John Manzo RE: LittleMrs Sep 29, 2006 04:22 PM

                    Coda, are you from Japan?

                    If I enjoy food, I enjoy it, I really cannot be bothered about whether it is precisely what one would find in the country from which it's derived. I know for example that Japanese restos in North America- INCLUDING VANCOUVER- are "inauthentic" in their over-representation of sushi places (since Japanese cuisine comprises many, many more things than sushi). Do I care? Well, no, I don't.

                    What I've heard from people who've lived in Japan is that "izakaya" means nothing more than a place that serves an assortment of sakes. If it's been transformed in Vancouver, this doesn't make Vancouver more authentically Japanese any more than Seattle became more Italian when it reinvented the espresso bar.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John Manzo
                      CODA RE: John Manzo Sep 29, 2006 07:29 PM

                      yes i am.

                      >If I enjoy food, I enjoy it
                      i really agree.

                    2. j
                      JWh RE: LittleMrs Sep 30, 2006 12:35 AM

                      A Japanese Izakaya is what the Mercury was to Calgary folk. (if the mercury was to have served only appetizer size items) A place to gather, drink and eat a slection of smaller plate foods.
                      Typical Izakaya menu is based around booze and food that goes with booze - grilled meats, fish, anything salty. See link for a good explaination of what an Izakaya is and what they serve:

                      1. John Manzo RE: LittleMrs Sep 30, 2006 09:07 PM

                        How similar is this to Guu? Or Guu to a typical Japanese izakaya? (not that I'm likely to ever go- I'm not a drinker and the food looks unhealthy!)

                        1. j
                          JWh RE: LittleMrs Sep 30, 2006 11:47 PM

                          Guu is similar to Izakaya's found in Japan - however the dishes cater more to the north americans. The Guu located on Thurlow is the closest to one's found in Japan (dark, dingy, menu items that are very hard to make out - that is until you order them..)

                          In terms of unhealthy - not at all! Sure there are deep fried specialties but there are tons of healthy options. Thus why I am a big fan. Some of the lighter options are:
                          -tuna tataki, grilled rice balls, oden, ochazuke, boiled noodles, negi toro, tofu salad, mushroom salad, sashimi, japanese pickles, as well as the daily specials. So YES HEALTHY is an option

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JWh
                            John Manzo RE: JWh Oct 1, 2006 03:54 PM

                            OK, I promise to finally check this place out next visit to vancouver!!!

                          2. j
                            JWh RE: LittleMrs Oct 2, 2006 12:28 AM

                            Good to hear - I promise you will not be disappointed!

                            1. d
                              dpeacey RE: LittleMrs Oct 2, 2006 04:24 PM

                              I love Wa's on Centre St just off 16th Ave across from the Safeway. TINY place, but oh so good!

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: dpeacey
                                alex8alot RE: dpeacey Oct 5, 2006 03:58 AM

                                I also think that Wa's is great. I tried Soba Ten tonight on someone's recommendation: horrible mistake. The sushi rolls were so sloppy, the tempura batter was as thick as butthole gas station donut and the udon broth was completely tasteless. Terrible.

                                1. re: alex8alot
                                  yen RE: alex8alot Oct 5, 2006 06:06 AM

                                  If you're looking for good udon + ramen, try Shikiji just down the street from Wa's. It's excellent - much much better than Soba 10

                                  1. re: alex8alot
                                    John Manzo RE: alex8alot Oct 5, 2006 03:18 PM

                                    I was there on Saturday, had soba w/ chicken and asked them to add mochi, and split a tempura appie. They have the most non-greasy, gossamer, delicious tempura I've ever had and the soba was beyond delicious. Broth was so good I drank it down at the end. Sad to hear you had a bad experience but it's almost always been fantastic for me. Sushi there- is terrible. I don't know why they seem compelled to even have it on the menu.

                                    My lived-in-Japan grad student tells me that the place in Bridgeland by Joy's (Edmonton Trail and 4th St) has fantastic ramen btw.

                                    1. re: John Manzo
                                      yen RE: John Manzo Oct 5, 2006 05:08 PM

                                      Hmm, didnt even know there was a place next to Joy's. This definitely sounds like it is worth checking out! Love Ramen.

                                      1. re: yen
                                        John Manzo RE: yen Oct 5, 2006 05:19 PM

                                        Tokyo Grill or something like that? It's been around forever.

                                        1. re: John Manzo
                                          makan2 RE: John Manzo Jun 1, 2007 07:51 PM

                                          Hi John,

                                          It's called Cafe de Toyko. Yes, it's been around forever. If I remember correctly, it's CASH only.

                                          They have the best bowls of ramen, soba, and udon. Very authentic Japanese noodles.

                                          1. re: makan2
                                            alex8alot RE: makan2 Jun 1, 2007 07:55 PM

                                            So is the food as good now that it is called Hibiki (or something like that?) I keep meaning to go, but forget.

                                2. s
                                  sarocrix RE: LittleMrs May 4, 2007 06:52 PM

                                  Hibiki, is ours favourite, too. It is generally rated somewhere over 8 out of 10.

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