If you didn’t think I’d be eating sushi during my stay in Calgary, you were dead wrong. I love to see what other towns and urban centers bring to the table, but with a seemingly endless selection in Calgary, it wasn’t going to be straight forward. So I turned to the internet in search of blog experiences, Urbanspoon propaganda and so forth. I eventually narrowed the search to two, and Wa’s Japanese Restaurant won out. So after visiting the GF Patisserie, Sarah and I made a beeline into Calgary for centre street.
Arriving around 1PM, the restaurant was 90 percent full. Lucky for us though; the bar seating was basically empty. Pulling up our stools, we ordered tea and dug into the menu. The one problem with our placement was the distraction right in our faces, as we both became entranced by the sushi chefs doing their magic. Eventually though, we snapped back into reality and started making some decisions. Wanting to sample a chirashi bowl, I was saddened to not see it on the lunch menu, and inquired about whether I could have one made. Giving me the OK, I turned to help Sarah in narrowing down her choices.
As we watched Sarah’s order put together no more than a foot away, we saw good sized pieces of tuna (no minced or itty bitty end sections here) go into her roll, and three good-sized scallops into the cone. Enjoying both, she did mention that the tuna roll was the winner, as the more delicate scallop flavour was bowled over by the sauce. This was her first attempt with cones, and whether it was the physical size or shape, it doesn’t seem like she’ll make it a regular change from her usual order of maki.
After getting the chirashi green light, I was asked if I wanted the regular or deluxe version. Hearing that the deluxe version comes with the likes of uni and toro, I didn’t even hesitate to go big. Arriving in a most unusual display, the huge pile of seafood arrived on the top layer of a two sectioned box, with the rice on the bottom. No scattered fish on rice, this was quite the elaborate display.
Having a look through the seafood level, and hoping I remember this correctly, I saw; octopus, two baby squids, red snapper, mackerel, crab, tuna belly, sea urchin, whole shrimp (shrimps heads are delicious in case you didn’t know), scallops, salmon, multiple types of roe, and egg. The lower level included rice, more roe, and some sort of shredded vegetable.
The bowl, or box I should say, was fantastic. Maybe a little over the top for lunch, there wasn’t a miss with any of the offerings. The cucumber encased roe and uni was beautiful and salty sweet. The tuna belly was fine fatty goodness and the baby squid were amazing. The mackerel wasn’t as offensive as I sometimes find and the shrimp was unbelievable. There really isn’t anything like sucking out shrimp heads, or eating a bowl of fried ones!
The rice was seasoned well, and had the right toothsome nature. The roe on top added a nice pop, while shredded vegetable was probably more for display. I didn’t even know what to think as I made my way through the dish, as this was easily the most elaborate chirashi I’ve ever eaten. I’ve yet to see anything like this available in Edmonton.
I know we only tried a handful of dishes, but the next time you’re in Calgary, head to Wa’s. It definitely doesn’t look good from the outside, but it’s quality offerings treated our belly’s like royalty!