Shiso Japanese Restaurant – Red Deer, Alberta

Shiso Japanese Restaurant
3731 50 Ave
Shiso Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After taking in a day’s worth of education, care of the Alberta Human Rights, I drove down to Red Deer for another presentation about anger in the workplace. Pulling into town quite late, I could feel my tummy on the rumble and started to wonder about supper. Who am I kidding, I was thinking about what to eat since I left Edmonton.

Located in a strange strip mall, the entrance is actually a shared space with two other establishments. Besides Shiso, there is a Chinese Restaurant, and a grimy looking pub. Even with my very minimal time inside the establishments, I developed a feeling they may be owned by the same person/group. Before I tell you about the drunk seniors, I’ll get back to Shiso. The restaurant is very open, with fields of space between tables. The sushi bar is long, and was occupied by three gentleman. I think the best part of this restaurant, may just be the giant floor to ceiling windows that offer a nice view of Red Deer.

Opting for my standard test dish, I placed a Chirashi order to go. Almost before I was getting the seat warm, I was holding my $17 chirashi. Back outside, and free from the drunk seniors, I opened my evening snack. Looking pretty average, my first impression was to shield my eyes from the neon egg. WTF! Where did they find these chickens. After sorting through, my next impression came from the fish, which was sliced very thin…paper thing for some fish. Being generous on the portions, is clearly something that Shiso doesn’t do well. The fish itself was pretty bad, with the salmon and tuna taking top dogs in the world of bad. Both fishy, and almost mealy, there was no way these pieces of fish were being finished. The cucumber and nori were probably the best parts of the dish. The rice had a decent texture, but lacked that well seasoned touch.Oh and look at the pickled ginger. Do you notice something? It’s dry. I’ve never seen something like this before.

After years of wondering about Shiso, I should have just kept this spot buried in the back of my mind. In fact, if Shiso is the only sushi option in the small city that is Red Deer, I feel sorry for it’s occupants.

5 thoughts on “Shiso Japanese Restaurant – Red Deer, Alberta

  1. In fact, if Shiso is the only sushi option in the small city that is Red Deer, I feel sorry for it’s occupants.

    With the caveat that I don’t know how many inhabitants in Red Deer are seasonal, that would be the perfect example of ignorance is bliss… But, from the picture itself, it doesn’t look that bad. I guess there are camera tricks as well! 🙂

    • I know it sounds bad Kim, but it’s the first time in years that I’ve had fish that did not taste and feel like high quality fish. The smell, combined with texture and taste, was just awful. I don’t spend a lot of time in Red Deer, but as a big fan of sushi, I do hope I can track something else down.

      I forgot too mention that they are open everyday, all day. I’m definitely not used to that style of sushi joint. And, it makes me wonder, even more so with the smaller population of Red Deer, how they maintain they stock. You can only thaw so much, and hope that it’s gone by the end of the day right? Yet with the long hours, you want to try and have most things available…

  2. Ahh, you ate at the old Elks Club building. Yes, all of the businesses in there are owned by the same person. He actually has owned a few restaurants in Red Deer over the years and they all were the same IMO. You are lucky you didn’t get seriously ill!

  3. taha, I believe you had it good, places I’ve been to in bigger cities were such disappointment..Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver…so forth. The portion only looks not generous is because rice is spread out in the takeout box…if you ate in it would not look cheap. If you want good sushi, take out is not the best way to get good sushi

  4. I feel that I’ve been slighted, as a customer. Primarily, I’m not a fish eater, so naturally I’ve been to Shiso without eating any fish! My wife happens not to eat fish, either. With this being said, I will take your word that the fish is not that great, although while taking company to Shiso for the cheap wine and good food (I ‘love’ the dish that I order..), my company didn’t complain about the sushi.


    The atmosphere is truly not all that great within the exterior of the entrance; being beside the bar and the Chinese Food place next doors. Through my attempts, I always order a Yakitori for an appetizer for my wife and myself, and I get the Hibachi Steak, while my wife will order the Teriyaki Chicken or Bento Box.

    Absolutely love their white sauce used for the steak. In fact, I’d probably kill for their recipe!

    …Not saying, just saying.

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