boyfriend, Food, yyc

My Sushi Place: Sushi Toki

Everyone has their go-to sushi place and I finally got to visit mine after a long hiatus! I haven’t been here since I left for my exchange more than a year ago, and walking in to familiar faces who greeted me with smiles and long-time-no-see’s was awesome!

IMG_6295Sushi Toki is a family owned business tucked away in a little street mall on Memorial Drive. It’s a little spot that serves fresh sushi and their rolls are amazing! There are so many great menu items at Toki and I always have so much trouble giving in to my hungry eyes. I want to get everything. 

During this visit, the boyfriend and I opted for the Beef Tataki as our appetizer. I love their Tataki here because it’s so full of flavor and texture. If you aren’t a fan of just lightly seared beef, there are other appies that are just as great too… I’m also a big fan of their Calamari Salad and Takoyaki to list a couple.

After we finished our appetizer, we were served the most appetizing looking plate of rolls. We chose three different rolls: Lion Roll, Spider Roll and Body Roll. I also had to get my favorite, which for some reason only Sushi Toki seem to do so well, my double seared Salmon Sashimi with spicy mayo. Shahn likes to make fun of me for my requests, but I swear, double seared really does make a difference. Trust.

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The Lion Roll is both of our favorites. It has creme cheese and crab meat topped with seared salmon and tempura crumbs. Their Spider Roll is also amazing, I already love soft shelled crab in the first place, but they topped this off with avocado, mayo and unagi sauce. It’s so creamy and delicious. Lastly. the Body Roll isn’t something I usually get but and I would describe it as a Dynamite Roll and California Roll combined. A little plain for me but it was good anyways!

Sadly, we didn’t have any room for dessert but I would suggest their Deep Fried Banana with Ice Cream! Sushi Toki still remains my #1 sushi spot in Calgary and not a lot of places have come close. The service and food makes this place a great place overall. I’m forever grateful that I came across their Instagram page once upon a time and that their photos matched the food they served in real life!

KD

Food, yyc

Big Tastin’ on Stephen Ave

For my second and final reservation for Calgary’s Big Taste Festival, my friends and I headed down to Cucina Market Bistro located on Stephen Ave. Our first impression was that the atmosphere was really nice, and we also loved their open kitchen concept. The service wasn’t overly impressive, but it was nice of them to accommodate us when we were a bit late for our reservation. Now to get down on the yummy details!

Course 1: As per usual, we made sure we got each of the menu items that were offered. For appetizers, we had a choice of Chorizo Arancini or Butternut Squash Bisque. I personally love arancini (deep fried risotto balls), and Cucina’s was not a disappointment. The arancini was really simple and did not have too much flavor, but the aioli and parmesan definitely made up for it! The bisque was also tasty, but I couldn’t taste much of the squash. It just tasted like coconut curry – which I personally loved because it reminded me of Malaysia.

Course 2: For the main course, there was a choice of Chicken Pesto Penne and Braised Pork Belly. First off, the serving size was a lot bigger than Model Milk’s. BUT, I also could not find it on their regular menu which leads me to believe these were just dishes made for Big Taste (thoughts?!). The Penne was flavorful and really creamy – we concluded it would be something we could have again if we were craving a creamy penne. I chose the Braised Pork Belly, but it’s probably something I wouldn’t order again. The pork belly was cooked really well, the skin was crispy while the meat was tender. It was also plated with polenta with mushrooms and tomato ragu. Everything on the plate went really well together, except the taste closely reminded me of a Filipino dish called Menudo!

Course 3: Finally, for the best part of any meal, the dessert! This time we had a choice of Moelleux au Chocolat and Tiramisu. I had the Chocolat which was also gluten free, the manager ran our desserts and noted I should have a bite of the cake, creme fraiche and raspberry coulis together. I did, and it was delicious! Usually, I’m not a fan of raspberry coulis on my cakes because a lot of places overdo it and it takes away from the cake. But for this, it was such a perfect balance. The Tiramisu is also a recipe from the owners great grandmother! I was too focused on my dessert to have a few more bites of Tiramisu, but it was great!

Overall, I came in with no expectations for Cucina and it turned out to be really enjoyable. The proportions were really reasonable for Big Taste, as well as how much it would normally cost on their menu. The food was tasty, and I would definitely want to come back to try other items on their regular menu as well!

KD