My new job keeps me too busy to blog. However, my recent meal at Sushi Bar Zipang brought me out of retirement. I’ll blog, but it will take an extraordinary experience for me to take the time to write about it.
To start, L and I ordered the Kaki Ponzu, fried oysters, ($6.80) and Tori no Karaage ($8.30), boneless fried chicken. The fried oysters were so good, I ordered another batch at the end of my meal. I would gladly swap these oysters over any dessert.
We received 3 large, meaty oysters, cooked so that it was still soft. The seasoned batter over the oyster was crispy, despite bathing in a pool of ponzu sauce. On the other hand, the karaage looked crusty, but we found the exterior surprisingly lacking a crunch. Served with a side of salt and pepper, the chicken was packed with flavour.
Another winner was the Ryoushi no Donburi ($24), an assortment of fresh sashimi on sushi rice. The selection included generous slices of: tuna; salmon; ebi; scallop; spot prawn; salmon roe; octopus; snapper; and surf clam. Each piece of salmon and tuna was buttery in texture, smooth, firm and cool on temperature. I never had a scallop or spot prawn that tasted that fresh. The salmon roe popped delightfully on my tongue, bursting with a taste of the sea. The rice impressed me as well, it was sticky with a subtle taste of vinegar.
To round off our meal, we ordered nigiri: Hokki (surf clam, $2); Ebi (steamed prawn $2.40), Maguro (white tuna, $2.40); Sockeye Salmon (wild salmon, $2.75); Tako (steamed octopus, $2.75) Special Scallop (scallop, flying fish roe, mayo, $3.50); Hotate (scallop, $3.00); and Botan-Ebi (spot prawn with the head-on, $4). All the pieces were bigger than I’m accustomed, but the proportion of rice to fish, at least in my book, was well-balanced. I was particularly impressed with the raw spot prawn, which texturally, was thick and creamy on the tongue. I was happy when our server offered to deep-fry the shrimp head, it tasted even better than fried chicken. Coming from me, that’s a huge compliment.
With Wa’s and Sushi Club no longer open, Sushi Bar Zipang has become my number one favourite Japanese restaurant in Calgary. My birthday is coming up this month, and I’m pondering another visit. Too little time, too many calories, and with so many great restaurants to choose from, my decision will not be made lightly.