Zipang – An Oldie but a Goodie

I’ve tried other popular Japanese restaurants in Calgary, but for what I enjoy eating (chirashi, nigiri, oysters), Zipang is my favourite pick. The seafood is fresh and consistent. And in my humble opinion, Zipang makes the best fried oysters.


L wanted to order Octopus and Kimchi ($6.99). The small bowl contained a chilled mix of octopus and cucumber in a kimchi sauce. The sauce was spicy and smokey, and it went really well with our Asahi beer.


One dish I always order at Zipang is the appetizer of Oysters in Ponzu Sauce ($7.99). Yum. The batter is light and tempura like, yet it retains its crispiness despite the sauce and grated mountain yam. The cooked oysters at Zipang are never over-cooked and taste like the sea.


L and I usually share the Chirashi ($24.00). The scallop is usually the highlight of the meal, however, on the most recent visit, the scallop was very small and a little fishy. The red tuna was my favourite, with its firm texture and subtle flavour. The Amaebi (raw shrimp) was cool in temperature, sweet and delicious. The texture was creamy with a bit of a snap.


The salmon in the nigiri was served at room temperature, which I think allowed the flavour of the fish to come out. L really likes the fact Zipang doesn’t overwhelm the balance of the fish and rice with too much wasabi. He also likes that the sushi rice is a little wet. The surf clam was sweet and had a nice chew to it.


I asked for my shrimp head to be deep-fried. Before I received my “dessert”, we received our bill, which was a bit awkward. I normally love the deep-fried shrimp head, but this time around, I found the shell too tough and it had a grittiness to it. There was a light sprinkle of sea salt, but I wish there was some fresh lemon too.

Regardless of a few minor glitches, Zipang Sushi is still my favourite Japanese restaurant since Wa’s and Sushi Club closed down. I have heard rumours that one of the chefs from Sushi Club is now at Sukiyaki House and a chef from Wa’s is at Sushi Bistro Anzu. I haven’t checked either restaurants but I just may try it the next time I’m craving sushi.

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