>> Friday, October 14, 2011
The traffic situation in Calgary definitely doesn’t evoke bliss and serenity. Half the time I wonder why we decide to leave work at the time that we do. So there are many instances where we’d rather stay downtown, have dinner and then try to have a go at the traffic. At least then we might be in semi-bliss. It just so happened that there was a new sushi restaurant near by my office the recently opened up and what’s better to evoke bliss then a bit of sushi and sashimi? Enter in Koto Sushi Lounge.
Atmosphere: Modern, roomy and contemporary with Asian (albeit not Japanese) accents throughout the dining area.
Price Range: Mid $10s – 20s
Food: We arrived fairly early in the evening (we were starving after work), so the restaurant was still pretty quiet. It was nice. We got a table near the back of the dining room and had the whole place to ourselves. The server quickly took our order and the food didn’t take long to arrive.
We started with the Seaweed Salad (a usual for us). It came very nicely plated in a martini glass, which I thought was very elegant and unique. The seaweed had a nice crunch and was seasoned well. The addition of tomatoes, lettuce and onions gave it that little something extra. Although we enjoy the special sushi rolls since they’re unique to the different sushi restaurants you go to, we still like ordering the more traditional sushi and sashimis to start. This evening was no different. When the combo arrived, it came with salmon and tuna sashimi, a California roll as well as the usual suspects of sushi (salmon, tuna, shrimp and the like). The sashimi was thick and fresh tasting (as fresh as frozen sushi in Calgary can be) and the sushi were correctly plated with a bit of wasabi in the middle. California rolls pretty much speak for themselves.
After we had our fill of the more traditional kinds of sushi, the three special rolls came. The Lobster Dynamite Tempura Roll consisted of lightly deep fried lobster rolled with crabmeat, mayo, cucumber, avocado and tobiko. I enjoyed the combination of the crunchy lobster and cucumber with the velvety avocado and crabmeat. However, I found there wasn’t enough lobster at times to balance out the crabmeat. In the end it tasted more like I was eating another California roll rather than a lobster roll.
Second was the Deluxe Spicy Tuna Crunchy Roll with spicy miso tuna tartar, spicy sesame miso sauce and jalapeno pepper. My husband and I both enjoyed this roll the most. We enjoy spicy food and found this roll to be very well balanced. The light coating of miso around the tuna gave it a unique flavour we haven’t had before in other spicy tuna rolls. Although we did find that there was a bit too much rice in each roll (in all three of them) and would have preferred it if there was less. It probably would have made the rolls a bit smaller but I wouldn’t have minded.
Lastly was the Shichimi Spicy Prawn Roll highlighting the center with tempura prawns and tobiko then topped with traditional Japanese spice, chopped prawns mixed with spicy mayo and a sweet eel sauce, the roll was creamy and complex. I did find that there was a bit too much mayo which hid the prawn flavour and a bit too much batter around the tempura prawn. However, it was unique since we haven’t seen shrimp rolls too often without other accompaniments such as avocado or cucumber.
My Picks: Sashimi, Deluxe Spicy Tuna Crunchy Roll
Overall: Its fun to try different types of special sushi rolls when you’re at a new restaurant, but some times nothing beats good old tradition. Such is the same at Koto, although their special rolls are worth a shot, you can never go wrong with the sashimi. Who knows, maybe it’ll bring you that little bit of bliss and serenity and seriously we all could use more then a bit of that.
Koto Sushi Lounge
435 4 Ave SW