Celebrating Shokunin's 2nd Year Anniversary

>> Friday, March 2, 2018

Voted one of Canada’s Top 50 restaurants and one of Calgary’s Top 25 Restaurants in Avenue Magazine, Shokunin recently celebrated their second anniversary and I couldn’t believe they’ve been open for 2 years already! Coinciding with this momentous event, they’ve decided to launch a new menu that incorporates a bit of Calgary in to the mix with dishes like Bison Tataki, Brandt Lake Wagyu Beef Tendon and all day Ramen (which used to only be available after 9pm).

To celebrate we were lucky enough to be invited to attend their special event where so many amazing dishes were highlighted, it was hard to pick one favorite dish. Some of the definite highlights of the evening included the fresh Sushi and Sashimi that was flown straight from Osaka that day. I haven’t tasted sushi that fresh since Japan.

Talking about sushi, they were also serving their Aburi sushi, which is sushi that has been lightly seared with a torch to give it that charred flavor without cooking the fish. Aburi sushi is one of my favorite ways of eating nigiri sushi and I’m so glad that it’s available at Shokunin!

Some of the appetizers that were served included a few of their new menu items and their key favorites. The Bison Tataki with yuzu kosho pickled onions, garlic chips and radish sprouts was a hit amongst everyone. All the flavours worked very well together and the bison itself was tender and was a great choice for a tataki preparation. The Spicy Fried Tofu made with garlic miso marinated tofu and served with a black vinegar ginger sauce was an interesting play on the traditional agadashi tofu, which is one of my favorite izakaya dishes. The tofu was crispy and because it wasn’t sitting in the sauce as it’s typically served, the tofu held on to the crunch which creates a nice texture.

Other dishes we tried were the Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japanese savory style pancake which originated in Hiroshima, but you can now find them throughout Japan since they’re so popular. It’s a unique dish made with various toppings that change depending on the region but typically you can find egg, meat and veggies cooked to look like a pancake. There was Chicken Karaage, deep fried marinated chicken dark meat with a side of yuzu mayo for dipping. The infamous Squid Tempura served with a spicy mayo, lime and nori powder. Those who dined at DTF (Downtownfood) will remember this offering!

Shokunin is also known for their used of traditional binchotan charcoal in preparing their Yakitori and Kushiyaki skewers. Binchotan charcoal is the purest charcoal available and gives the skewers an amazing charred grilled flavor. I was estatic when I found out that they were serving Beef Tendon skewers. For those who haven’t had tendon before, it’s a must! The chew coupled with the charred outer layer makes this super addictive. Forget beer and wings, go for beer and tendon! Talking about beer, Shokunin serves their own house beer which is similar to a light lager, perfect accompaniment to the items on their menu without overpowering any of the dishes.

The main stars of the evening was the Wagyu Beef that was seared over binchotan charcoal and served with some shaved green onions and just enough salt to bring out the sweetness in the beef itself. Chef Darren gave everyone a preview of the beef and how it’s cooked over the charcoal just enough to get a bit of char without losing the unctuous fattiness of the wagyu, which is what it’s known for. A bit of the grill melted just enough of the fat to really set your tastebuds on fire. They were already aging more wagyu beef as we speak so be sure to look for it on your next visit.


With some of cutting edge items on their menu (chicken butt anyone?), it’s no wonder that Shokunin is noted among some of the top restaurants in both the city and country. Chef Darren constantly pushes the envelope to bring new exciting flavours and plates to his restaurant and isn’t afraid to try new approaches. Calgarians are responding by requesting for more and most recently Shokunin started offering their ramen all day opposed to just at nights like before. Keep asking Calgary and they’ll keep delivering, constantly reminding us why they deserve to be in the top!


Jamal Mohamed March 13, 2018 at 6:15 AM  

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