Monday, 30 June 2014

Aja Sushi Restaurant Calgary, Ab - tasty Japanese sushi rolls in family run restaurant

On a recent trip down to Calgary, I took my cousin and his girlfriend out for lunch and we were super indecisive about where to go for lunch on a sunday where lots of places were closed.. until I tossed out the word: sushi.  They took me to Aja, which is a tiny hole in the wall restaurant run by an Asian family.  Service was excellent as were the rolls, and for the rock bottom prices - its hard to beat! Onto the food!
From the number of tables I could count on one hand, it was clear why the restaurant does primarily take out.  

We had some green tea while we picked random things off the menu.  We started with Assorted tempura. The batter was light and crispy with the four shrimp tempura disappearing quickly.  My cousin battled for the single piece of broccoli tempura, and yam tempura pieces rounded out the dish.

The Chopped scallop roll was a steal at $5... Creamy ripe avocado melded with sweet bits of chopped fresh scallop and a sweet pop of tobiko (flying fish roe) wrapped in seasoned sushi rice makes for a tasty bite Mmmm!

The Sushi Combo D was out next - 6 pieces of chef''s choice sushi nigiri and tekkamaki.  While the salmon, tuna, ?mystery fish and octopus was fresh, the sushi nigiri needed some work as the rice was compressed so loosely, we had to squish it together with our fingers and chopsticks before we could pick it up to eat, or the rice just stayed in an unhappy pile on the plate.  

Next out was the Crunch Roll with deep fried tempura shrimp, cornflakes, tempura bits, spicy mayo.. there may have been more ingredients but I don't recall (I'm getting old.. sigh!).  My cousin's girlfriend really enjoyed this roll, while I thought a lighter hand could have been used on the spicy mayo sauce so it won't stand out as much in the forefront.  

We all agreed while the cornflakes was a neat idea, having it smashed into smaller bits, or using Frosted flakes would make it more interesting.

The Deluxe Salmon Roll was my favourite roll of the meal - gently seared salmon sits atop the sushi roll filled with season rice, tempura shrimp, drizzled in a delicious, balanced tangy sweet yet savory sauce and topped with crispy fried garlic. Nom!!

the VERDICT
The sushi rolls are tasty with a good variety to choose from, and though they have some kinks to work out to improve their sushi nigiri, this family run Japanese restaurant is super easy on the wallet and some unique rolls we'll be back for!

Aja Sushi Restaurant
Address 140 920-36 St NE, CalgaryAB T2A6L8
Phone (403) 460-8566
Hours Mon 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm, Wed-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-9:30pm, Closed Tuesdays
Aja Sushi Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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