As I see it, a well-seasoned traveler connotes two things. One, one had adventures in many parts of the world. Second, he or she has tried exotic cuisines akin to Andrew Zimmern’s Bizzare Foods. Travel and food. These two elements go hand-in-one in the world of many travelers. Experiencing both appears to dissipate the notion of diversity and teaches one to appreciate the uniqueness of each culture that exists in the modern world.

When I got married, I didn’t realize I would be a half of this necessary two-part cultural partnership. I don’t travel unless I’m with a group because I’m geographically challenged. Ergo, I easily get lost even with a map. And I get quickly paranoid when I get lost ALONE. I don’t have enough of that street smarts to be confident in getting lost as some travelers do. While some find getting lost and adventure, I find the experience a slow progress to paranoia.

My husband, on the other hand, has the travel bug. He has the adventurous spirit to find his way back when he gets lost. When he was 5 years old, he got separated from his family in a carnival. With possibly the best instinct a toddler could muster and the guidance of a guardian angel, he was able to safely weave his way back to the entrance of the carnival, where his family was panicking. Plus, he can plan a trip better than I ever would.

My contribution to food discovery is something to account for. I had that phase wherein I visited a new restaurant EVERY WEEK. When other girls shop for clothes, bags, and makeup, I splurge on culinary discoveries, ranging from hole-in-the-walls to starred restaurants within the metropolis. I also buy those yearly restaurant publications to plan my next culinary adventure with friends and family. If I had the saved the money I spent on food I might have traveled to many parts of Asia at that time.

I don’t have the skills to be a travel planner and my husband isn’t that much of a culinary seeker as I am. Combine the two of us and we are set to see the world in the future. That I can guarantee. 😀

At the moment, we are comfortable in seeing parts of Canada and enjoying what this Western country has to offer. With Canada dubbed as the land of the immigrants, I didn’t feel too separated from fellow Asians (even Filipinos) since I find them almost everywhere. As what you can expect, restaurants of different origins abound so it never feels that far away from home, especially when the smell of freshly cooked crispy pata, bopis, and sisg are a few minutes drive away. Oh, the joys of cholesterol! If only you weren’t so dangerous to health.

For a number of times I’ve been telling my husband I want to dine again in Roku, a Japanese restaurant in Royal Oak Park Shopping Centre. But my husband lives with this principle that when he has tried something, he wants to check out something else. So my request gets turned down but I don’t get disappointed as much when we dine at a new restaurant and try new food.

To my delight last Monday, my husband suggested we dine at Roku for my birthday! It’s a wish come true!

Roku prides itself on putting extra care into their daily specials and classic sushi and sashimi menu. With chefs and staff composed mostly of Japanese, the authenticity and devotion in creating the best Japanese cuisine are felt from the memorable textures and flavors of dishes, and the charm of Japanese service.

the interiors of Roku

The atmosphere of the restaurant is distinctively Japanese with a natural minimalist approach of wood colors, subtle accents from zen-like vertical paintings and apt instrumental music flowing out of unseen speakers. Being the first customers of the dinner shift, we were able to sit by the window and got a good view of the whole restaurant.

Similar to what we ordered the first time we sat in this fine establishment, we ordered a dinner combo called ‘Okami no Dinner’, which composed of the following:

Roku's Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu
Deep Fried Tofu in Bonito-Soy Broth
This perfection of coagulated soy milk, deep fried until golden-brown on both sides with smooth texture within is a must to have.

Chicken Karaage

Chicken Karaage
This is the Japanese version of fried chicken is first marinated in ginger, garlic and soy sauce, and then coated in potato starch before being fried.

Roku's appetizer

I forgot what this was but it did consist of burdock.

Roku's Assorted Tempuras

Assorted Tempura
2 Prawns, 3 Veggies

Roku's Ebi Tempura

Ebi Tempura
Every time we eat at a Japanese resturant, this is a staple of ours.

Roku's Sushi & Sashimi Plate

Sushi & Sashimi Platter
A generous serving of sushi and sashimi.

Ike-Chan Pudding Cream, Caramel

Ike-Chan Pudding
Cream, Caramel
Think of this as the Filipino’s version of Leche flan. Crème caramel, flan, or caramel pudding: a custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top, garnished with whipped cream and fruit.

Roku's Yuri-Chan Tiramisu

Yuri-Chan Tiramisu
Now THIS is the reason why I always wanted to come back to Roku. This got to be the tastiest Tiramisu I’ve ever tasted. Roku’s Tiramisu version is very delicate, smooth and velvety in texture. Served in a small cup and a subtle hint of alcohol, this dessert packs a punch from its harmonious blend of bitter and sweet flavors. It’s a MUST to have.

And I’d like to share what our meal looked like the first time we dined at Roku last month.

roku-musume-no-dinner

Musume No Dinner
2 Kinds of Daily Special Appetizer
AGEDASHI TOFU (Small)
ASSORT TEMPURA (5pcs)
SUSHI PLATE (4 Nigiri and 1/2 Rolls)
RICE
MISO SOUP

roku appetizers

Agedashi Tofu, Ingen no Gomae (Green Beans with Sesame Mayo Sauce), and Gyu Tataki (Sliced rare done beef with special ponzu sauce).

Please note that all dinner combos come with the intention of feeding only one person, thus there are only small servings of appetizers and it comes with one rice and miso soup. My hubby and I still haven’t adapted to the serving portions of restaurants here in Canada so we opted to heed our small stomach capacity and share one dinner combo with extra rice and miso soup. We made the right decision. No leftovers to take home!

This birthday dinner really made me very happy. So will I harp my husband again to go back to Roku? Of course, I will! As long as they retain their Japanese charm and their flavorful menu… and continue to make that heavenly Tiramisu, I’m a Roku fan!

Roku Japanese Restaurant

7127, 8650 – 112 Avenue NW Calgary AB, T3R 0R5
MONDAY – SATURDAY (Closed SUN & HOLIDAYS)
LUNCH 11:30AM – 2:00PM . DINNER 4:30PM – 9:00PM
(Final orders accepted 10 minutes before closing)
rokusushi.com