It has become a trend for my husband and I that when we couldn’t decide where to dine outside or if we treat others, our default choice is a Japanese restaurant. It’s not we’re being biased (as Asians). Personally, I love the idea of trying different flavors in small amounts for the variety and novelty of getting an eyeful of beautiful aesthetics as well as orchestrating a play in tantalizing your tastebuds with new taste combinations. So what better way to do that but with sushi. Bite sized delicacies until you find the right flavor just for you.
Last Sunday had been a fulfilling day as I attended earlier that morning Tita Ning’s eldest daughter’s, Kelsey, bridal shower. It was a plentiful morning of gifts, well wishes, with lots of pretty and filling food. Macaroni salad, quiche, cute sandwiches, fruits, smoothies, etc. It was the perfect brunch selection for a bridal shower.
Then later that day, my husband and I treated some of our relatives to dinner in honor of Tita Ana finally fulfilling her wish to visit family in Canada. My husband and I took Tita Ana, her son, Sieg, Tito Luis and Tita Ning to Sumo Lounge found in Eau Clair mall at Downtown Calgary.
Sumo Lounge immediately gives off the Asian flair vibe, starting from the bamboo stalks by their doorway, slightly reddish Asian interior hues and the giant Lucky Cat that stood out amongst Asian decors. The ambiance is simply relaxing, although not at par to a Zen environment we often associate Japanese culture to. It was a first for us to come on Sunday dinner and I concluded it was a slow day because there were only a few staff in sight and they didn’t immediately came to our table when I signaled for their service. But it was nothing to be angry about as they were very friendly and efficient.
After ordering the default Miso soup, we ordered Shrimp Tempura. This is a MUST order in Sumo Lounge. We initially made 2 orders of Shrimp Tempura, each plates consisting of 4 large pieces of perfectly fried, crunchy Tempura. Unlike other tempuras wherein the shape is perfectly molded into an elongated stick of deep-fried golden-brown goodness, Sumo’s Shrimp Tempura had this splattered look of fried batter erupting from all sides. It is a unique tempura look and its crunchiness is something to remember. If there is anything to complain about this dish is its messy attribute, but it’s hardly something to be picky about when you find yourself cleaning your plate of crunchy batter pieces for more of that crispy fried goodness. This dish is so good we ordered another plate for everyone to have seconds.
When there are 4 or more people on your table, you can order one of the Sushi or Sashimi platter. We had an Ozeki platter, which consisted of different sushis inclusive of 2 Salmon, 2 White Tuna, 2 Prawns, and Surf Clams with Cucumber, California Roll and half Sumo House Maki. Just seeing that pretty ensemble can whet up any appetite.
Tita Ana ordered Sticky Chicken. Slowly roasted chicken breast in Sweet Chili Sauce served with Rice and Vegetables.
A highlight of that night was the Caterpillar roll. Unagi (freshwater eel), cream cheese, avocado, tempura flakes and crispy green onion sushi. My husband initially thought this was an Asian exotic delicacy similar to Philippines’ tamilok (woodworm) or famous balut. Thank goodness it came out this pretty depiction of a green caterpillar with thin avocado slices precariously arranged at the top of each sushi piece. Each piece is so soft and delicate, I swear, each chew felt like the sushi was melting inside my mouth. I never imagined avocado and cream cheese harmonizing so well with Japanese rice while the unagi, tempura flakes and crispy green onions gave the right crunchy texture and salty accent to each piece. It was like a fusion of East meets West minus strong meat flavors, thus, proving that the Asian belief in subtlety can work its wonders anywhere, even in food. My husband and I agreed this is something we will order again in the future.
We ordered many desserts to try, namely, Mango Cheesecake, Green Tea Cheesecake, Green Tea Ice Cream, and Deep Fried Ice Cream. I consider Deep Fried Ice Cream as a novelty because it is not something you can easily purchase outside. The crispy, slightly salty deep fried exterior is the perfect cocoon for the creamy goodness within.
All in all, the dinner was a success. Good food, unlimited stories, good company, and efficient service, what more could you as for. Sumo Lounge has become a personal favorite for my sushi urges. There are more sushi I aim to try in this restaurant so expect me to be back soon.
200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, AB
T2P 4R4, Canada T2P 4R3