As avid sushi lovers, Mark and I are always pleased when a new sushi place pops up within our ‘hood, as it makes it easier for us to get our sushi fix. With the apartment still dreadfully empty of edible foodstuffs upon returning from our honeymoon, we thought it’d be the perfect chance to check out a new place conveniently located just a few blocks from where we live.
Kanpai Sushi on 8th is the latest addition to the Calgary sushi scene. It happens to be right next door to Jelly Modern Doughnuts, which, if you know me, you know that I simply adore doughnuts so the proximity works great for a dinner & dessert outing.
The place itself was designed to be sleek and modern, with darker tones dominating but accented nicely with a few pops of lightness here and there. It was fairly quiet with just a few tables occupied. We were seated in a booth right along the windows so that people could stare at us if they wanted while we ate our food, like zoo animals. Not that anyone has ever done that, but the potential is there.
After perusing the menu, we settled on just a few items. What they have available is quite extensive, ranging from appetizers, entrees, rice bowls, noodles, and a huge variety of standard rolls, special rolls, and sashimi.
Next, we got the Agedashi Tofu, one of the must-haves for me whenever we go to a Japanese/Sushi restaurant. It was your garden variety agedashi tofu; I can’t remember anything too special about it. I had wished the crust would’ve been crispier and “heartier” (if that’s the right term), only so it held up a bit better in the broth. Other than that, I enjoyed it just fine.
A random selection of nigiri sushi is one of our trademarks, as Mark really enjoys a variety of nigiri, whereas I always go for a tamago (egg omelette). I’m no tamago connoisseur, but I can happily report that it was one of the better ones I’ve had – just the right amount of sweetness and a beautifully soft texture. We also got a tuna roll which was quite decent. I asked Mark how his nigiri tasted and he responded, nodding his head, “pretty good”.
To round out our meal, we also got one of their house special rolls, the Rapture Roll (prawn tempura, cucumber & avocado roll wrapped with spicy mix with salmon & tuna. Served with tobiko, green onion, unagi sauce & spicy sauce). This roll was pretty huge, but all of the elements were nicely balanced with a good ratio of rice to inside goodies and outer roll goodies (yes that is how I describe sushi roll components). This is probably the roll that tipped us over the edge into utter fullness, as it really could’ve been a meal on its own due to its sheer size. The way I see it, that’s pretty great value.
Sadly, no one came to stare at us from outside while we were eating, but it was a pleasant experience nonetheless. While I wouldn’t put this sushi on par with what we’ve had in Vancouver (really, it would have to be mind blowing to even come close), the items we had were good quality, fresh, and good taste. Having Kanpai as another go-to sushi place is a bonus for us sushi lovers and we’ll be returning soon to try out some of their other items.
So to that I say, Kanpai!
Kanpai Sushi on 8th
110, 1414 8th St SW
Calgary, AB T2R1R7
Phone: (403) 460-6303