Restaurant: Anju Restaurant
Address: 344 17 Ave SW. Calgary, AB
Phone Number: 403-460-3341
Anju is an award winning Korean Tapas Restaurant in the heart of the trendy 17th Ave Retail and Entertainment district of Calgary. Anju stays true to the commitment of creating dishes of Korea. Using modern techniques to execute unqiue ideas, Chef Roy Oh and his team showcases the use of ingredients and flavours that earns them the title of “Best Restaurant” from Avenue and Where Magazine years in a roll.
Kimchi is a world famous Korean appetizer dish that every genuine Korean restaurant must have on their menu. Anju takes this further by making their very own in house kimchi. Anju’s special kimchi has a pleasant amount of heat while the flavour is rich. Oppose to the regular store-bought kimchi that most restaurants serve, Anju’s kimchi carries a hint of sweetness from the napa cabbage, which goes to show Anju used the freshest possible ingredients.
Sometimes there are daily specials available. Anju’s marinated Salmon Sashimi was a delight to have on the day of visit. I am a huge fan of sesame oil. Coincidentally, so was the chef who made this dish for that day. Marinating with sesame oil is no easy task. Sesame oil can easily overpower other flavours if used in too much. Too little of it would be a waste of using any at all. It was truly an inspiration for myself to believe the right balance of sesame oil can be achieved in raw dishes.
This is my all-time favourite. Anju stayed true to the traditional taste and method for this dish. Beef was juicy and flavourful both inside and out. The trick to this dish is the bone part. I often like to cleave off any remaining meat still sticking to the bone. Anju took to it in their method of preparing this dish that the meat came off easily from the bone. The result is a pile of cleanly cleaved bones and a very happy tummy.
The Anju Hot Stone Rice Bowl takes on the traditional look yet is packed with delightful surprises. Protein options for this dish includes beef, chicken or pork. Tofu option is available for vegetarians. Colourful ingredients were placed surrounding a 63 degrees cooked egg. Generous amount of hearty vegetables of different textures creative a unique tasting experience. Our server mixed the dish for us with a special house made sauce. Rice would stick to the hot stone bowl and overtime creates what tastes like crunchy rice crackers, which is what I like most about this dish.
Atmosphere: Modern upscale yet relaxing with Asian inspired use of decors
Menu: Traditional inspired with a unique Anju twist that focus on modern methods and staying true to deliver the best of Korean dishes
Service: Friendly, energetic and delightful
Overall Experience: ★★★★★
Excellence are in the details. When kimchi can be easily bought from store, Anju took the patience and time to make their own. Oppose to letting sesame oil to simply overpower all other flavours, the chef took measures bring balance to what seems to be a simple raw dish. It is the time and effort in little things and not cutting corners that Anju was able to do what they set out to do: traditional Korean flavours at its best.
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