Anju- Modern Korean in YYC
Well Calgary, I think we can all agree that the food scene in YYC has never been better! With numerous boutique bakeries, restaurant concepts and cuisines available, whatever you're in the mood for just needs a little seeking out! For those of you who don't know, I am a bit of a Korean food addict! Having become well acquainted with my local Korean restaurant in Hong Kong, Korean food quickly became a Dimsum Diet staple! Munching on everything from bibimbap and Korean fried chicken to kimchi and my personal fav TTEOKBOKKI (aka Korean rice cakes), this girl never met a Korean dish she didn't like....but seriously. Upon my return from Asia, I was undergoing some SERIOUS Korean Food withdrawals. Fortunately, my darling friend quickly pointed me in the direction of Anju a modern Korean restaurant! With this being music to my ears, it wasn't long before we took to checking out this hot joint! Located on the corner of 17th ave and 4th street, Anju is a hip Korean restaurant serving up Korean classics with a flare. With a chic interior design, fabulous cocktails and top notch service, we knew that we were in for a serious treat!
WHITE TIGER ROLL
Okay these bad boys were GOOD. Stuffed with Panko prawns, salmon, hamachi (a Japanese fish) avocado and served with gochugaru aioli (gochugaru is a coarsely ground red pepper common in Korean cuisine) and garlic soy sauce these guys were packed with flavour and super fresh! Definitely one of my favs from the night!
CRISPY TOFU (DUBU KIMCHI)
HEAR ME OUT PEOPLE, ORDER THE CRISPY TOFU. This dish was HELLA TASTY. These tofu pieces were packed with flavour and tossed with crispy pork belly, sesame maple sautéed kimchi and topped with a citrus aioli! SO good.
FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Now I don't know when brussels sprouts became so cool and delicious but that s*** is real and so was this dish! Like where do I even begin on this one, I could have eaten this entire dish on my own (And no, I am not joking). These crispy brussels sprouts were topped with thick cut bacon, tteokbokki (rice cakes), red onion and soy maple syrup. This dish was the perfect combination of salty & sweet and oh so moreish!
Okay, this dish was an interesting one to say the least. Acting as a palette cleanser of sorts these thick seaweed pieces were served with a dipping sauce of sesame oil and mustard oil. Now let me be the first to warn you that you only need to dip the tiniest corner of your seaweed to get the full effect. Similar to the affects of wasabi, trust me when I say less is more... I made the mistake of submerging my seaweed and believe me I paid the price for it... That stuff is SPICY.
Gotta love a good plate of greens, am I right?! These ones were packed with flavour and an overall great addition to a fabulous spread!
BUTTERMILK FRIED FREE RANGE CHICKEN
Now you know your girl couldn't come to a Korean restaurant and NOT order the fried chicken... Topped with honey butter and served with spicy cheese tteokbokki and sesame salad this dish was fab! The chicken was super crispy yet moist and delicious on the inside!
HOT STONE RICE BOWL (DOLSOT BIBIMBAP)
Now in my eyes, I find it VERY hard to go wrong with bibimbap (and this was no exception). Packed with veggies, beef (or your protein of choice) and of course rice, this sizzling pot was delish! Topped with a soft poached egg and served with Gochujang (hot pepper paste) this overall bowl was full of flavour! My only complaint was that the rice didn't get as crispy on the bottom as I would have liked (which probably had something to do with us gobbling it up way too fast)! But besides that, it super tasty.
DONUTS WITH SOJU CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Now you gotta love a good chefs special ( ESPECIALLY when it involves donuts AM I RIGHT?!). These guys were served piping hot and topped with a dark chocolate soju sauce that was absolutely delicious!
SHIN RAMEN CAESAR
Now seeing as we knew the bar tender, we sipped our way through a variety of unique and delicious cocktails! The standout of the night was DEFINITELY the Ramen Caesar! Now for those of you who don't know what a Caesar is, a Caesar is a Canadian classic cocktail made of Clamato juice (tomato juice flavoured with spices and clam broth) and spiced (typically with tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce) accompanied with a celery salted rim a lime wedge and a stalk of celery. Now Anju's take was definitely one for the books! Topped with dehydrated ramen noodles and spiced with ramen seasoning, all you caesar lovers out there are definitely going to have to check this one out! One of our other favourite cocktails of the night included the Ray Romano which was a deliciously refreshing gin cocktail mixed with lime, Thai basil and cucumber!
So YYC dieters, if you have yet to check out Anju, I HIGHLY suggest you move it to the top of your list!
You stay hungry,
And remember, Your diet starts tomorrow!