Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome
I was literally booed by my family when I told them that Tiffany and I were going to Globefish for supper. It's not that Globefish is bad - we're just spoiled rotten with a "neighbourhood" sushi restaurant like Misato. Last time we went to Globefish as a family, my brother and his girlfriend decided that their sunomono did not measure up against Misato's, their shrimp dumplings tasted like they came frozen from a package, and the Deluxe Sashimi ($24.95, above) had more decorative log than raw fish.
Despite my family's negativity, however, I was ready to try Globefish again with an open mind, if only because Tiffany and I were going to their second branch in Marda Loop instead of their main location in Kensington.
Globefish mostly operates under an "Izakaya" (居酒屋) format, which is basically the Japanese's answer to tapas bars. The atmosphere certainly reflects this casual vibe, as the restaurant looks a bit like a club - dimly-lit with backlit walls, and very modern decor. As an aside, a very cool feature is that all the tables have a hook under them for you to hang your purse!
Unlike most Japanese restaurants in Calgary with their big teriyaki rice bowls or bento boxes, Globefish's menu consists of a varied mix of traditional and "fusion" dishes—from agedashi tofu and gyoza (dumplings) to fish tacos and sushi pizza—which they encourage people to share as a meal over one of the sakes from their extensive collection. To keep things interesting, the menu also has a rotation of daily specials.
Globefish also has an impressive list of "special rolls" with names like Crunch & Munch Roll and Power of Love, but for those who are looking for more familiar territory there are more common sushi and rolls as well. Calgary spirit also runs deep in the menu, with items like the Flames Roll Combo (Spicy California, Spicy Tuna and Spicy Salmon) and the Iginla Roll (Breaded jumbo prawns, salmon, red tuna, avocado and cucumber with masago roe.) For those who are indecisive, the tantalizing photos throughout the menu don't make the decision any easier!
It was a weekday, so Tiffany and I decided to skip the sake and go for green tea instead. After a bit of hemming and hawing (I'm telling you, it's those photos!), we finally decided on our three rolls and two appetizers. Our food arrived almost simultaneously after a short wait.
Tiffany chose the Shark Fin Salad ($5.95), which reminded us a little of Chinese appetizers with the mix of shark fin and jellyfish, but the texture was a little springier than I'm used to. The salad was tossed in a bit of vinaigrette dotted with sesame seeds and chili peppers. I chose the Agedashi Tofu ($5.95), which I thought was very well done as the outside of the tofu was very crisp. The sauce was a little too salty, but not a huge issue as long as we didn't drown our tofu in it.
The first roll we got was the Crazy Buster ($14.95), which was my favourite roll of the night. The roll contains salmon, tuna and tempura wrapped in more tuna and topped with a spicy sauce with sesame, green onions and fried garlic - and we all know how I feel about things with a little kick ;) My only criticism was that I wished that the tempura was more crisp, so that the texture could match the bold flavours.
The Delicious Roll ($15.95) is chopped scallop, crab, avocado and mango wrapped in prawn and topped with a white wine lemon sauce and masago roe. Although the concept was good, the flavours in this roll were very muted (I didn't even realize there was mango in it till I got to a piece with a big yellow smear) and some of the pieces just tasted like a mouthful of rice.
Finally, we had the Salmon Lovers Roll, one of their "seasonal specials". It had smoked salmon, salmon skin and lettuce wrapped in rice and salmon and topped with salmon roe. Despite all of the different preparations of salmon in the roll, the flavours actually weren't too overwhelming and in fact I thought the star of the roll was the lettuce, which was surprisingly crisp.
Three rolls and two appetizers proved to be a little too much for us, as we had to pack a couple pieces of each of the rolls. I certainly don't think Globefish is boo-worthy, and I'm sure many Calgarians agree as even though we arrived fairly late (7ish) on a Thursday night, the restaurant was packed. The service was friendly (and I'm not only saying this because my cousin and his girlfriend work there and read this blog!) and the food arrived quickly despite how busy it was. While Misato will still be my number one Japanese restaurant in Calgary, I will definitely not say no to an invitation to Globefish.
Kensington (Main) location:
332 14 St NW
Calgary AB T2N 1Z7
Marda Loop location:
1-2009 33 Ave SW
Calgary AB T2T 1Z5