Cross-Posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Just off the corner of 16 Ave and 4 St NE there is a little strip mall. On the outside, it may seem a little sketchy (especially at night because the signs aren't lighting up properly), but with Bubblemania and Shibuya open as late as 2 AM on weekends, it is a popular hangout for all the insomniacs (particularly Asian ones) in the city.
A couple weeks ago my family and I went for supper at Shibuya (at a respectable hour), which, compared to its exterior, is a surprisingly brightly lit and modernly decorated place. Like the popular Globefish, Shibuya is an izakaya, which I've referred to before as "Japanese tapas", meaning that they specialize in small dishes to share over a few cups of sake as opposed to just sushi (which would explain part of the reason why they're open so late). I've heard that they make a good ramen too, but as you'll see below, we unfortunately didn't leave enough room in our stomachs to try it.
We started our meal off with this gorgeous green salad and miso soup - most of the hot dishes also come with a small pile of greens on the plate.
For Shibuya's tuna tataki, thick, meaty slabs of fish are lightly seared before they are placed in a pool of chili oil and thinly-sliced red onion, then topped with fried garlic. The bold flavours from all the different toppings give the usually mild-tasting tuna a whole new character.
We did order the standard sushi and sashimi combos, which came with a nice variety of fresh tasting fish and other ingredients.
The small dish of soft shell crab was practically inhaled by my family, who likes the taste of crab but hates the hassle that usually goes with shelling them.
Oyster motoyaki, which is basically baked oyster topped with a mayo-based sauce, is one of my sister's favourite dishes. It was good, but a little too heavy for me.
The highlight of the night for me was probably the clams cooked in wine. The dish is quite light, and the wine based broth is flavoured with garlic, scallions and seaweed. Delicious.
Shibuya also has a sizable selection of grilled fish, such as cod, mackerel and even salmon cheek. We had the mackerel, which was grilled quite nicely - a crisp, lightly-salted outer shell with tender, flaky insides. A lot of the fried dishes come with a citrusy ponzu shoyu with grated daikon and chopped scallions for dipping. The tanginess of the sauce goes really well with all the seafood and is a nice twist on the usual soy sauce.
The service at Shibuya was pleasant and efficient. It felt like the kitchen was doing each order at a time, so though the initial wait was a little long, but then all our food came quite quickly. This also means that once you put your order in, that's it! If you have a hankering for anything else, your order will have to wait its turn in line.
Overall, I had a positive experience at Shibuya and would definitely go back - whether it's for lunch, dinner, or a random late-night Japanese fix.
449 16 Ave NE
Calgary AB T2E 1K3
Open Mon-Thu 11 AM-11 PM, Fri 11 AM-2 AM, Sat 5 PM-2 AM, Sun 5 PM-11 PM.