Li-Ao Sushi, Calgary

One of my co-workers told me Li Ao Sushi was a fantastic place to go to for sushi, and so I knew it was a must for me to try! Tucked away a little in the southwest (Bridlewood) strip plaza is this little restaurant! It’s not a huge place, but they do seem to change tables quickly. A lot of their customers were take out as well.

We sat down and was still looking at the menu, and the waiter gave us a plate of Deep Fried Tuna Gyozas which was compliments of the house! We looked at it funny at first, but when we bite into it, it was packed with flavour! It was no ordinary fried tuna gyoza, it was excellent!

We ordered a bowl of Miso Soup each, and it was standard – but at the same time, miso soup doesn’t get too fancy or different, so at least it was good!

For the sushi, of course I ordered a few sushi pieces which are my favourites, the Salmon and Tuna Sushi and those came together first on a plate with both of them. They were in huge pieces and the fish was very fresh!

After that, the next plate that came was my huge order of the Smoked Salmon Sushi as it’s a favourite of mine as well, and if it’s there, I’m ordering it!

We ordered some of their special rolls, and the first roll that came out was the Salmon Mango Roll which they didn’t really describe what it was – but it was a tempura shrimp with avocado roll topped with some cream cheese. Then piled high on top of that was salmon and mango. The mix was so delicious and almost refreshing! I did find there was a little too much cream cheese, but it didn’t stop me from finishing the roll!

The last roll we decided to order was the Female Dragon Roll and we really picked it because anything with the word “female” in the name has got to be awesome! 🙂 In honesty, it wasn’t as good as the salmon mango roll for me, but this was still good! I actually don’t remember what was inside, besides the ingredients that you do see… the tempura shrimp, with salmon and spicy mayo! I guess it just wasn’t that memorable for me.

Overall, the portion sizes here are huge! It’s definitely worth your time, money and effort to give this place a try! At the end of your visit, the owner will give the ladies in the restaurant a box of Pocky sticks too!

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Li-Ao Sushi

#231, 2335 162 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 719-9668

Patisserie Du Soleil Bakery and Cafe

Little cafes with a bakery? I’m in! It’s my favourite! These are the most memorable times I had when I travelled through Eastern Europe – cafes and bakeries! I found this one in Woodbine in the South West and it’s called Patisserie Du Soleil Bakery and Cafe located in a strip plaza and it offers a large seating area with a large display of goodies that they bake from scratch!

I sat down and ordered from both the fridges with their baked goodies as well as from their menu. I ordered a nice hot drink to go with the pastries so I decided to have Chocolate Truffle Mochaccino which was a nice chocolatey drink – which was delicious!

Our hot food from the menu, we tried their Belgium Waffles with Strawberries and this was fantastic! The waffles were light and fluffy with fresh whipped cream and delicious strawberries. I know, waffles aren’t anything “special”, but at least it was really good here!

As many of you know, I love cinnamon treats such as cinnamon buns… so it’s no surprise I would try their Cinnamon Twist which was more “bread-like” that was more dense, instead of being light and fluffy. It was really good and not overly sweet!

Now, I am not going anywhere without trying pastries! So, I ordered 2 of them! We got their Cream Horn which was a light and airy treat that was filled with a light custard cream that was just perfect in texture and taste! The other treat was the Neapolitan Pastry with layers and layers of flaky pastry and a delicious custard cream filling, same as in the cream horn. This was by far my favourite treat from here! The custard is just amazing, a must try for sure! Probably everything with this custard is amazing, so be sure to pick something up with it! It’s not too sweet at all, which is something I love!

Overall, this is a place I could see myself going back to – over and over again! One of the best things about this cafe is the hours, it’s opened from Mon-Sat 7am – 8pm and Sunday 7am – 5pm! I can think about going here any when I’m in the area! Just a great little place to enjoy a snack or a “light” lunch or something! It’s quiet here, so it’s nice in that manner! A hidden gem for sure!

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Patisserie Du Soleil Bakery and Cafe

2525 Woodview Dr SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 452-8833

Lemongrass West

I’ve been hearing great things about Lemongrass and I think the reports I’ve been hearing about are regarding the Lemongrass East, which really wasn’t the location I wanted to go to – primary due to the location. So, we opted out to Lemongrass West which the plaza this is located at was under some renovations.

We just ordered some tea as we really didn’t want to drink anything fancy this late afternoon/evening. It’s fine, their typical tea! But, we did order some appetizers, and we tried their Lemongrass Chicken Salad Rolls which I thought was a tad pricey, however, it is quite unique so it is kind of worth it… if you look at it that way! The skin on the wrap was a little dry, making it a little hard… so you know it’s pre-made. The flavour of the salad roll was decent though, and it looks fantastic!

I ordered something kind of neat, it was under the wonton noodle section (as the numbering system was kind of out of order), but it’s called Tamarind Chicken Soup and not thinking too much about it, the description made it sound delicious. So, I ordered it. When it came, it was a noodle soup looking bowl, but it didn’t come with noodles… it was all beansprouts! I was shocked the waitress didn’t say anything when I ordered it, or asked if I wanted noodles. At the end of the day, it was a tasty soup and it had nice pieces of chicken (lots of it too). It would be an excellent choice if you order it with rice noodles.

My other half ordered their Vietnamese Beef Stew which was a noodle soup. This one actually sounds like it wouldn’t be, but it was actually under the noodle soup section of the menu. The beef was tender and they were rather generous with the portions of both meat and noodles. The soup was awesome, and tons of flavours!

Overall, it was a weird experience here for me. I like it,and loved that there was full and vibrant flavours in everything! Service was fine, typical Asian place service. The place is decent, I’ll probably try to remember it if I’m in the area, but yet, there also tons of other things to try too! 🙂

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Lemongrass West Vietnamese Cuisine

3715 51 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 242-2633

Sunterra Market – West Market Square

I really like markets, and one of my favourite markets would be Sunterra Market even though it’s kind of expensive. I particularly enjoy going to the one at West Market Square as it offers a small eatery and has great grocery shopping! I enjoy buying fresh products from here, and a bunch of other stuff too! The food that they prepare from their kitchen isn’t bad at all either – and the prices are pretty decent!

I really enjoy having their Butter Chicken and I had my butter chicken over rice instead of spinach. For about $8, you get a pretty generous serving of rice and butter chicken, and even some naan! The chicken is always tender and the curry is very mild in flavour. The sauce is delicious and creamy and perfect over rice!

My other half ordered from the Daily Hot Carve and on this particular day, it was Roast Beef with vegetables and potatoes. Again, the serving is really large, definitely more than a mall food court amount and this plate was just under $10! There was at least 3 slices of roast beef which was quite thick of a cut (irregular, but overall thick) which is always nice! The vegetables were roasted peppers and they were surprisingly sweet, plus tons of potatoes which were good on it’s own, or with the roast beef sauce!

Since the first visit to Sunterra, where they gave me a sample of their Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, I’ve made it a ritual where I purchase if nothing – at least a bottle of their orange juice. Sure, it costs more than other ordinary orange juice, but you actually watch them squeeze this juice out and it’s so good – year round! Of course, it’s best in the summer when the oranges are at their prime season. This is one thing I’d highly recommend if you’ve got nothing else to get from Sunterra!

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Sunterra Market, West Market Square

1851 Sirocco Dr SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 266-3049

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

I finally made it to Jelly Modern Doughnuts after all the hype during summer 2011! I went there this one afternoon during the Christmas break and found myself relaxed against this large banquette in the corner, where the atmosphere was all decorated in pink (my favourite colour)! I was so excited to be there, especially after I thought I would get to try one of their Maple Bacon Doughnuts during BaconFest over summer – where they sold out left their booth… But, I got to try it!

The Maple Bacon Doughnut was a very interesting doughnut – definitely freshly prepared with the light batter they used, and great maple syrup drizzle they put on top. The balance in texture for this doughnut was really well thought out! I love the crunch of their delicious bacon against the light doughnut with the sweet drizzle of maple syrup! This doughnut is a masterpiece and no wonder it’s been in the talk around town for such a long time!

The second doughnut we bought was Peanut Butter Cup Doughnut and this one was by far better than the maple bacon doughnut to me! It was really light and fluffy doughnut and the peanut butter cream on the top was really smooth and creamy, and also kind of airy! It’s like the beat it to incorporate air into it and it just made it quite heavenly!

We also ordered some Hot Chocolate and I must say, it’s one of the best hot chocolates I’ve had in a very long time. They actually do it properly, and it’s not just mixing powder with water – so it was really delicious. It had a nice chocolate flavour that wasn’t too sweet! Just the right subtle flavours and I am sure I will be back for their hot chocolate any day!

I love this little doughnut shop, except for the fact it’s in a terrible location for me to just drop by as parking is hard, but I’m sure I’ll make the effort to going there again. However, apparently there are a few parking spots designated for Jelly Modern Doughnut customers in the back. I like their decision to using eco-friendly products in both their decorations for the interior to their cutlery.

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Jelly Modern Doughnuts

100, 1414 8 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 453-2053