We went to the newly opened Haru Sushi Bar in Springbank area (right next to Ambrose University College) today for lunch.
The menu is interesting but misses a few of the basic, such as California rolls, in Calgary. I actually overheard another patron asking whether California rolls were available. My favourite sushi places have always been the more traditional Japanese restaurants, however I am willing to give the new dig a try. The decor is Asian chic, and it kinda reminds me of Alloy with the fake Sakura trees in the middle. The owners and servers and kitchen staff all stood awkwardly around; we already knew about the higher prices before going in, so we were well prepared.
We got fish & chips to start - my dining companion proclaimed that it was one of the best fish & chips he had recently. The basa fish was on 2 skewers, lightly covered in tempura batter, and it was fresh and delightful. The banana and yam chips were also crispy & airy. Very enjoyable.
We also ordered 2 rolls to share: calamari rolls and seared scallops rolls. We also wanted to try the sashimi, but I usually don't like to try raw fish at a new Japanese restaurant before it proves itself capable. Haru claims that their sushi is "aburi" style, lightly seared raw fish. My first experience with aburi was at Miku restaurant in Vancouver, and Haru's take on aburi was not as impressive. But enough of comparing Calgary Japanese restaurant with the Vancouver ones - different dining scenes, vastly different expectations.
I really didn't like the calamari rolls - they fell apart too easily and the calamari didn not went well with the rice and other ingredients. The scallop rolls were much better; seared shellfish on top of dried, sliced lotus roots with the same chopped up seafood chunks as the calamari rolls. I enjoyed the crunchiness and creativity that went into the creations. But I like El's Japanese Fusion's take on non-traditional rolls better.
All in all, we may go back for their cooked food (most Japanese restaurants nearby do not offer such selections), but I am not too impressed with their rolls.
Interestingly enough, we now have almost 10 Japanese restaurants within 15 mins of driving radius. I am in sushi heaven! This is my top 3 in terms of how I like their sushi ...
1) Sushi Miki - great selection of fish, Japanese chef
2) Momoyama Sushi - if I want a cheap meal or take-out, here's where I go. Reasonable freshness & gigantic portion size
3) Misato Sushi - good old faithful; dinner boxes are great; I also like how well made their rolls are - they don't fall apart easily. Way too busy - can't linger for long after finishing the food
Still like Zipang the best.
El's Japanese Fusion
2008 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1Z4, CA