Calgary Restaurant: Shikiji Japanese Noodles and Sushi

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After Muku, we continued our hunt for the best ramen in Calgary. This time we visited Shikiji on Center st N and 15 ave NW. Prior our visit, we made reservations to prevent the wait on the busy weekend.

The restaurant is fairly big, with simple Japanese interior design. You can seat comfortably without feeling too close to other tables of customers.

Unlike Muku which specializes in ramen, Shikiji offers only 4 different types of ramen- soy, shio, miso and chili goma ramen. In addition to ramen, Shikiji also serves other Japanese dishes e.g., udon, donburi and sushi.

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Takoyaki

For starter, we ordered takoyaki ($6 for 6 pieces). You could hardly see the tako balls because they were completely covered by the katsuobushi (bonito flakes). The tako balls were crispy on the outside with big bits of octopus inside. They were a bit mushy inside though. Despite that, Shikiji did a better job than Muku with the takoyaki.

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Before our ramen had come, we were each given a mortar and pestle with sesame seeds, along with dried garlic flakes, chili powder and hot chili oil  to create our seasonings for the soup.

Soy Ramen

Soy Ramen

Shio Ramen

Shio Ramen

Finally, our ramen arrived! All the ramen broth is pork based. My soy ramen ($10) came with scallions, bok choy, bbq pork in soy soup base. Kev’s shio ramen ($10) came with scallions, bok choy, seaweed in salt soup base. Both of us asked for fatty pork (instead of the lean pork) for our ramen. The ramen were slightly untraditional and had the Chinese twist to it as it was rare to see bok choy in traditional Japanese ramen. The noodles were chewy and the fatty pork slices were a bit bland but soft. The soy soup base was slightly saltier than the one for shio ramen.

In general, I think Shikiji provides good service and offers decent food. We don’t mind coming back to try its other Japanese dishes. However, in terms of ramen, I will continue to search for the one that provides the quality I’m looking for.

My review: Shikiji is like the pot of gold assorted chocolate. It is a place where you can bring friends and family to. It offers a variety of choices which can fulfill different people’s preferences.

Shikiji Japanese Noodles and Sushi on Urbanspoon

Calgary Restaurant: Muku Japanese Ramen

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Our friends from Edmonton wanted to try some ramen places in Calgary so I did some research and found Muku is recommended by some Calgarians. The restaurant is in Kensington, right next to Globefish. We went there last Sunday at around 1pm and the restaurant was still very busy, with people eating and some waiting to be seated. The restaurant was tiny, with about 7 tables and 5 seats by the bar. We were put onto the waitlist and waited for about 15 minutes for a table to be available to us.

The staff were friendly and attentive. Our food arrived pretty quickly.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki

We ordered takoyaki as the side and we all weren’t impressed with it. Unlike authentic takoyaki which the shell is slightly crispy, the takoyaki balls at Muku were soggy and mushy.

Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen

Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen

I ordered the spicy tonkotsu ramen. When I got my ramen, I wasn’t very happy with the fact that they served this ramen “spicy” by adding a spoonful of sriracha sauce. I began to cast doubt on how authentic the ramen are served by this place. The pork soup base is rich and flavorful, not too salty. However, I didn’t quite like the noodles- it tasted like instant noodles.  I was expecting the ramen noodles to be chewy and springy. The pork (chashu) was dry and hard to chew on. As you can see, there weren’t many ingredients in my bowl. Besides the pork, there were one baby corn and one slice of fish cake.

Se-Abura Shoyu Ramen

Se-Abura Shoyu Ramen

Everyone else ordered the se-abura shoyu ramen. The soup base was a bit lighter than the one for tonkotsu ramen. Slices of pork belly were served instead of chashu, which tasted so much better.

Generally speaking, the food is okay, not great, but is reasonably priced. It is a convenient location for us and we don’t going back to try other types of ramen.

My review: It is like the Oh Henry! Chocolate Bar- something that is relatively cheap and that you don’t mind having once in a while.

Muku Japanese Ramen on Urbanspoon