Hi everyone. I’d like to thank you all very much for your sweet comments and celebration wishes on my last post. I really appreciate that you not only took the time to drop by and read, but even left such warm comments. You all rock!
I have two very exciting things to talk about today. First of all, I’m sure most of you are familiar with CSN Stores. If not, well let me just say this store sells everything you’re looking for from baking sheets, grills, strollers, pet carriers, and even twin beds! The list goes on and on, but rather than spending a whole post talking about all the things you could buy at such great prices, I figure I’ll just give you the link to CSN Stores so you can see for yourself. Why would you want to take a look? Well let’s just say that they might even be kind enough to offer one of my lucky readers a gift in the near future (wink wink, nudge nudge).
The second exciting bit of news is that during the Canada day long weekend, we took a mini vacation down to Banff, Lake Louise, and Calgary. I know, I know, Canada Day has long passed; so this just shows you how far behind I am on my posts. I still wanted to share this with you though cause any time a mother of two little ones like me gets to get out of the city, it’s pretty dang exciting news to me. So at 6:00 in the morning we loaded up the kiddies, young and old (can’t leave my parents behind ;-)) and drove three and a half hours to Banff.
Free flags and free admission into Banff! Woot Woot!
Another hour drive to Lake Louise:
and another hour to Calgary. Everytime we’re here, we make sure we eat at Anju Restaurant at least once. This is hands down my favorite restaurant in Calgary, and it’s not because we know the owners.
This is a little, cozy, modern Korean restaurant tucked and hidden in downtown Calgary. With a love for food and entertaining, the owners Roy Oh and his wife Anh opened this restaurant in December 2008. Ever since then, they have put their heart and soul into this to turn it into the successful business it is today. As you can see, it is quite modern and nicely decorated. The main floor only has a few tables, I’d say probably 15 tables tops. With such limited seating, it’d be wise to call a day or even 2 days ahead to book your table as they can fill up fast during weekends. I wanted to beat the rush to get some good pictures so I booked for a table of 8 at 6:30. Good thing, because about 15 minutes later, the restaurant started filling up.
There is a bar and lounge area upstairs with welcoming, comfortable couches to sit and chit-chat on, have a few drinks with your buddies,
or take a quick nap on while waiting for your friends to arrive. But I highly DO NOT recommend the nap in case you miss the whole party, as K found out the hard way ;-).
On with the food shall we? We started out with sweet pickled daikons and kimchi.
Spicy grilled eggplant (one of my favorites).
Truffle yam fries with gochugaru aioli.
Dried shredded squid with cho gochujang. (another favorite)
A seafood platter consisting of 6 raw oysters topped with kimchi (I think), chilled mussels, and chilled squid with vegetables.
Kimchi pancake with bacon.
Calamari with Kaffir lime leaf, red onions, and lemongrass aioli.
Korean style chicken wings.
Lamb chops with Korean BBQ sauce and seasonal vegetables.
6 Oz. marinated flank steak with seasonal vegetables.
Stone rice bowl with grilled vegetables, wild mushroom, fried egg, and a choice of beef, chicken, prawns, salmon, or tofu (we chose chicken). This was definitely another one of my favorites, and so pretty too.
Golden curry prawns, creme fraiche, and cilantro.
Clay pot glazed black cod with gochugaru caramel glaze. I highly recommend this dish. If I had to choose a favorite, this would be it.
Beef rib soup with daikon and leeks.
We were all pretty stuffed and no one had room for dessert, except me of course. Yes, I’m an eating machine. When I saw chestnut creme brulee with savory coconut cream, I was SOLD! This was THE BEST creme brulee I have ever had! It also came decorated with slices of strawberries and gold flakes. If you like chestnut and creme brulee, this is definitely your dessert.
It should also be noted that the menu at Anju changes every couple of months to provide for the freshest ingredients possible. In my mind, that has it’s advantages and disadvantages. So if you’re not sure if your favorite dish will still be on the menu when you return the next time, its best to call and check. With that said, it was another fabulous dinner at Anju Restaurant. This diamond in the rough still remains on the top of my must go to list.With Roy’s killer culinary skills and Anh’s creative mixology skills paired with her great taste in decor, this team is a force to be reckoned with. I also almost forgot to mention that Roy and Anh created every dish and drink on the menu themselves, including my favorite drink called The Bruised Heart, which I highly recommend. I would’ve ordered one, but I was the designated driver that night so I didn’t want to take any chances. Next time you’re in Calgary and looking for a great place to dine, keep Anju Restaurant in mind.
Have you ever visited Canada before? Do you have a favorite Canadian place to visit? Hopefully my next post will include a giveaway from CSN Stores. Until then friends and family.