Calgary welcomes diverse eateries in 2018
Send your tastebuds to Hawaii, Latin America and Asia
By Rosemary De Souza, Staff Writer
As the white snow surrounds the streets of Calgary and the temperature drops and rises, we will always be reminded that we live in what could be one of the most weather indecisive cities in Canada. But if there may be any escape from this Calgarian winter it may be the diverse food places that just arrived in the city. Visit Hawaii, Korea, Latin America, India, and Japan in what seems to be the most abrupt culture explosion yet this year.
Hula Poke and Po-ke
It has been less than a year since Calgary got its own poke restaurant for fans of the Hawaiian seafood dish but this year two more poke shops are readily serving Calgarians around the city — Po-ke on 1111 Kensington Rd. N.W. and Hula Poke at Brookfield Place on Sixth Avenue S.W. Hula, which originated from Vancouver, just opened in November last year and has immediately expanded to Alberta, with Calgary being its second location according to Avenue magazine. Both shops boast Hawaiian-inspired designs with Po-ke going for a more rustic approach with brick display covered walls, incandescent lights coming down the restaurant ceiling and the recognizable calligraphy from their Crescent Heights location greeting customers who walk in. Hula, on the other hand, went for a modern look with ocean-coloured and smoothly visible wooden wall designs. Both menus have chef-created recipes and build your own options.
Visit Korea with Calgary’s newest vegan café located on 11th Avenue S.W. This location serves a variety of Korean-inspired dishes like bibimbap and japchae. Tofu, mixed veggies, sweet potato, dumplings and other main dish vegan ingredients meet their match with a number of favourite Korean sauces that are a part of their Korean barbeques, lunches and dinners like the spicy gochujang, yangnyum (sweet and spicy), and Korean BBQ sauce. But if indulging yourself during breakfast or lunch time is not your thing, the café may be your go to smoothie stop with their menu consisting of two green smoothies, four fruit smoothies, and two specials — matcha and the chunky monkey, a chocolate and banana smoothie mixed with veg protein to fill up your meal.
Try walking the streets of Latin America and have a taste of the savoury and sometimes spicy Latin delicacies or go to Gringo St. — Calgary’s newest restaurant to serve Latin street food between Fourth and Fifth Street along 17th Avenue S.W. The restaurant is a sight for sore eyes with the walls resembling that of a cargo container, covered with a solid yellow shade with the words “Gringo St.” found on a street name sign attached to one of the edges of the restaurant’s exterior. Tortilla chips with melted curds and cotija cheese, ceviche, tacos, churros, Peruvian-style skewers, fried chicken, and ribs are only some of the various menu options that stand out from this location.
Located on Ninth Street in the northeast, Chai Pani is a gateway to India’s street food. The restaurant serves a variety of snacks and curries with the addition of allowing customers to choose their own style of Indian burritos or bowls. Other than the infamous butter chicken and tandoori chicken, Chai Pani also serves Portuguese style Vindaloo pulled pork curry, beef kebab Kashmiri curry, a cinnamon turmeric spice beef, samosas and not to mention the classic masala cutting chai tea.
Every meal requires dessert and as of Feb. 24 Uzu Taiyaki opened its doors. The Japanese eatery specializes in creating the taiyaki — a soft, fish-like pancake that serves as a cone to a variety of soft serve flavours like ube, matcha, coconut, black sesame and vanilla, Avenue Calgary reports. The eatery is located on First Street and Second Avenue S.E.