Shibuya Izakaya: Sampling Japanese Fare

Shibuya Nigiri

If it wasn’t apparent already, I really like my Japanese food. Having eaten at nearly every Japanese restaurant in Edmonton I’ve begun turning my eyes towards Calgary’s Japanese scene.

And today, I decided to try a bit of everything from Shibuya Izakaya.

The first thing that caught my attention was the fresh, raw oyster special. I love oysters, but only raw. So I immediately order half a dozen.

Shibuya Oysters

They were delicious, creamy, and definitely fresh. Writing this review now, I regret not ordering another half, or even dozen. But that may have made me too full to eat everything else.

And whoever shucked these oysters should give themselves a pat on the back. No shell or sand to be seen which can’t be said for some of the oysters bars I’ve been to lately.

I also liked how they had ponzu sauce on the side. Too many restaurants just dump the sauce on for you in quantities that I’m not comfortable with. I like having control over my food.

Next, my tempura sampler came out.

Shibuya Tempura

It was good. I got the standard pieces of shrimp and vegetables and while I wanted to see what else they could serve I needed to pace myself.

Because as always, I needed to grab myself an order of takoyaki.

Shibuya Takyaki

Ever since my first trip to Japan nearly a decade ago I can’t get enough of this stuff. Deep fried dough balls with octopus may not sound like much, but it’s crispy, gooey goodness.

And Shibuya does not hold back with the octopus. I was pleasantly surprised to find multiple pieces of octopus in the balls.

Appetizers finished, my main course arrived.

Shibuya Sashimi Sampler

Another thing that impressed me was the timing of my food. The moment I was almost done my previous dish, the server promptly brought out the next. I was never left waiting despite it being a very busy evening.

I was very happy with the quality of the fish. A far too recent experience at an all-you-can-eat sushi place alternated between mushy or still frozen hunks of salmon.

So I was very excited to get my sea urchin for my final dish of the evening.

The nigiri had a no rice option. And feeling a little cheeky I decided to get everything without rice. “What would they do?” I thought. I half expected a pile of wasabi octopus splattered onto a plate. Or perhaps a ring of masago around my quail egg to stop it from rolling away.

Instead, I was greeted with these adorable little cucumber cups.

Shibuya Nigiri

It might be good for someone who is trying to cut back on carbs or doesn’t want rice for whatever reason. I don’t know how they made them, but they’re certainly more skilled with a knife than I.

Edmonton needs to step their game up. Calgary is just as landlocked and yet the restaurants here are able to get urchin more regularly.

Oh and before I forget, Shibuya is doing a contest. Post a picture on Instagram and tag them for a chance to win a dish for free.

Shibuya Instagram

Well we did one better, and made entire post about our meal experience. Still any excuse to come back and maybe try their other fare is enough for me.

One final thing to note is that parking is very difficult. There is a very popular bubble tea place right next door so I ended up having to park in the neighborhood nearby. Shibuya also does delivery, so perhaps that’s an option for the future.

Leave a Reply