Muku Japanese Ramen – Calgary Alberta

I’ve always loved Japanese noodles and ramen, and when I heard about Muku Japanese Ramen, it bumped a lot of places down on my “to-go” list. I was sick and exhausted and I just wanted a fantastic bowl of noodles. I think I got my hopes way up as we entered the parking lot, I couldn’t stop smiling. Well, unfortunately, that smile quickly turned flat for confusion, and then upside down.

The menu was great, it offered a lot of options and different types of ramen from different regions of Japan. Seeing the menu so specialized, I figured it didn’t matter what I ordered, it’s gotta be good. So, we got a little appetizer and we ordered the Shrimp Dumpling, which really was as it stated on the menu “steamed shrimp dumpling” which is what the Chinese has for dim sum… but here at Muku, they lacked flavour. It was really bland, and I had to add hot sauce to the dipping sauce it came with.

I tried the Shoyu Ramen and from the menu, it says it’s from the Tokyo region, with ramen cooked in chicken broth soup with a soybase sauce. The Shoyu ramen was topped with sliced chicken breast, green onions, bamboo shoots (menma), a tiny slice of Japanese fish cake (naruto) and a sheet of dried seaweed (nori). I must say, it was definitely prettier to the eye than to the taste buds. The noodles were under cooked, and there was a taste of

We also ordered the Koku-Miso Ninja Ramen mainly because it sounded cool! Who doesn’t want a bowl of ninja ramen? Well, this bowl had bbq pork, green onion, bean sprout, and corn, and the miso soup was quite different. It was yellow and much greasier.

Overall, I think someone would really have to drag me here for me to go again. I’ve heard of a few other Japanese noodles places in town that I’d love to try before returning. The prices weren’t terrible, but I was a little disappointed with the lack of flavour, and the texture of the noodles with a weird taste of the noodles, and the amount of grease in the soup just doesn’t attract me.

Muku Japanese Ramen

326 14 St NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 283-6555

Colonial Fusion Cuisine – Calgary, Alberta

We drove by Quarry Park randomly and saw Colonial Fusion Cuisine and immediately we knew it was a location we wanted to try. We were excited about fusion restaurants as we always hear about them, yet we never go in to try. The fusion was a mix between Vietnamese plus Thai and some French, which is kind of awkward if you think about it – but they seem to make it work with subtle modifications to traditional Vietnamese recipes for most items on the menu.

We started the evening with Mango Salad Rolls which takes a spin off your regular Vietnamese Salad rolls, as the rice papers are stuffed with mango, prawns, vermicelli, vegetables and herbs. It also comes with a coconut hoisin sauce to dip. This starter is really different as you do taste the mango, but it is a delicious combination of mangoes into the traditional rolls. I actually didn’t taste any coconut in the dipping sauce, so the coconut taste was really subtle against the mango. It is really light and refreshing appetizer.

For the main course, I ordered Caramelized Salmon – salmon with fish sauce and jalapenos, severed with rice and vegetables. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and it tasted so good, I ended up just eating the entire piece of salmon! 🙂 It had the perfect amount of heat and sweetness what was really special!! Great flavours, and great dish altogether!

We ordered the Mahogany Quail which is quail glazed in honey, garlic, onions, coconut juice and served with coconut rice. This dish was quite far from ordinary, which was really special! the quail was chopped into quarters, and smothered in their honey garlic sauce, with sauteed onions! This dish, you definitely had to eat with your hands, and the waitress realized that and brought us a bowl of water, with a beautiful flower floating in the bowl for us to wash our hands. The rice and the sauce that was eaten afterwards went in perfect harmony as well!! In more traditional Vietnamese locations, the quail would just be deep-fried so it’s crispy. Their spin here was the sauce which was really delicious!

Curry Stir-Fry with Chicken and vegetables served with rice was the last entree that we had, and it was really flavourful. The bowl of curry was really large, and it wasn’t filled with all sauce. It almost seemed like the pile of rice was too small for the amount of curry that was given! The chicken was tender and juicy, and had great flavours of curry, and a hint of ginger.

We ended our night with Iced Coffee which was really different than the traditional iced coffee. In my optional, in this case, I prefer the normal iced coffee. This glass was filled with ice, and it didn’t have sweet condensed milk, which is what I like!

We ordered dessert, a Mango Creme brulee which was your typical creme brulee, but with mango puree. I can’t say that I would get this dessert again, as it wasn’t a nice brulee texture. It wasn’t smooth, creamy and thick. It was like a pudding with a sugar topping, instead of a custard. They probably put too much milk or cream in, but it tasted a lot like mangoes! 🙂

Overall, this is a very fancy Vietnamese restaurant, and the seating, ambiance and quality of food was really good. The price tag to the dishes seemed a little high for what it is, but we had a wonderful experience. In actuality, I’m undecided if I will return! Go figure…

Colonial Fusion Cuisine

163 Quarry Park Blvd. SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 723-6669

Salt & Pepper Mexican Restaurante – Calgary, Alberta

We were wandering around Inglewood one sunny afternoon, actually for the Inglewood Sunfest and we were a little sad that there wasn’t too many street vendors or anything like that. So, we ended up popping into Salt & Pepper for lunch instead.

The place had a nice line-up, as it should since it was a sunny weekend afternoon after all! The line moved really quickly despite the speed of service. So, we got seated in no time! To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine as I’m not a huge “bean” eater. I’m not sure why, but I don’t really like them… so, I normally just eat “what I ordered” and throw out the rest! 🙂 As I did on this day as well.

The service was a little odd, as I would have to say our waitress was really slow. It’s always funny to me how tables that come in and sit after me gets served their water first, and their order taken first. Oh well, it’s all good, since we were in no hurry at all.

I ordered Las Enchiladas which I chose chicken enchiladas with a tomato & basil sauce. It was really good actually! 🙂 I know, I’m suppose to get it with the mole sauce, but I really won’t eat it, and that’s much more of a waste! The enchiladas from Salt & Pepper was really fresh, and the meat was really tender and juicy. I was able to eat all 3 of the enchiladas with just my fork.

We also tried the Chuletas de Cerdo Adobadas which was Grilled pork chops with our own spicy adobo. The actual pork chop was really thin piece, and was a little over cooked. It was quite tough – instead of juicy and tender, but the flavours were there, and so we gobbled it up anyway!

Overall, I did enjoy the atmosphere, as there was live music which was a special treat! The sun was out with a little breeze, so the patio was a great choice! The food, I will have to say was mediocre, but I must remember it was a really busy day – so perhaps they had difficulties keeping up? With entrees between $10-$15, I would’ve expected more, but that of course is just my opinion. And, who knows, maybe it’s just me, as I’m not the bean eater…

Salt & Pepper Mexican Restaurante

1413 – 9 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 265-5739