Wa’s Japanese: Calgary, Alberta

About a month or so ago, Miss.Foodie and I decided to meet up for some Japanese. She suggested we go to Wa’s Japanese as they’re considered to be one of the more authentic Japanese restaurants in the city. Ben and I pass by it nearly everyday on our commute home and I was also curious to know what this little Japanese restaurant on Centre Street was all about.

We also made reservations for the two of us for dinner on a Sunday night since this restaurant is quite small it can easily get packed. There’s restaurant parking, but that’s limited so there is free street parking just beside the restaurant as well. Upon entering we were immediately greeted and shown to our seats.

The first thing we ordered was the Agedashi Tofu to start.

Agedashi Tofu $7.00

Agedashi Tofu $7.00

This is probably the most ornate and intricate Agedashi Tofu I have ever seen in my life. At other restaurants the Agedashi Tofu is placed in soya sauce and topped with some grated daikon and a few pieces of scallions. At Wa’s Japanese, they pull all the stops. You have your shredded bonito flakes, green and pink kelp, onions, scallions, freshly grated daikon and your fried tofu sitting in this delicate soy broth. It tasted fresh, salty, slightly sweet and the texture was great. The kelp had a nice crunch and the onions gave it a slight kick. It was delicious and one of the highlights of this meal.

Chef Assorted Sashimi $22.00

Chef Assorted Sashimi $22.00

The next thing we shared was the Chef Assorted Sashimi which mainly consisted of salmon, tuna, surf clam, snapper, and octopus. All of which tasted just fine, there was nothing wrong with it and there wasn’t anything that stood out about it either. This dish filled our carnivorous needs that night.

Kake Udon with Tempera $

Tempera Udon $12.00

The next dish that came was the Tempera Udon. This really stood out for me. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, this bowl of udon really stood out. Garnished with chopped scallions and seaweed, the udon noodles had a nice chewy texture and the soya broth had that bonito smokiness and delicate sweetness. It was nothing I’ve ever had, I never had such a simple bowl of udon that tasted so good. The tempura itself was alright, the batter was crispy without being too oily and really went well with the soup base of the udon. If you just want the bowl of udon noodles and no tempura, then order the Kake Udon ($6.00) on the menu.

Chawanmushi $

Chawanmushi prior to opening and very cutely presented.

Chawanmushi $6.00

Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) $6.00

The last dish we ordered was the Chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is steamed eggs that are flavoured with dashi and soy sauce. The consistency is similar to hot tofu, but instead of soy beans you have eggs. Garnished with chopped scallions, salmon roe and ginger, this small bowl of hot (like blow on your spoon hot) steamed eggs was light. The texture is soft and smooth (no steam pockets in the egg) and as you gently dig into the bottom of the bowl you’ll find pieces of shrimp and scallops. There is a hint of zest like a bit of grated lemon peel to help cut the richness of the dish. I really like the Chawanmushi here as the folks at Wa’s really hit all the right notes in texture, flavour, & presentation.

All the dishes we had were delicious, the service we had was quick and efficient? Basically, smiles but no small talk and more ,”bring food quickly to table”. Which is really fine by me. 🙂

After reading some the comments on Urbanspoon there are a few notes that I want to point out. First off, this place can get a bit pricy especially if you order their sushi. I personally would suggest that if you are coming to this restaurant for the first time, to try something other than sushi. Not because their sushi is expensive or it’s bad – I only had their sashimi (which tasted alright) so I can’t judge their sushi. The reason is because they have so many other things to offer that’s probably more their forte than just your typical sushi. All the dishes that I had this night were delicious and not that expensive, keep in mind that when ordering something from a restaurant to see what their specialities are. Evidently if all they have is sushi, than order sushi. If they happen to offer a lot of items other than sushi… then order the other items. 😛

Anna’s Notes

  • Dinner reservations highly suggest since this place is tiny and popular.
  • Take-out available, check out menu here
  • Street parking available right beside the restaurant if their parking lot is full.
  • Great for small groups and couples as space is limited.
  • Accepts all forms of payment.

Wa's Japanese on Urbanspoon


One thought on “Wa’s Japanese: Calgary, Alberta

  1. I love Wa’s! Their chawanmushi is delicious and I really like their chirashi as well. I feel like Wa’s does the other dishes really well, like you said, not just sushi. Great post! I was so sad when I tried to drop by for dinner on Saturday and they were closed half an hour early.

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