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June 15, 2019

Anju | Calgary’s 25 Best Restaurants 2018

Traditional Korean dishes are reinterpreted with modern and globally-influenced twists at Anju.

The pork belly and kimchi eggs Benedict. Photograph by Jared Sych.

FOOD | Modern Korean.
VIBE | Upscale-casual, energetic.
DECOR | Clean and modern with a dash of Korean tradition.
DISH | Crispy tofu.
TIP | Don’t overlook Anju’s brunch (think kimchee and pork belly Benedicts and pancakes with black sesame).

 

Growing up with a mother determined to feed her family the best food possible set the stage for Roy Oh. Bringing traditional recipes from Korea, Young-ja Oh cooked stews and short ribs, and made her own kimchee and all the banchan side dishes served up with meals.

At Anju, the dishes chef-partner Oh offers from his own kitchen reflect that upbringing. All the traditional flavours of soy, gochugaru (ground spicy Korean chili peppers) and sesame serve as the backbone for his crispy tofu, the crave-worthy gochujang wings and the bibimbap served in a scorchingly hot stone bowl to crisp the rice.

But Oh also takes liberties with the time-honoured recipes of his youth, adding in influences from far-flung countries like Italy, Japan and the U.S. (Korea is known for its fried chicken as much as the Deep South is; Oh mishmashes the two, offering chicken done in a gochujang marinade, served with kimchee cheddar waffles.)

Of course, customers can’t get too attached to any particular menu item (other than the aforementioned wings and tofu) as Oh continues to play with flavours and cuisines, coming up with tempting new creations. That is good news, though, as it means there’s always a new dish to explore.

344 17 Ave. S.W., 403-460-3341, anju.ca

 

Inside Anju on 17th Ave. S.W. Photograph by Jared Sych.

 

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