Sushi spots may be dime a dozen in downtown Calgary but a solid well-priced dine-in restaurant that’s not just for take-out is harder to come by. Meshi is a bright spot that opened in March across from the Midtown Co-op on 11th Avenue S.W. in the restaurant that was previously Uptown Sushi.
The renovated interior sports white tiles, wooden panels and black matte light fixtures, and the sushi chefs are visible via a small pass-through window to the kitchen. While this may not be the place for large groups – the largest seating out of the seven tables is a table for six – the menu is much larger than you’d expect for such a wee spot.
Big pieces of fresh cut sashimi and rolls that come in full or half sizes offer the usual sushi suspects. The Cajun salmon roll is a delicious option which has deep fried Cajun salmon, lettuce, green onion with garlic chips and spicy mayo. But it’s dishes like the tokpoki (a soft rice cake and fish cake with sweet red chili sauce) and Nagasaki Udon (white udon noodles with seafood and veggies), plus generously sized rice bowls, that make Meshi distinct.
The rice bowls are all served in a dim-sum style wooden bowl. Your choices of meat – beef rib eye slices, grilled chicken, pork shoulder or salmon in either a spicy or teriyaki sauce – are heaped with lettuce, red cabbage, julienned carrots, steamed broccoli, green onion and nori atop a bed of white rice. The generous portion leaves you properly full without feeling stuffed.
Meshi’s friendly wait staff will offer you fresh wasabi, which has a sharper, sweeter and spicier taste than the usual blossom paste you find at most sushi places. Once you try it, you won’t want anything but fresh.
1177 11 Ave. S.W., 587-356-4788
[Correction: The original version of this post included an incorrect photo. The photo of cajun salmon sushi rolls has been replaced and is now correct.]