Calgary’s yakitori and kushiyaki (skewered and grilled meats) spots have recently been diversifying the city’s Japanese restaurants beyond standard sushi fare. Joining the ranks is the modern and arty Ke Charcoal Grill and Sushi, making its mark with mouthwatering Japanese cuisine that’s all about cooking on charcoal, oshi sushi (pressed rolls) and flavourful sauces.
Ke’s interior has a funky lounge vibe with brick walls and dramatic art but the centrepiece is its open concept kitchen where up to eight different chefs at a time, donning their bright yellow head wraps, are grilling up the various skewers meat, seafood and veggies. Diners can either sit at well-spaced tables in the dining room or at the sushi bar to watch the action with a front-row seat. There are more tables on the second level and outside on the rooftop patio.
Chef Terry Ke’s menu is full of gems like the signature truffle prawn roll, a truffle version of your usual dynamite roll and wild salmon oshi sushi, four sushi pieces of pressed wild B.C. salmon with jalapeo miso sauce. Try one of everything with the skewers of chicken, pork, beef and veggies – the angus beef and grilled chicken hearts are especially, which you choose salted or with teriyaki sauce, topped with sesame seeds.
If you’re feeling especially carnivorous, order the jumbo beef ribs, a plate of beef ribs that have been grilled over an open flame served with horseradish pure and covered in chimichurri sauce.
Ke’s fish dishes are raved about for right reason – the saba mackerel is a perfectly grilled piece of fish seasoned with sea salt, rice vinegar and served with a dish of ponzu sauce and lemon wedge.
Considering that Ke honed his skills at Kinjo Sushi and Grill, expect to be sent home with a box of Pocky for dessert.
1501 15 Ave. S.W., 403-283-3288, kecharcoalgrill.com