Hot fusion in Calgary: Anju

Roy Oh shares his favorite Korean flavors with a modern twist

The final stop on my Calgary food adventure with Jessie Cayabo was at Anju, a popular modern Korean restaurant helmed by award-winning chef, Roy Oh. 

“Anju” means “food you eat with alcohol” in Korean, usually casual food shared with friends, so all of the dishes here are eaten family style.

Chef Roy Oh in Anju on a typical Friday night.

It’s definitely a hotspot for the über hip professional crowd, and we even ran into Duncan Ly of Foreign Concept hanging out here. That was the first Calgary restaurant I ate at, which brought my trip full circle as we shared all of our culinary adventures for the week. Prices below are in Canadian dollars, by the way.

Fried brussels sprouts ($10) with bacon, mochi (dduk), red onion, and maple syrup shoyu. You can’t go wrong with a starter like this, which has
become a staple in most restaurants. I like the addition of dduk to keep it Korean, but also serve as a taste anchor.
One of the most popular apps is the mushroom tempura ($12), comprised of oyster and shimeji mushrooms served with truffle ponzu and nori. I love
mushrooms so this is good with or without the truffle ponzu. These are lightly crisp and not greasy, and perfectly salty.
Anju’s signature White Tiger Roll ($22) pulls together panko prawn, salmon, hamachi, avocado, gochugaru aioli, and kabayaki sauce. It’s much like
the deluxe rolls we have in Hawaii, but that slightly spicy gochugaru aioli is Oh’s own flavor twist. 
When in an Asian restaurant, get some kind of dumplings! Oh makes oxtail ravioli ($12) with shoyu, truffle oil, and Grana Padano (a cheese that’s like Parmesan). They’re fresh made, so the wrappers are nice and soft, while the plump fillings give a subtle burst of savory meaty flavor.
Don’t leave without getting the foie gras and tofu ($20) served with a black raspberry gel and steam bread. It’s a decadent foie spread that’s made
slightly lighter with the tofu, and the lightly sweet-tart gel cuts the richness. It’s all familiar flavors, but just different enough that you keep reaching for more.
Pan seared sea bream ($20) that’s been lightly cured, served with nori and wasabi soy. Just lightly salty and spicy enough to tickle your tastebuds.
The bar has an extensive menu of handcrafted cocktails, some with an Asian twist. At left is the Anju Flip ($15), which we recommend. It’s got
green Chartreuse, soju, simple syrup, egg, and then a sprinkling of shiso powder.

Anju Restaurant
344-17 Ave. SW 
Calgary, Alberta, T2S 0A5

That was probably the most perfect way to end my trip. What an amazing city with amazing food! I can’t wait to go back … and now I know why everyone wanted to move there after the election. Mahalo to Jessie Cayabo for taking me everywhere and planning such a fabulous food adventure! To see all of my photos from this trip, click here.