Big M and I recently travelled to Red Deer for my Mom's 65th birthday party. Mom suggested that we go for dinner on one of the nights to a cute place that was around the corner from her place. It turned out to be a sushi restaurant! When I left Red Deer in 1994 I had never been to a sushi joint. I am not even sure if RD had any sushi places. Back then my tastes ran towards Boston Pizza and Humpty's Egg Palace (an all night coffee house with grumpy waitresses who would let a bunch of broke college kids sit around and drink pot after pot of coffee as long as we ordered some fries and were willing to take their abuse. Hi Susan!).
Momo Sushi comes quite highly rated on the Red Deer version of Urbanspoon. My Mom is quite and adventurous eater so we braved the snow and off we went for some sushi.
There are a couple of differences between restaurants in Red Deer and Vancouver. Because of the weather, most restaurants in Alberta have double doored entrances to keep the cold drafts to a minimum. I really like that. There is nothing worse than getting stuck at a table by the door when the weather is cold and rainy. Especially if it is a place with a line up where people insist on holding the door open.
Second, Asian restaurants in Red Deer have much nicer interior designs! I am used to a white room with really close tables and *maybe* some pictures of the food on the wall.
Momo Sushi was a really nice room. It is quite long and skinny but the atmosphere was warm and cozy. Leather like seats and really large Asian style painting on the walls. Every table had flowers on them as well.
We debated about ordering a bunch of stuff to share but Mom is not quite as adventurous as sashimi so she decided to get a set dinner. She chose the Teriyaki & Tempura dinner- Chicken Teriyaki and Assorted Tempura, rice- $15.50. All dinners come with salad & miso soup.
It was quite tasty. A nice sized portion of chicken that was juicy and not over cooked. The sauce was sweet and not overpowering. Mom really liked the cabbage that was on the bottom. I am not a cabbage fan so I just took her word for it. The tempura was light and crispy and did not leave a big pile of grease on the plate.
Big M and I decided to share a bunch of items. We started with the Gyoza- Pan fried, homemade meat dumpling- $6.00. I found it amusing that they didn't specify the "meat". Keeping the options open, I guess.
Turns out they were pork and delicious. They really did seem to be homemade and not frozen out of a package. The pork was nicely seasoned and they were cooked to a really nice crisp on the outside. Good start!
Next we chose, Tuna and Salmon Sashimi- $11.00.
What is the saying about eating raw fish in a place where you can't see the ocean? Not the best sashimi, but certainly not the worst I have ever had. The tuna had that soft, mushy texture that says it has been frozen and thawed although the salmon held up to it really well. The presentation was nice. I am a sucker for that fake grass. Defiantly makes you appreciate sashimi in Vancouver. Hooray Ocean!
We also went with three rolls. We mainly chose them for the awesome names.
Yam Yam roll- (crabmeat, avocado, cucumber, yam tempura top) $6.50
Crispy Crispy Roll- (shrimp tempura, crabmeat, avocado, crispy stuff) $6.00
Okay- we ordered this for the "crispy stuff". We could not pass up the opportunity to see what that was. This is Japanese food, it could be anything!
Beef Roll- (teriyaki beef, cucumber, mushroom) $4.95. Normally I don't really like a beef roll but when in Alberta...
Fun bowl! All of the rolls were better than I had expected. My favorite, by far, was the Yam Yam roll.
Great idea to put the yam tempura on top. The tempura stays crispy as it does not sit next to the mayo and it looked really pretty.
The "crispy stuff" turned out to be tempura batter.
This was a really tasty roll. The crispy stuff plus the sauce gave the roll a tangy taste and crunchy texture in your mouth. Enjoyable and tasty.
The beef roll was good as well, but like most beef rolls I found it chewy. The combination of chewy beef and chewy seaweed is not a winning one for me. This was not the fault of the roll though, just a personal preference.
Big M ordered a Japanese beer to go with his meal, I chose Saki. We were amused by the beer serving:
A really enjoyable meal. The prices were a bit hefty for what we were used to. $15.50 for a teriyaki meal was a bit shocking, but it was all cooked well and the service was pleasant. We left happy!
PS. Happy birthday Mom! You are my favorite Mom. Here is a pic of the birthday cake that I made her. (lemon cake with almond flavoured butter cream, fondant decorations) The cake topper and candles were from her childhood birthday cakes!