Towa Sushi (Calgary) – Worth visiting again

I used to love Towa Sushi. They were my favourite place for sushi with a contemporary twist. They used to have this lovely unagi outsider roll with red chili plum sauce. It was really spectacular. But when they switched owners, the sushi quality just got worse. The fish quality was excellent still but the rice:fish ratio (the ever important R:F ratio) became much higher. Furthermore, they stopped opening for lunch.

The rationale that they had for closing for lunch was for “service improvement”. I assume they were referring to the fact that Towa used to have long long lines and a fairly slow dinner service. People used to wait 30-60 minutes without a complaint because the food was so good. To avoid this dinner rush, I would often go for lunch instead. But the new owners closed Towa for lunch and made it a dinner only venue. I am not sure how closing for lunch improves service… but it made me pissed.

I didn’t go to Towa for 3 years.

When I was back in Calgary for vacation, my buddy wanted to hit Le Chien Chaud (a hot dog place in Mission). We were still hungry so we thought of our options: Burger Inn (too greasy), Mercato (too busy, too expensive), Wildwood (too slow). We finally settled on Towa.

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This is the Spicy Tuna Roll for $8. Don’t judge me. I like spicy tuna. I know they use the worst tuna possible because you can mask it with the spicy sauce but I still like the taste. This roll was actually pretty good. The spiciness wasn’t overpowering and was a little more complex than just Sriracha and mayonaisse.

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As you can see, the R:F ratio is much improved now. Fish quality was good and rice quality was good. It wasn’t the best Spicy Tuna Roll that I’ve ever had but it was pretty good and not a bad deal. 6 pieces for $8.

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The spider roll was where things for Towa fell apart. 9 pieces for $17 is not a horrible deal considering how much soft shell crab you get but I’ve seen cheaper. But the texture was what really killed this roll for me. It was very soft, almost slimy. There wasn’t any crispness to it. The crab meat was soft, soggy, and not flavourful. It wasn’t the worst that I’ve ever had but it was not good at all.

I only had 2 rolls so it is hard to make a final opinion on Towa Sushi but it is certainly worth revisiting. I am not sure where I stand on it right now but there are other places I prefer for the time being (Wa’s and Misato, also reviewed on this site).

Towa Sushi, 2116 – 4th St. SW, Calgary, 403-245-8585, www.towasushi.com

Towa Sushi on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on June 1, 2009.

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