507 10th St. S.W., Calgary
Rating: *** 1/2
Signature Drink: Elixir
Signature Dish: Kimchi ramen
Dinner & drinks for 2: $60
The menus at Anju are emblazoned with a quote by chef/owner Roy Oh: “The finest ingredient Mom ever used was love.”
This two-storey house-turned-restaurant, tucked behind condo towers on the edge of downtown, serves updated Korean dishes, foods that recall a mother’s embrace with the zing of her new perfume.
Kimchi ramen ($15) is a steaming, spicy bowl of coziness, with bits of Berkshire pork belly, tofu and a wallop of crème fraîche.
Lettuce wraps ($15) come on a pretty plate of romaine hearts, mixed vegetables and ssamjang (a spicy Korean paste), with choice of grilled chicken, short rib, tofu or pork belly.
A marinated rib eye ($20) is like a thick cut of bulgogi but in steak form, while the black cod ($20) braised in a clay pot with red chilli pepper and caramel glaze is silky sweet.
Anju is most fun when sharing some of its delicious starter size treats ($4-$10). Order a few — like honey-glazed crispy anchovies or green onion seafood pancake — or trust the chef's daily creations with an Anju platter ($20).
Open late on weekends, Anju has a creative list of cocktails and martinis that go well with plates of munchies.
PaSu Farm in Carstairs, north of Calgary, serves roast leg of lamb and prime rib at an English Victorian dinner (Dec. 4, 11, 18). Call (403) 337-2800.
Los Chilitos Taco & Tequila House (1309 17th Ave. S.W.) offers tacos, burritos and fresh salsa in the heart of the Red Mile.