I love good food and good companies, so I am happy to say that a recent Christmas Party at Globefish @ Kensington (Calgary) worked great on both fronts.
One thing I love to do is to write little restaurant reviews about places I’ve visited (or place worth special mention). Here is a list of sample entries,
- Sunday Brunch at Delta Calgary South
- Death by Chocolate at Fairmont Palliser
- What’s Atomic Tea taste like?
- Calgary Farmers’ Market
- Roast goose at Yung Kee (Hong Kong)
- Review of NOBU Hong Kong (translated from a Chinese review by a former Iron Chef Judge).
Now, let me shared with you my experience at Globefish @ Kensington,
- We knew Globefish is a busy place so three of us arrived ahead of time (at 7pm) to try to get a table at 7:30pm. It still takes us about 7:45pm to get a table for 9 of us. (note: the guy taking care of assigning tables was really nice and tried his best to accommodate us and other waiting customers)
- Once we sit down, it didn’t take the server long to take our order and for the food to arrive.
- Both my sushi (Flames Roll Combo) and tempura were very tasty and made just right. And I particular like the tempura zucchini (crunchy on the outside, really soft inside).
- And I had a small bite of my friend’s Sashimi Salad. The fishes were fresh and tasty and a nice mix with the house dressing.
- All in all, a great experience even with the long wait.
- In future, I probably will try to go at 8pm or even 8:30pm (perfect timing for after a movie or something) to avoid the long wait (yes, these people are waiting outside the restaurant).
After a great evening of chat with my friends, I stayed behind and look for the chef and owner of the restaurant to chat. We ended up spending 15-20 minutes just talking about food (including what I learned from the Review of NOBU Hong Kong).
Without further delay, here is my chat with Masa Ota, chef and co-owner of Globefish at Kensington, about Globefish, his training in Japan, his favourite dish, etc. I hope you enjoy it as much as I in conducting the interview with Masa.
When I talked to Masa, I sensed a chef that is listening carefully and he also showed his care and love of food from talking about the smallest details. I remember asking Masa, what is the magic behind his great sushi. He answered “nothing special”.
In some sense, his art and his attention to details may be “nothing special” to him. But to another chef that is more interested in cranking out another dish as quickly as he/she can to make another fast buck, that “nothing special” makes ALL the differences in the world. In my time in Calgary, I have seen far too many once-upon-a-time-decent restaurants dropped their quality to such a bad/horrible state that I ultimately stop going there.
As an aside, I have yet seen a restaurant remotely matching the high standard of my childhood favourite restaurant Yung Kee (world famous for its roast goose). May be you can ask yourself this — how often do you see the offering of one dish (Yung Kee’s roast goose) make the headlines of multiple major newspapers? It is Yung Kee’s “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence” that puts it on a totally different playing field when compare to other restaurants.
Sept 27, 2008 Update: I heard from friends that Globefish at Kensington has moved to a new and bigger location. I hope they are able to keep their previous high standard in food or it will be a shame to see a restaurant expand and than the quality dropped because of lack of attention to details.