Shojo Izakaya has been on my list of places to try for a few months now! Ever since their grand opening, I’ve been eager to give this spot a try as I love izakayas, to begin with. I was able to stop by before this whole pandemic changed the norm for everyone and thought I’d share my experience. While it may not be business as usual, Shojo Izakaya has adapted to the times and is still offering takeout through pick-up or delivery partners with 15% off your first order – yay! We’re already stuck at home so what could be better than enjoying some delicious food in the comfort of your own home right now?
As an izakaya, Shojo’s menu offers small, shareable plates that are meant to be paired with some good drinks (Disclaimer: I don’t drink often so I came for the food this time). There’s a little bit of everything on the menu: grilled options, raw options, rice and noodle plates, and more. I will note that the menu is not as traditional as other Japanese spots. Nevertheless, I found the food to be really good and still reminiscent of many Japanese favourites, just with a bit of a modern twist.
So for food…
I would say that Shojo’s version of karaage is their Koji Fried Chicken ($8.50). The chicken here was a dark meat, so it was super moist! The batter was well seasoned and I liked the ginger ponzu sauce that it came with. Overall, a great dish to try.
The Fries ($7.50) at Shojo were also a hit and easily one of those orders that I could’ve kept picking at. This dish consisted of shoestring fries, fried to perfection, topped with seasoning and nori. Although the menu described the sauce it came with as a caviar spicy mayo, it just tasted like regular spicy mayo to me – not complaining though, cause what’s not to like about spicy mayo?
One dish that I was particularly excited about trying was the Mushroom Cream Udon ($13.00). If you know me personally, I am a big fan of carbonara udon which I normally get from other izakayas in the city. While the udon here didn’t trump carbonara udon for me, I really liked it still and it was one of my favourite dishes during this visit. The sauce was so creamy and I enjoyed the medley of mushroom, umami flavoring. Plus, those crispy onions were just the cherry on top. Props to Shojo for straying away from the norm and creating their own version of udon!
Before I even stepped foot into Shojo, I also knew that I wanted to try the Halloumi ($9.00) right away. Halloumi is a type of cheese that can actually be deep-fried, without losing its shape.
The cheese was crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and when topped with some arugula – it was a delicious savory bite! My only tip is to eat these while they’re warm because once it was cooled, it felt really oily and wasn’t quite the same anymore. Nonetheless, I’d definitely consider ordering it again.
We also got Assorted Sashimi which was featured on their daily menu. The sashimi was my highlight of the entire meal. It was the last dish standing cause I kept saying “I’ll save the best for last.” I wish the portion came with more because it was so fresh! The fish was soft and buttery, and the scallop, in particular, was nice and sweet. While this specific order may not be available right now, they do have an assorted sashimi and nigiri combo ($35) or individual sashimi orders on their takeout menu that would be very similar.
Lastly – I tried the Dan Dan Mazeman which is unfortunately not currently offered on the take out menu at this time. From my understanding, this is essentially broth-less ramen! While it was packed full of flavour, it unfortunately wasn’t my favourite dish of the night. The noodles and seasonings reminded me of a fancier packaged ramen… a spruced up mi-goreng if you will. I’d likely try another dish next time, but if you’re a big fan of sesame and satay, this would be an ideal noodle dish for you.
All in all, I had a good time at Shojo and thought most of the dishes I tried were very tasty. I’d like to think I got a good variety but there’s still plenty more that I want to try during my next visit. When we’re not socially distancing, their space would be the perfect spot to hang out with a few snacks and drinks – so keep it on your list of places to check out. In the meantime, you can still take advantage of their take out menu and enjoy their food at home, check out their website here.
10425 121 St NW, Edmonton