10425 121 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1L2
Shojo is Edmonton’snewest Izakaya. It’s located in Brewery District, right underneath Wilfred’s. They have ample amount of parking, and also the district has underground heated parking as well. Shojo lends its name from a mythical Japanese spirit that has a fondness for alcohol. Very fitting name for an Izakaya! Izakayas are late night eateries in Japan, serving food that goes well with sake, and are traditionally shared bites.
We came here one night to check it out with a few friends who also live centrally. They have a static menu which stays the same and a ‘fresh sheet’ which they change up so there’s always something new to try. As they are an Izakaya, we definitely had to try a few cocktails!
Shojo’s Whiskey Sour
For cocktails, we tried the Bakumatsu, the Moving Castle, and Shojo’s Whiskey Sour. We did have a few other cocktails, which were all delicious, but as the night progressed, I completely neglected take photos. You’ll just have to take my word for it that they were all delicious. The Bakumatsu is Hakkaisan rice shochu, sombra mezcal, Giffard Lichi Li liqueur, lime, agave, with a shichimi togarashi rim. Delicious! Nice, citrusy, and packs a punch. Really nice cocktail. The Moving Castle was my favourite cocktail of the night, however. Strathcona Spirit’s badland seaberry gin, Hakutsuru awayuki sparkling sake, muddled shiso, lemon, simple syrup, vegan egg white, and fee’s peach bitters. Lastly, Shojo’s whiskey sour comes with Nirasaki whiskey, homare strawberry nigori sake, ginger-honey syrup, egg white, angostura. Delicious drinks! We definitely drank more as the night went on.
For food, we got the mushrooom cream udon, grilled octopus, salmon toro tartare, steak tatare, spicy tuna tartare (can you tell we like tartares? haha), Halloumi, Dan Dan Mazemen, gyoza, Chicken wings, and the Koji Fried Chicken.
Koji Fried Chicken
The Koji Fried Chicken and Chicken wings were both crispy and delicious. The Koji Fried Chicken is like Karaage. Chicken marinated in shio koji, ginger, garlic, double fried and served with a tangy ginger-chili soy sauce. Delicious! The chicken wings we got was fried and served with Tobanjan, which is a chili bean paste, and topped with sesame. Also very good. Off to a good start.
The grilled octupus was one of my favourite dishes! So good in fact, that I completely forgot to take a photo. Take my word for it, it was delicious. It is slow-cooked for hours until fork tender, and then grilled with a roasted garlic butter, served on top of lettuce with their signature dressing. I 100% recommend getting this dish!
Dan Dan mazemen
Dan Dan Mazemen
Mushroom Cream Udon
Mushroom Cream Udon
Two of our favourite dishes tonight were the two noodles. The mushroom cream udon and the Dan Dan Mazemen. The udon is pan roasted with a mushroom medley, garlic, and an umami kombu-soy cream sauce, topped with nori and crispy onion. It’s not often that I like a vegetarian dish more than the meat dishes, but this was very good. Great texture, and the mushrooms gave off tons of umami which made not miss meat at all! Very good. The Dan Dan Mazemen is a brothless ramen which comes with either ground pork or mushrooms, fried with chili oil, chili mustard greens, served with ramen egg, nori, scallion, peanuts, and a spicy sesame sauce. Very tasty! It was on the fresh sheet when I went, and I’m glad it made its way onto their static menu.
Salmon Toro Tartare
Salmon Toro Tartare
Spicy Tuna Tartare
Next, the tartares… It was so very difficult to choose between the tartares, that we decided we better just get all three of them. The salmon toro tartare is served with onion, scallion, house chili sauce, tobiko, and served with crostini. Delicious! I really liked the flavours of this tartare. Very enjoyable. The spicy tuna tuna taretare is served with Shojo’s house hot sauce, sweet soy, onion, garlic paste, scallion, tobkito, and served with crispy lotus chips. Also pretty good, but the table preferred the salmon toro a bit more. Lastly, the steak tartare. This is beef tossed in a sweet and spicy tobanjan sauce, quail egg, garnished with a 7-day house cured egg yolk, fried garlic chips ad scallions, and served with grilled crostini. Very bright and delicious! Really enjoyed the seasoning of the steak tartare. It’s a bit different from the other ones I’ve had in the city but quite enjoyable.
Another couple of dishes we had was the halloumi, and the wagyu dumplings. The halloumi is a grilled semi-hard brined cheese, served with baby argula and their signature dressing. Nice texture and enjoyable to eat, but for me, I preferred their other dishes over this one. Their wagyu dumplings were crispy, light, and tasty. Also another dish that was not bad, but one that I would opt out for their other dishes.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Shojo. Everything we had was on average very good and exceeded our expectations. Definitely a good addition to Edmonton’s food scene. Definitely check them out if you haven’t yet!