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The non-sushi Japanese food scene


I'm seeking all your intelligence on Montreal Japanese food of the non-sushi persuasion. High-end or low-end doesn't matter, though low-end is more my style. I'll take anything you've got. Point me towards some good donburi, yakitori, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, tonkatsu.... Whatever you want. Just as long as it's Japanese and doesn't involve fish and seasoned rice.

I'm very curious about Japanese food and I want to try everything this town has to offer. Help me by contributing to this thread and creating a resource all of us can use in the future.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. Azuma in Mile End reportedly has some donburi and other non sushi dishes and I've been meaning to try them. I think they had some good reviews here and there. Sorry this was all I can come up with.

    1. Hiya, this question comes up every once in a while and from what I recall, there aren't a huge number of options unfortunately, but you might want to check out this thread:

      Favourite Japanese?

      1. My favorite is Osaka on Bleury right below Sherbrooke. The service is slow because there are only 1 cook, one sushi chef and one waiter. I typically go as they open and get my meal done in an hour.

        They have most non sushi appetizers I know and they have everything you mention except for tonkatsu which was recently removed (swine flu ?).

        The shabu shabus are made for 2 people so tell me if you want to team up :)

        2137 rue de Bleury, Montréal - (514) 849-3438

        1. For Sukiyaki I go to Toyo on Mountain st Downtown. I love watching them cook in front of you..

          Restaurant Toyo Grillade
          2155 Rue De La Montagne
          Montreal, QC 0
          (514) 844-9292

          I also really enjoy Shabu Shabu at Hanashima in Chinatown for some Japanese hot pot.

          75 De La Gauchetière corner St-Urbain, H2Z 1C2

          They also have a Beni hana http://www.benihanamontreal.com/
          5666 rue Sherbrooke st Est.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Alyson777

            Are you sure you're not confusing sukiyaki (Japanese steamboat) and teppanyaki (Japanese steakhouse)?

            Toyo and Benihana are teppanyaki places. Although if they do have sukiyaki at Toyo, I'd love to hear more about it.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              Yeah I meant Teppanyaki... I have not seen Sukiaki at Toyo... I think I have seen at MIkassa on Peel though. They have numerous locations. http://www.mikasasushibar.ca/

              1. re: Alyson777

                I was less than impressed with the food at Mikasa - perhaps it's improved since my visit, but I don't plan on returning. I found it quite ordinary, certainly not of the quality you'd expect for the prices they're charging, and the service was atrocious. There are many better places for that sort of food.

          2. Sakura Garden has quite a few items that are not fish & seasoned rice.


            1. I reported a while back on a very nice meal at Takara in Cours Mont Royal, where I found the non-sushi items were very enjoyable (The sashimi was very good, the rolls were less to my tastes). Very nice cooked oysters, and an excellent hot pot soup with noodles for the table.

              1. both mentioned here,
                Azuma 5263, boul. St-Laurent (just above Fairmount)
                Osaka 2137, rue de Bleury (just below Sherbrooke)
                are my go-to "authentic" japanese places.

                "low end" could mean alot of things... lets' say they aren't wasting money on decor. Azuma is more of a dining room (not too bright, quiet music), whereas Osaka is basically utilitarian (tho clean and well kept).

                1. A bit OT, but what do they call it when they "wok-fry" a whole mackarel and the skin gets all crispy and delicious? and where can I find *that*?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: afoodyear

                    Woks are not japanese, and I have never heard of or seen this dish... BUT but but but, one of my favorite japanese dishes is a chunk of grilled mackerel. And that is called:
                    saba yaki (or shio saba yaki)
                    shio = salt
                    saba = mackerel
                    yaki = grilled

                    Along the same lines, those in the know can order off menu "hamachi kama shio yaki", hamachi kama being yellowtail tuna neck cut, grilled with salt. Yum.

                    Osaka and Azuma both have these. Enjoy.

                    1. re: bopuc

                      I love love love grilled yellowtail collar. Nice to know there are several places one can get it. But, for the record, yellowtail is not tuna. It's a type of Jack fish. (Amberjack, I think.)

                      1. re: rcianci

                        there ya go. learn something everyday. thanks! :)
                        hamachi is definitly one of my faves, raw or grilled.
                        (i'm a bit dyslexic in odd ways and I am betting I was thinking bluefin tuna heh)

                      2. re: bopuc

                        Hrmm... well, I don't actually mean in a wok, but I think it's sort of pan-fried, except with a lot more oil. Like when the hot oil is used in a large skillet and spooned over the fish to make the skin crispy? I've had it in Vancouver before but not here, and I can't remember what it's called. Surely somethingsabasomething. I just love mackarel :) I'll have to add Osaka and Azuma to the lengthy todo list.

                    2. Karpati gives Takara a positive writeup in today's Hour, reinforcing moh. Several of the non-sushi dishes sound appealing. www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iIDArticle... (godawful pun alert)

                      1. Tokyo Sushi on Ste-Catherine at St-Mathieu near the Fauburg is new-ish. They are all you can eat sushi BUT their menu also had yakitori, udon, gyoza, tempura and a lot of other things besides sushi. There's a review on Google that says the service was terrible, but when I went it was very good.

                        1. Isakaya on Parc offers good home-style japanese food at reasonable prices, in addition to sushi.