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Jun 14, 2010 12:51 PM

Authentic sushi restaurant

I know there are already several threads about the best sushi restaurant in Montreal. But what I am looking for seems different from what was recommended in those other threads.

Are there any sushi restaurants that are very authentic with excellent ingredients? I am not looking for a trendy place, a place that serves sushi and steak, or a place that does french/japanese fusion. I want a place where I can sit at the counter and ask the chef to prepare for me whatever he pleases. Does this exist in Montreal? Actually my preference would be a place outside of downtown.


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  1. "Jun I" and Tri Express ( both on Laurier st) and I've heard good thing about Kaizen (st-catherine west).

    Even if "Jun I" serves (from what I remember) french food, the sushi and the chef, is one of the best in town.


    Tri Express
    1650 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1J2, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Those three restaurants keep coming up in the threads but I am sure I am convinced. I have eaten at Kaizen and at Tri House above Kaizen (not sure if it is still there) and was not impressed with either. Maybe I will try Jun I. The thing is I have eaten at Yasuda in NY and I am really looking for that kind of experience in Montreal if it exists.

      1. re: nextguy

        Tri House closed years ago. It's now Tri Express.

        Tri Express
        1650 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1J2, CA

        1. re: nextguy

          kaizen moved across the street and has a new chef who does amazing tasting menues. i ate a maki withjapanese flounder truffle shavings and scallop. he also keeps a list of his japanese fish, and off menu items on a board behind his sushi bar

          1. re: nextguy

            I don't think any sushi restaurant in Montreal can generally compare to what you can find in NY.

            BUT on occasion depending on what is available (or what the chef can put his hands on ) you can have excellent products prepared very well.


            1. re: Maximilien

              It is frustrating that I can't find something authentic and traditional in Montreal. So often what some consider to be good is instead just trendy. Is there a market in Montreal for a sushi restaurant that doesn't also serve steak à la Vargas? Something simple as a perfectly prepared piece of toro on a pad of rice without adding some strange French fusion? The availability of truly fresh seafood in this city is just frustrating. I don't know if it is true for all seafood but I once read that our crustaceans in particular actually travel from the Maritimes through Boston and New York before coming back up to Montreal.

              1. re: nextguy

                It's not really surprising. All the best sushi cities in North America are on the ocean. And Montreal isn't. By the ocean fresh seafood is easy to get and it's probably where sushi chefs are more likely to settle.

        2. I agree with Maximilien that Montreal's sushi restaurants can't compare to the US at the high end of the market. There is nothing in Montreal like Yasuda (NYC) or Urasawa and Asanebo (Los Angeles) for "authentic" sushi (if you mean traditional Japanese style). However, authenticity (traditional) can be overrated if the restaurant successfully draws inspiration from local tastes and ingredients in ways that further enhance the cuisine. Matsuhisa in LA and Masa in NYC are both very good and very highly rated, but I would not consider them authentic. For example, Matsuhisa incorporates ingredients, seasonings and styles of cooking he learned while living in Peru and Argentina (and also in the US), and the results are unique, flavourful and beautiful. So I would not lament the fact that Montreal sushi restaurants are not "authentic." IMO authenticity is subjective and even fusion can be authentic and can be done properly with the best ingredients and proper blending of tastes whether to take advantage of good local ingredients and/or to appeal to local preferences. Jun-I on Laurier prepares some excellent sushi that probably fits this description with its blending of Japanese and some French traditions. I would not want to see a maki roll slathered with poutine, but then again I once had eel cured with maple syrup and lime on sushi that was delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: panpam

            You raise some good points. I would probably prefer a restaurant that takes advantage of its location and ingredients even at the cost of authenticity. It is just too bad that a lot of places will sacrifice the spirit of the cuisine for the sake of the prevailing trends. I forget on which menu I saw this, but there is a place that sells sushi with truffles. Now I love truffles but isn't this going too far? And truffles aren't even a local ingredient. Another part of me is annoyed by the sheer number of places that offer sushi. EVERY mall in Montreal has at least one place serving it. The sheer availability of low-quality sushi makes it easier for a "fine-dining" restaurant to offer sushi that is just a little bit better and stand out from the crowd.

          2. There is decent sushi, but not excellent in montreal, simply because we don't have the ingredients for it. The fish markets in NYC get to pick the higher quality products before it makes it to us here, so we'll never be as good. And even at that, the best sushi I've ever had was in San Fran and Hong Kong. Beats anything else I ever had.

            But Sho-Dan isn't bad. As for authenticity, hard to say. What made sushi popular to the masses finally is the exploration of the chefs with stuf flike california rolls and all that. Not authentic at all and most places will have those on the menu. Not as many will have great sashimi though.

            Hong Kong Restaurant
            218 Rue Duquette W, Gatineau, QC J8P2Z4, CA

            6 Replies
            1. re: McAttack

              Queen Sushi on Queen Mary has very good sushi and the chef/owner is very willing to create a special request. It is also NOT an all-you-can-eat which right away tells you he values his quality of sushi.

              One of the only sushi places where when you order a salad it is an actual salad sized plate and not a teacup size and it is full of salad.

              Queen Sushi Restaurant
              4999 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3W1X4, CA

              Queen Mary Restaurant
              5504 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1V6, CA

              1. re: McAttack

                I don't know of any sushi restaurants in Montreal that direct import their fish, but a few of the top Montreal restaurants secure their own fish and shellfish supply and avoid local wholesalers. Costas Spiliadis of Milos brings his fish in from the Fulton Fish Market in NYC. Hazel Mah of Piment Rouge brings her fish into Montreal from the Boston Fish Piers.

                1. re: Jasper1

                  Right but this is the problem. Fish and other seafood caught in Canada pass through the US before coming back to us. We inevitably get only the leftovers.

                  1. re: nextguy

                    Have you been to Furusato (formerly Osaka) on Bleury corner Sherbrooke?
                    There is no fusion here and I don't know if their raw fish is the best but everything else is authentic.

                    1. re: marblebag

                      If you know what to order, Furusato is great. I get the Haiwa roll, the veggie tempura roll, and the yellow tail nigiri. Last time I went, was the best visit that I have had and I'm somewhat of a regular.

                      Just want to add that in the few years that I have lived in Montreal, the Asian food scene is really looking up. I have been trying sushi and chinese places across the country, and Montreal is starting to look like a prefered option for me, as odd as that would have sounded 5 years ago.

                2. There is an authentic and locally popular place in Brossard, on Rome blvd called Sushi Yasu. The chef is Japanese, and they often offer specials on the board. There is also a lot of non sushi cooked choices, and everything I've had, especialy the grilled eel on rice has been delicious. This place is quite well known in the Brossard area, and I've seen a lot of Japanese clients there as well. I really like it much better than anyplace downtown, or "fancy".

                  Sushi Yasu
                  1200 Boul Rome, Brossard, QC J4W3H3, CA

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