Any kaiseki restaurants?
It seems like izayaka bars are the new thing in town as so many seem to be popping up around the city, and there has been endless discussion on these boards about Montreal sushi... but what about traditional kaiseki restaurants serving simple fresh seasonal dishes? Are there any Japanese restaurants/chefs in town that offer degustation preparations?
Thanks very much, I will look into it.
I've eaten at Kyo Ya in the East Village and while we didn't end up doing the full kaiseki because my girlfriend at the time was a very particular eater (and they required a full 2 weeks advance notice), I did feel as though we got a fairly good sampling from speaking with the chef and servers beforehand and customizing our dinner. I'd wager our bill at roughly $300+ wasn't that far off. Althogh I must admit that in part due to our selections (ex-girlfriend being a 'safer' eater) - I really wasn't entirely satisfied and didn't feel that our meal justified the cost, yet I've heard it considered by several discerning foodies as the closest to a proper Japanese kaiseki experience on the East Coast.
As far as Toronto, I guess you're probably referring to Hashimoto in the GTA which I've never tried, bit I have eaten at Kaiseki Sakura (TO) before and had a fantastic experience in every regard. It was really terrific! Now I'm admittedly not an expert on traditional Japanese kaiseki and I've heard criticisms about authenticity and preparation, etc. but I really enjoyed the entire dining experience at KS and am eager to delve deeper into what this city has to offer. How far in advance did you have to call to arrange for your dinner at Sakura?
Thanks, have you had the kaiseki at Sakura and was it worth the cost?
Years back it was a regular on my restaurant circuit bit I really haven't been terribly impressed by any experience there, I've always just found it pretty good and passable for Montreal. Perhaps their kaiseki is something else?
I'd love some feedback as $300 (couple) is a lot to spend on any meal and I'm usually pretty discerning... I wouldn't normally part with that kind of money at Sakura.
Yes I have and it was worth it to me, but my questions for you is whether you've had a kaiseki dining experience before and what are your expectations. Kyoto dining is all seasonality and subtlety so if you're into things like experimental maki or isakaya cooking (which is louder in terms of flavor gamut) this won't work for you. The books "Kaiseki" (essentially a treatise on the restaurant Kikunoi) and "Kitcho" are starters if you need some references.
Sakura was the place that I could go and get tonkatsu and tsukemono or an uni bowl and have it taste as close to Japan as I can get in Montreal, but they've changed the menu to accommodate non-Asian clientele who aren't going to order hokke (ever). I've been going on/off for something like 15 years, and it's more or less reliable so long as you remember that it's not a place for experimental food.
Oh - it was more than $150/person when I went because I elected to have certain ingredients and sake pairings. Taking out the alcohol costs, it wasn't the most expensive meal I've had in Montreal (that goes to La Chronique) and it's relatively inexpensive in the context of ryori kaiseki; there is a place in Toronto that was charging $700/head and it can get very expensive very fast in Japan itself.
Still a fairly high amount of coin, so perhaps go talk to them before electing to go ahead with the experience?