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Biiru

This new izakaya opened to the public on February 11 2014. I was the first customer to arrive and the rest of the customers were under 30. I'm not Japanese but I eat a lot of Japanese food so I think I know what's good.

Chicken thigh yakitori was well grilled and lightly seasoned but came with no sauce so it was bland.
Salmon chunk wrapped in nori yakitori also came with no sauce. No salt made this dish even blander.
Chicken kara-age used a weird batter and was very greasy. I had a pain in my stomach after eating this dish. It came with a nice yuzu mayo sauce.
Bowl of rice with lukewarm rice. WTF!

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  1. What else is on the menu, from what you remember?

    1 Reply
    1. Did they tape your $20 bill to the wall?

      1. How does it compare to Imadake or Iwashi?

        2 Replies
        1. re: cherylmtl

          Imadake has more food choices but I don't eat 2/3 of their food. Iwashi has less items (smaller space) but everything I had there so far is worth a repeat. Misoya is my ramen of choice in Montreal.

          1. re: marblebag

            So, in essence, not worth wasting the time with Biiru, compared to the others (both of which I visit regularly)? And I agree that Misoya definitely has the best ramen.

        2. I also went on opening night.
          Chirashi Zushi - listed under the "raw" section of the menu and promising salmon sashimi. IT DID NOT INCLUDE A SINGLE PIECE OF SASHIMIi! WTF?! Closest thing to raw was the scant bit of roe. It was tasty, but if you're going to advertise sashimi, put some in! Totally not worth the price without it. It set the tone for a mediocre meal.

          Karaage - agree with marblebag. I also had stomach pain afterwards. There were 2 pieces that had mysterious globby bits, and because of the dim lighting, it was a matter of "not sure if fat or undercooked...". The batter was minimal and seemed like watery tempura batter. No crispiness whatsoever. You get 5 pieces. Sauce was the highlight to the otherwise bland chicken.

          Yasai Tempura - consisted of 4 eggplant, 4 rubbery-as-heck mushrooms, 2 sweet potatoes and 2 chilies. They were pretty standard (think Tokyo Sushi). This assortment would be much better without mushrooms and instead more sweet potato.

          Martini (don't remember the name( - teeny tiny. Tasted like vodka cranberry with some gold flecks. $8

          So overall, not really that good. Maybe it will improve over time. Still annoyed about the sashimi... We really should've complained. We only slightly brought it up when paying when we said to the waitress "we thought there'd be salmon in the rice bowl," to which she replied "salmon?" and then walked off.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ponyup

            Dude, what?! The thing at the end where she walked off - I would've asked for a manager, if it was too late to refuse to pay. That sounds really scammy.

            1. re: Shattered

              The person I was with was way too annoyed at that point and just wanted to leave. If you fail to include a main ingredient in a dish on your opening night, that doesn't bode well for the future of the restaurant.

              Also the menu isn't that big, so kitchen and wait staff should really know what should be in each dish. So Biiru is blacklisted for now.

          2. their menu sounded good but if that's the kind of experience one will get, i'm staying away. a shame

            1. And here I was hoping it would actually be good. I'll give them a few months to get better though and then see if it's worth it...hopefully they improve, but so far it just seems like another bland addition to the food scene :P

              3 Replies
              1. re: pkzilla

                Also I should add, the owner responded to reviews on tripadvisor....and instead of adressing the problems he just defends himself with how good everything is (He also keeps saying how customers say they are the best)...sounds like an ass :P
                http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_...

                "You described the Kara-age as "bland". Effectively, the special twist for that item, at biiru, is the batter. The fact of not only using cornstarch in our mix, makes our chicken more crispy and tasteful. "

                Yeah no.

                1. re: pkzilla

                  Interesting to note that I was not the only one who was missing the sashimi from the chirashi... Very shady.

                  1. re: ponyup

                    Yeah I noticed that too, and the chef's reply about it being generous. I'm avoiding this place like the plague now.

              2. Thanks for the reviews guys. I guess I'll stick with Imadake and kazu!

                1. Good review here: http://cultmontreal.com/2014/03/biiru...

                  "Many of the opening-night issues I read about on Chowhound seem to have been resolved: the fried chicken came with a tart sauce and a small clump of céleri-rave, which gave the lightly fried bird the kick it needed, and the salmon & nori was dabbed with a thick, hoisin-esque sauce that lent it some necessary sweetness without erasing the fish flavour"

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Glaff

                    It's dead-centre in downtown location would make it an interesting option if we know anyone coming here for a short business trip and staying in a central city hotel.

                    Are there any vegetarian options?

                    1. re: lagatta

                      2 salads and the gyoza can be vegetarian. Not enough to go back for me even if everything was good.

                      Seems to be working really well with the business crowd at lunch when I was there. But it's quite expensive. I think the ramen was 15$, which makes it the most expensive ramen bowl in town.

                      1. re: Glaff

                        With or without tax,,, thats about the same as ramen misoya where some are definitely more than that

                        1. re: kpaxonite

                          Without. Misoya is now 9 or 10$ with the price drop.

                    2. re: Glaff

                      The article erroneously mentions Bistro Izakaya as "beating the (izakaya) trend by nearly a decade".

                      Their history of Japanese joint appearances is also wrong.

                      Why should I trust anything else that is written?

                      1. re: marblebag

                        Because we care more about the food than the history of izakaya?

                        1. re: marblebag

                          I noticed this too. Imadake, originally Godzilla's, opened well after Kazu, although maybe they didn't intend to list these in historical order.

                      2. Went yesterday. Had the ramen. Everything about it was all wrong, starting with the soggy boston lettuce leaf they dunk in there. They also put a large mushroom which is cold in the middle. The broth basically tastes of mushrooms. The pork belly is chewy. And it cost 17$ total, only for the ramen...