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marblebag Feb 14, 2014 10:26 AM

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. g
    Glaff RE: marblebag Feb 14, 2014 11:49 AM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glaff
      SnackHappy RE: Glaff Feb 14, 2014 12:05 PM

      The menu is on their website.


    2. e
      EaterBob RE: marblebag Feb 14, 2014 12:12 PM

      Did they tape your $20 bill to the wall?

      1. cherylmtl RE: marblebag Feb 15, 2014 10:30 AM

        How does it compare to Imadake or Iwashi?

        2 Replies
        1. re: cherylmtl
          marblebag RE: cherylmtl Feb 17, 2014 10:18 AM

          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
            cherylmtl RE: marblebag Feb 17, 2014 11:22 AM

            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. p
          ponyup RE: marblebag Feb 17, 2014 11:42 AM

          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
            Shattered RE: ponyup Feb 17, 2014 08:35 PM

            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
              ponyup RE: Shattered Feb 18, 2014 05:19 AM

              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. t
            twinkie83 RE: marblebag Feb 19, 2014 02:46 PM

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

            1. p
              pkzilla RE: marblebag Feb 25, 2014 09:13 AM

              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
                pkzilla RE: pkzilla Feb 25, 2014 09:18 AM

                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

                "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
                  ponyup RE: pkzilla Feb 25, 2014 04:43 PM

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

                  1. re: ponyup
                    pkzilla RE: ponyup Feb 27, 2014 09:59 AM

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

              2. c
                CaptCrunch RE: marblebag Feb 25, 2014 09:28 AM

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

                1. g
                  Glaff RE: marblebag Apr 2, 2014 10:11 AM

                  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
                    lagatta RE: Glaff Apr 2, 2014 11:12 AM

                    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
                      Glaff RE: lagatta Apr 2, 2014 11:53 AM

                      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
                        kpaxonite RE: Glaff Apr 2, 2014 07:09 PM

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

                        1. re: kpaxonite
                          Glaff RE: kpaxonite Apr 2, 2014 07:41 PM

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

                    2. re: Glaff
                      marblebag RE: Glaff Apr 2, 2014 01:09 PM

                      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
                        Glaff RE: marblebag Apr 2, 2014 01:22 PM

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

                        1. re: marblebag
                          Fintastic RE: marblebag Apr 2, 2014 04:24 PM

                          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. s
                        Siumaieater RE: marblebag Apr 3, 2014 01:18 PM

                        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...

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