it seems like montreal is really getting sushi crazy. so many little sushi shops popping up. most of them haven't a clue
i have had some in this city, but all the times i have, it has been below par. It's kind of like comparing cheese wiz to st.andre...or maybe a kit-kat to swiss chocolate. anyway...if there is someone out there who knows sushi and can recommend a spot where the sushi is great (atmosphere and service not important), let me know
I don't really have a clue about sushi either - I just eat it. One place I really like is Miyako, on Amherst just above Ste-Catherine. The owners are japanese, but the chefs and crew are mostly vietnamese. I find their sushi excellent; the fish is fresh, well prepared, and they have several unusual rolls that I like a lot (e.g. the Miss Saigon, which is like a vietnamese spring roll version of sushi). They're probably not 'sushi-ly correct', but who cares if it tastes great ?
Another place that many of my friends rave about is Maiko (387 Bernard O.), but I haven't tried it yet.
Well here are my two cents:
- Kaizen (St.Catherine near Atwater): Sometimes great, sometimes so-so. Overpriced but nice venue.
- Shodan (Metcalfe): Okay sushi. Used to be great a couple of years ago, but average right now. Their specialty rolls are interesting and different but overpriced and some lack punch. I recommend sitting at the sushi bar for better service. DO NOT go in large groups (10 or more). You'll end up waiting forever and the service lags the more your are.
- Maiko: Great sushi. Love the atmosphere.
- Miyako: Yummy!
- Sakura(de la Montagne): Sushi is so-so. I usually go there more for their udon or bbq eel platter.
- Wi-Sushi(west island St Jean): Don't bother
- Okane(Ville Stl/Brossard): Not much on atmosphere, but best bang for your buck. Pretty tasty.
Kaizen is rated in several places as one of the best, if not the best Sushi joint in Montreal, for example, it's #1 in the 2005 Mirror Readers Poll,
Well then, I say don't expect much for Montreal Sushi because if that's the best, it is definitely NOT WORTH IT!!! And this is only the second time I've eaten in a "real" Japanese resto but if you have any taste in food at all, it's easy to see how this place falls short.
My critique would begin with the first item served: My drink. This gin and tonic cocktail glass arrived 7/8ths filled with ice and liqueur, so there was NO room for me to add the tonic water. Also, when ordering, I asked for a half of a lime, suggesting that I wanted a limey taste to my drink, however the lime was totally dry, no juice, as I demonstrated to my fellow dinners. To the meal, the sushi looked generally dry to me and the items were generally bland tasting. Returning from the restroom, I looked at the items in the bar display as I said "hello" to the prep team, and the items in general reminded me of what I see in the lower quality fish counter at one of my local groceries, compared to the higher quality counter nearby, where every item seems wet with freshness and good color.
That was very standard fare in my book. I've had better tasting Sushi in the little mom and pop shop on Ontario Street (when they roll it fresh for me).
So, one more blow to my fading image of Montreal as a great cuisine city. I'm beginning to believe it's mostly hype directed at tourists.
Though I'm guessing it's possible to find a great sushi experience in Montreal, but you probably need to find a person who really knows to locate something really nice...
The Mirror readers' survey is not to be trusted. The reason is that it's skewed to the Mirror readership (I was a poor young Anglo student once too, so no offense to that group, but their tastes in food are not generally very well developed) and, in some cases, to establishments that encourage customers to complete the survey.
Note Eduardo's at the top of the Best Italian category. While passable, and probably a godsend for a student night out, it's so far from the best it's not funny. Or how about Tim Horton's scoring Best Coffee? Carlos & Pepes as Best Mexican has been a long-running bad joke, even in a city where some would say there's no Mexican worth a metro ride. Those few examples should tell you a lot about this survey.
In the specific case of Kaizen (where I've never been, though I did visit Treehouse a couple of times when it was the upstairs sister resto), I understand its heydey is long gone. Specifically, ever since Chef Tri left the building.
re: Mr F
No question about the Mirror's best-of list, it's a joke. You'd be better off to AVOID the restaurants on that list! OK, maybe that's a bit harsh (Eduardo's is OK for the price I guess), but when Tim Horton's gets the 'best coffee' award, your conspiracy antennae had better be twitching.
I think I'll be going to Jun I now I've heard good things about it. I mentioned this in another reply about a little sushi place(mostly take-out) on Laurier E./Marquette. I saw a review in the Gazette and the owner use to work in treehouse or kaizen. he's a famous montreal sushi chef but of course can't remember his exact name. I think it's called le petit tru.
re: Yummy Stuff
It's called Tri Express, after the chef Mr. F references above.
While you couldn't call Montreal a destination sushi city, there are a few standouts, Jun I chief among them. The Mikado bars on Laurier and Monkland, Zen Ya on Ste-Catherine (by most reports) and, for takeout, Sushi Volant on Rachel can also deliver the goods.
ghosty, I feel I'm giving away my own secret sushi place, but what you said about atmosphere & service not important made me sympathize since I'm the same way. What I want is Good Food, regardless, & for sushi it has to be fresh and not just good, but excellent. My fav. place for sushi is (I've been to Mikado etc. but this is better IMO; oh, &I loathe the chain sushi places!)
Tataki, 61 Duluth East. Small, no-glam eighbourhood 'mom & pop'place. They make it right there while you wait, there's just a few tables, they do take out as well. Fresh, inventive. Lunch combos or 'party plate' combos you can have there or take out, like I said. They have a vegetarian combo that a couple of my friends always have which is very good. Fish is good (love the mackarel). Check it out, just east of St. Laurent.