In a multicultural city like Montréal, you can find almost every kind of cuisine in every part of the city. A short Métro ride in any direction will open up a fantastic new borough with tastes and flavours for you to discover. Japanese cuisine is one of my favourites. Far more than just sushi, food from the Land of the Rising Sun is so versatile that it spans the entire culinary spectrum, from pub grub all the way to fine dining. Here are some of my much-loved, authentic Japanese restaurants in Montréal.
Imadake Izakaya (4006 Sainte-Catherine W.)
If you’re ever around Shaughnessy Village don’t be frightened if you hear loud thundering claps followed by boisterous cheers. It’s just the patrons at Imadake doing sake bombs! Imadake is Montréal’s go-to place for genuine Japanese pub fare and beverages. All menu items are commonly found on side street izakayas (Japanese pubs) in the heart of Tokyo. Pig out on yakitori, takoyaki, pork belly okonomiyaki, and the establishment’s famous miso gindara—marinated black cod grilled to caramelized perfection. Imadake also has an extensive cocktail menu, as well as Sapporo beer and Gekkeikan sake on tap.
Kyozon (1458 Crescent)
This multi-storey Japanese restaurant and bar is located on Crescent Street, in the heart of downtown Montréal. Kyozon is known for its kaiten—a seemingly neverending sushi service where tiny plates travel on a restaurant wide conveyor belt. Sushi and maki are served on different coloured dishes, with each colour denoting a price. Accordingly, your bill at the end of the meal represents the number of dishes you ate multiplied by the price designated to the dish colour. This spot is also wildly popular for its all-you-can-eat kaiten student lunch special, where for $17, hungry scholars with a valid ID can eat until they’re late for class. Kyozon also offers great Happy Hour and weekend specials.
Kagayaki Shabu Shabu (75 De La Gauchetière W.)
Although shabu-shabu (or Japanese fondue) is popular in the winter months, where hovering over a boiling pot of yummy broth makes sense to keep warm in the colder temperatures, there’s no reason why in the age of air conditioning we can’t enjoy shabu-shabu all year long. At Kagayaki, you’ll be presented with a beautiful array of vegetables, seafood, and meats, along with accouterments and your own personal fondue pot of boiling broth.
Flyjin (417 Saint-Pierre)
Tucked away amid the hustle and bustle of the Old Port, Flyjin is the locale for after-work drinks, a finer Japanese dining experience, and nightlife in a trendy atmosphere. The venue’s izakaya-inspired menu focuses on market-fresh produce, and dishes are prepared using Japanese techniques. Meanwhile, more soigné menu items like miso gratin lobster tail served on crispy soba noodles or tartare gyu (filet mignon tartare, blueberry vinaigrette, chives and egg yolk) take Japanese cuisine to the next level.
We also recommend:
Yokato Yokabai - 4185 Drolet, (514) 282-9991
Azuma - 5263 Boul St-Laurent, (514) 271-5263
Jatoba – 1184 Place Phillips, Montréal, (514) 871-1184
Kyo - 711 Côte de la Place d’Armes, (514) 282-2711
Miso – 4000 Rue Ste-Catherine O, (514) 908-6476
Izakaya Kabocha - 3627 Boul. Saint-Laurent, (514) 845-0727
Bistro Isakaya - 3469 Av du Parc, (514) 845-8226