Have you ever tried Japanese curry? If you’ve watched enough Japanese anime, you’ll recognize it right away. You can’t miss it because it pops up literally everywhere. Curry is featured in almost every single Japanese cartoon ever made since the beginning of time. A fried cutlet sitting atop a sauce mixed with vegetables with a side of rice. With the plethora of Japanese restaurants in Montreal from sushi to izakaya to ramen, there has never been a place that specializes in this dish. Until now! From the same team who bring you the trifecta of iconic powerhouse Japanese eateries, Imadake, Ichigo Ichie and Yokato Yokabai, come Taiga Karé. Montreal’s newest and ONLY Japanese curry house.
Picture a dimly lit alley steps away from the hustle and bustle of a typical Tokyo street. Along a row of wooden doors sits a hidden oasis of food and drink where locals congregate and strangers make new friends. A mix of J-pop and Japanese oldies fill the air and ride a smoke scented draft wafting from the kitchen. Small bites of fried goodies and raw seafood, pepper the tables and glimmers and random lights are caught on the edges of cocktail glasses. This is Hanzo Izakaya. Owned and operated by the same team that brought to you Escondites, biirū, La Habanera, Kao Lua, and Gokudo, Hanzo Izakaya is Tokyo at night where wisps of neon lights creep in through noren curtains inviting you into a familiar place for a drink.
Finally, an izakaya in the Plateau that does it right – a spot focused on drinks and awesome next level pub grub. I hit up Ichigo Ichie in the Plateau for some authentic Japanese tapas. I was aware that the team behind Ichigo Ichie is the same group that’s responsible for the wildly popular Imadake, so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for. If it were anything like Imadake – a party atmosphere on any given evening – I was prepared to “sake-bomb” the night away, but I was wrong.