I’m starting off this review with an apology, and you’ll see why. I’m often asked which are my favourite restaurants in Montreal. I always answer with the same handful of places because obviously, they are my favourites, but I’ve been lying. Ok, not LYING lying, but I haven’t been 100% honest. Not in the sense that I’m naming places that aren’t my favourites, but I haven’t been mentioning all of them. If there’s one “favourite restaurant” I’m always being asked about it’s Japanese.”Hey Jason, it’s obvious that you’re so ridiculously good looking, but more importantly, where’s your favourite Japanese restaurant in the city?” One of my favourites is Kejaki Sushi in Ville Saint-Laurent.
I recently hit up Le Poke Bar on Crescent to try out the hottest food trend in United States that has finally arrived on the shores of Montreal; Poke (pronounced Puh-KAY… or Poké ici à Québec.) Poke is a fantastic dish of lightly marinated fish or seafood that’s native to Hawaii. I can paint you a picture of grabbing a container full of fresh poke from the closest beachside food store, copping a squat on a sandy beach along the turquoise shores of the Big Island, enjoying fresh line-caught big eye tuna while having the sweet dewy mist caress your face from the crashing waves. Unfortunately, our Montreal Poke scene isn’t as romantic. But if you concentrate hard enough and squint just right, the sounds of the street sweeper knocking down orange traffic cones and hold your breath as speeding cars splash puddles of random street juice onto your pants… it’s like you’re almost there.
Sushi restaurants in Montreal are a dime a dozen. Seems like every neighbourhood has their own local sushi joint where everyone gets their nigiri and maki fixes and lightning jolts of omega-3s straight to their veins. Sure, you’re not going to meet P.K. Subban or pay for your meal with your next car or mortgage payment, you might even end up paying with your gastrointestinal tract for having raw fish that’s prepared on a hot line next to fiery wok pushing out general taos and pad Thais. Don’t get me wrong, these polar opposites are rare and chances are your go-to spot probably satiates any sushi cravings you may have adequately, celebrityless and hygienically. I recently hit up Kaiji in Villeray, a spot I’ve been to once before and promised myself to visit again if I were ever in the area.