Well Worth The Wait
Type of Cuisine: Authentic Japanese Food
Where did you have it: Montreal, Quebec
How much?: $35/person incl. txs and drinks
Rate it 1 to 10 : A 9 out of a possible 10
Long live restaurateurs who take a chance! This unique Japanese restaurant takes the alternative route in the sushi-crazed Montreal market. It is an establishment typically known in Japan as a izakaya, a type of bar that serves food more substantial than a simple watering hole. In my opinion, the food was not only a great accompaniment to the various alcoholic Japanese drinks or my lovely Sapporo, but an out-of-this-world culinary experience.
I don’t really know much about Japanese food and have not really ever had an attraction to sushi, so when my friend suggested this restaurant, I was not very enthusiastic. My curiosity for discovering new types of food was the main drive in accepting his invitation. This drive dwindled when I saw the line-up outside of the restaurant. The wait was going to be about one hour – I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Luckily we struck up a conversation with the people in front of us and time just sped up. I am sure this scenario happens often which adds to the charm of the restaurant. I entered Kazu with its great aromas, already buzzed from my encounter.
Our waitress was beyond cute, so sweet and very quick. The open kitchen was great, it added an additional excitement to the already lively atmosphere of the restaurant. We started off with the assorted pickle platter and pan fried dumplings. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in pickled foods coming from a Russian background, and I have to say the Japanese pickled plate was ridiculously good, a great side order to any cold beer or sake. The dumplings were very good as well, but I will not order them again just because there are so many other dishes to discover.
We then ordered two main dishes, the shrimp okonomiyaki and the chicken bibimpap. The shrimp okonomiyaki is a potatoe-based batter with added shrimps which is pan fried in the shape of a pancake and topped with lettuce and puffed rice. The special sauces were a mix of a sweet tasting brown sauce and a mayonnaisy white sauce. The bibimpap is sticky rice and BBQ chicken topped with a fried egg and garnished with lettuce. The first sauce of this dish is mixed in with the rice and the second with the lettuce. You have to mix all the ingredients together like a salad and the result is just phenomenally good. That is the best explanation I can give. The food is so foreign to me, the tastes so new, that all I can say is go try it.
It’s been a while since I last tried something that surprised me so much. I couldn’t distinguish any known flavors yet it all felt like home in a way. My experience at Kazu was just so enjoyable that even the wait seemed like a great experience. I wish them all the best and I can’t wait to go back!
Arrive early! They do NOT take reservations.
1862 St-Catherine Street West