As Japanese food addicts, we simply could not resist the temptation of trying one of the best japanese restaurants in Montreal – Kazu. After reading numerous reviews online, JW and I were very excited about going to Kazu!
Arriving the restaurant at 8:15pm, we were lucky enough to skip the usual one-hour line up and got seated at the bar after 10 mins. The lively atmosphere highly resembled Guu from Toronto and the severs were very friendly and happy. Please be noted that the Kazu is pretty small and is best for a group of 2-5/6 at most.
We first started off with yakitori - grilled chicken leg brochette. The meat was extremely juicy and tendered. It tasted like those grilled skewers with teriyaki sauce (they normally offer it with salt and teriyaki sauce ) from most Izakaya restaurants but much richer in flavour without being too salty.
Then, we had Kazu’s famous Salmon & Tuna Bowl. Not very surprisingly, this quickly became our favourite dish that we had to come back to Kazu once again before heading back to Toronto mainly because of this. The Salmon & Tuna Bowl came with greens, salmon, tuna, rice and crispy noodles sitting on top. However, what made this dish so special was Kazu’s secret sauce. While JW and I were sitting at the bar, we secretly observed how this dish was prepared and we saw that at least a few different sauce were added to the bowl. When mixed together, the sauce tasted like a salad dressing that was sweet and sour at the same time with a hint of sesame oil. The sauce highly complemented with the greens, rice and sashimi. It did an amazing job of bringing all of them together and made a wonderful dish. The crispy noodle added an interesting texture to the salmon & tuna bowl, harmonizing with the crispiness of the greens.. Although this dish can be shared among a group of people and treated as an appetizer, I personally think that I can finish one bowl all by myself as an entree because it was just too good.
Next, we had the grilled big shrimp. It was nothing like I expected when I ordered this. It looked like something I would find in an Italian or French restaurant, especially when it came with mashed potato at the bottom. The shrimp were big tiger shrimps and this type of shrimp always have the ‘Bouncy’ texture. The sauce was hard to describe but it was really good. Nevertheless, it was the sauce that made very impressive.
While lining up, we asked one of the customer (who was a Japanese!) behind us his opinion about Kazu and what he would recommend. One of the dishes he recommended was the okonomiyaki with shrimp. He said that Kazu’s okonomiyaki is very traditional which is very rare in Toronto. I would say that this dish was not as impressive as the other ones. It tasted just like normal takoyaki (japanese octopus ball), only that it took the form of a crepe and not a ball. Given that the portion was huge, we found the okonomiyaki to be a little overwhelming. It was the only dish we did not reorder on our second visit. But if you love takoyaki and are companied by a group of friends, you should definitely go for this!
When we placed our first order, we were debating between the salmon & tuna bowl and the chirashi sushi. The server said the salmon & tuna bowl is a more popular dish at Kazu and that was what we went after. For our second order, we decided to order the chirashi sushi while still in shock of how amazing the salmon & tuna bowl was. While the ingredients were the same as the salmon & tuna bowl which consisted of greens, tuna, salmon and rice, it was a totally different story. The sauce for the chirashi sushi was less freshening as the salmon & tuna bowl. It was more heavy and salty and with strong taste of sesame as you can see the large amount of sesame presented on the plate. The sashimi was slightly marinated as well and therefore not as fresh as the salmon & tuna bowl but went really well with the sauce. I recommend one to order both the salmon & tuna bowl and the chirashi sushi because they were just so different yet equally yummy.
We are in LOVE with the restaurant. We will definitely visit it again when we go to Montreal. It is just truly amazing as an Izakaya which I believe is the type of restaurant that are in high demand in North America.