Anyone who has ever looked up restaurants in the Montreal vicinity surely has come across the name KAZU. Impeccably rated, frequently talked about, and always the longest of lines outside the tiny twenty-five seater of a restaurant on Rue Ste-Catherines near Concordia. If there’s one constant in this ever changing world, it is that there will always, always be a line-up outside of KAZU, which likely has you wondering if the hype is justified. The short answer is yes. The long answer is yessssssss.

The general tendency is to think that the end all and be all of Japanese food is sushi. Let KAZU change your mind about that.

With Assistant Taster, AT in town, it went without saying that we would come here. However, there was some hesitation when I said we would go for Japanese food and rightfully so, at that. Unbeknownst to me before moving away from the west coast was the fact that Vancouver is notorious for the abundance of “good sushi.” I say this in quotes because I pretty much grew up eating a lot of asian food everywhere in the Lower Mainland, so when everything offered everywhere meets that standard, good becomes normalized. NORMALIZED. How tragic your life is, Jen. No kidding. Talk about a culture shock when I graced my once-spoiled tongue the sub-par asian food elsewhere.

It is for the same reasons above why I’m hesitant today to ever go out for sushi, bubble tea, or dim sum. My childhood was full of it. The memories of early weekend morning/Christmas Day(ugh) line-ups for dim sum send a nightmarish jolt through my bones. I can’t be the only one here. Don’t get me wrong though, ya girl loves food and probably will still go but the aforementioned are not usually my first choice given the sheer amount of other culinary goodness out there. But I digress.

Going was a given it was the line-up bullshit that was the jarring hurdle since they are constantly busy enough to enforce a no-reservations policy. SOLUTION: arrive 15-30 minutes before doors open for either lunch or dinner to make it in as the first round of guests. If it’s extremely cold (hello, 6 months of out the year?), being one of the first people in line lets you stand inside the double door thingy so you can weather storm of the wait, not in the storm. That fits maybe five people at max. Or four if winter parkas are worn.

We went for lunch but dinner is better since you get to choose the specials written on the walls.


Beef Carpaccio

Very thin beef sashimi with marinade salad.

Really good. Lots of flavour. I’m a sucker for raw dishes so my opinion probably isn’t valid here. Or ever, actually, but I write anyways and here you are, reading it~


48 hours pork bowl

A bowl of rice topped with sliced pork simmered in soy sauce-based mildly sweet sauce.

48 hours because that’s how long the pork is cooked to reach this level of tenderness. The rice was perfection. Good dish but I would probably skip it next time.


Tuna + Salmon Salad Rice Bowl

Tuna and salmon tartar with pickles and marinade salad on vinegar rice.

I make an effort to order different things when I dine at the same place more than once, but this one is the exception to the silly rules we impose on ourselves. The salad was incredibly refreshing. The juxtaposing texture of the soft raw tuna and salmon slices against the crunch of the white noodle garnish is the type of thing people have fantasies about. Favourite for the both of us.


Homemade Soft Ice Cream

Green Tea and Black tea. Egg-free and cream-free.

Oh my goodness, this is some of the creamiest, softest, melt-in-your-mouth ice cream I have ever had. $5 for one scoop of ice cream verges on the pricey side but you’d be foolish to not get dessert.

AT and I have starkly different eating styles. I like to eat every dish at once so my tastebuds explode with flavour, whereas he slowly makes his way from one dish to the other and clean his palate with tea or something in between. To each their own, I suppose.

Last time I went to KAZU for dinner I had the Beef Ribs with Fresh Tomato Sauce, which I wanted to order this time but unfortunately was not offered for lunch. The Beef Rib dish was quite possibly the best thing I have tasted ever. EVER!! I think my tongue reached a new state of euphoria I didn’t know to exist. My date laughed out loud when I said this is what I would request as the last meal on my deathbed. Weird that I didn’t get a second date, so possible correlation or nah? But yes, it was that good.

Kazu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
1862 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montreal, QC H3H 1M1