Monday, July 18, 2011

A good food and friendship roll...yum:)

For some (or a few) very good reasons, Montreal is my favorite Canadian city. Other than the fact that most of my impressionable years as a teenager were spent in this city and that many of my most valued friendships were made here, Montreal is also an amazing mecca when it comes to food. I like to think of Montreal as the best of New York and Europe combined; it has no shortage of amazing restaurants along with a cultural diversity that is really unparalleled throughout the country.
I have been here for two days and have already stocked up on many foodista adventures!

The first one I would like to tell you about, is from last night, when my good friend took me to her favorite sushi restaurant - and she is a bit of a sushi snob:)
The restaurant is called Mikado and is praised for its fresh ingredients and interesting sauces.  My friend comes here so regularly that she is practically part of the family - which is what actually most impressed me with the crew at Mikado...the staff was very effecient and attentive and by the way they eased into various situations around the restaurant, my great experience must be the norm.
I started off with a Litchi Martini and was blown away right off the bat when my server, Darron, brought a whole plate of extra litchis...I did not even have to ask - amazing!
We then proceeded to order a few different things on the menu in order to get a well-rounded perspective. (I should note that we were given a bit of a discount because of my friend's status as a regular, but even still...this type of dining is not exactly frugal...)

We started with their miso soup and seaweed salad, all fairly standard apart form the large and meaty pieces of seaweed on the salad which I loved.  A major highlight was their take on ceviche or a 'Tuna Cup', with big chunks of vibrantly red tuna, avocado, shiso, onions, fish roe and some crispy seaweed layered in a champagne glass.  It went down an absolute treat.

My favorite sushi roll is a toss up between their Paradise - Tara sheet, grilled shrimps, asparagus masago, garlic and spicy sauce (pictued above) and their Hokkaido roll - Salmon Vodka Ponzu sauce, avocado, hom herbs, tempura rice paper topped with grilled scallops.  I also loved their Hanabi roll: eel, avocado, cucumber, tempura and pine nuts.
As mentioned before, Mikado really excels in the simple quality of their ingredients, I believe I had the best piece of smoked salmon last night...hats off!

There were a couple other items we tried, all of which were amazing and although I felt like a giant ball of sushi rice after this meal, there is always room for dessert. We were presented with a beautiful palette of home-made ice cream and sorbets with chocolate fondant in the middle. My favorites: their green tea, which is so creamy and their lemon - a perfect way to tie off a great meal.
I was very impressed with the meal, from start to finish however the highest tribute would be that I went in with very high expectations and was not disappointed...also, after such a full-bodied meal, the fact that I was jealous of the employees sitting down to sushi of their own at the shift's end is itself a major compliment to the restaurant.
It's a good thing I don't live in Montreal, because it would be difficult to keep away from such a fine display of food and friends.

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