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Saka-Ba*:

New Ramen Bar by Junichi

RESTAURANT JAPANESE PLATEAU CASUAL <$20

(*) This establishment is now closed.

The Pitch

Earlier this year, acclaimed chef Junichi Ikematsu from Jun-I decided to join the Japanese cuisine rejuvenation movement that's sweeping across the city by opening his own ramen bar in the Plateau.  We showed up on a Tuesday night sans reservations (they don't take any) and had to wait a good fifteen minutes before sitting at the rich, red wood bar that twirls along two of the dining room's walls.

tagged:  CAN'T RESERVE THE WAIT

The Food

The concise, "local/organic/homemade"-laden menu features three ramen variations followed by a dozen starters.  Those are very meager in portion, but at $4-$6, who's complaining?  They are also plated in a way that's conducive to sharing in a group.  There is lastly a drinks menu for cocktails, beer and sake.

Gin/Gin thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Cocktail

Cocktail

$10

$10

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Gin/Gin

"gin, ginger, egg white"

Kimchi Nappa thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$4

$4

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Kimchi Nappa

"fermented napa cabbage with Saka-Ba spices"

Tako Kiuri thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$6

$6

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Tako Kiuri

"octopus salad with a spicy sauce"

Yaki Tori thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$6

$6

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Yaki Tori

"grilled organic chicken skewers (2 pcs)"

Kara Age thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$6

$6

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Kara Age

"fried organic chicken, spicy mayo"

Tori Shio Ramen thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Main

Main

$13

$13

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Tori Shio Ramen

"chicken & salt broth, pan seared upper leg chicken, fried onions, bean sprouts, green onions"

tagged:  GOOD FOR SHARING

The Verdict

We came out of Saka-Ba tonight thinking the food was certainly satisfying and nicely-presented, but somehow lacked a bit of sizzle.  We're not exactly big ramen fans or connoisseurs, but we were expecting a little more oomph from chef Junichi.  Saka-Ba is still a nice addition to the Plateau, but we won't give it a final verdict this soon after opening.

tagged:  DESERVES A RETRY

Price per person:  $18.50

Saka-Ba

Closed

1279 rue Mont-Royal Est
H2J 1Y4
514-507-9885

Saka-Ba! on Urbanspoon

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514eats

Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink.  We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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