For a handful of years, I‘ve been hearing of a well-received sushi joint in the Plateau called Saint Sushi. While I haven't gotten around to trying it, news came out last year that a second location would open up in my neighborhood of Westmount.
After a lunch and takeout sampling over the summer, tonight I walked in with my family after picking the kids up from school for an early dinner at 5:30PM. The place was empty but for two groups at that time, yet we were told we would have to free our table by 7PM. It was a school night and we were not intending on lingering around; so I did not make a fuss over that.
tagged: NO NEED TO RESERVE
Situated on the posh Greene Avenue, the ten-month-old eatery features a deep and narrow interior with tables to the right and a bar to the left. Décor is simple and subdued; with the handsome sushi bar and hanging planters taking center stage. The vibe is young – staff and patrons alike – and fun; hip-hop beats were the order of the day – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony anyone?
tagged: BRING THE KIDS
I'm not sure who started using celebrity names for dish titles, but in 2019 it's getting lame. An extensive drink menu lists custom cocktails, sake, wines, beers and spirits. Musicians are peppered throughout the food menu, ranging from an Elvis salad to Michael Jackson and Tupac maki rolls, to name a few.
A page of starters is followed by two pages of sushi; ending with a tasting menu and lunch/dinner combos. I could not help but notice the limited fish/seafood choices; only five types of nigiri/sashimi are on offer while three quarters of the menu uses tuna, salmon or both.
The salads and nigiri we ordered were ordinary while the "Christmas trees" – cones of fish tartare on rice crackers – were delicious and fun. The highlight – and really what Saint Sushi is all about – is the creative, beautifully-rolled and tasty assortment of maki, served on platters for the whole table to share. However, at an average of $3 per bite, your meal can cost you dearly!
Our young waiter had this nonchalant, couldn't-be-bothered demeanor and lacked professionalism. I get irked when I have to resort to pointing at menu items to place my order. Next, any time I needed anything, he would excuse himself to go fetch his notepad. Later on, dishes arrived so quickly, it felt like the staff was rushing to have us out early to make room for the following time slot.
Stepping out of Saint Sushi, I could not help but give kudos to this newcomer for making Westmount feel young and vibrant. A busy and boisterous 7PM Tuesday service is impressive considering the plethora of sushi options – old and new – right around the corner.
With long-time fixtures Kim Sushi Bar and Kashima sticking to a traditional approach, the more recent Sushi Crystal offering an all-you-can-eat formula and one-year-old Ryu committing to sustainable sourcing, the nearby competition is fierce and diverse.
Saint Sushi's distinguishing factor may be its original, delicious maki, but alas I found the spot to be pricey, narrow in choice and lacking in hospitality. So while I can extol the virtues of the kitchen staff, I can't say the same about the cardinal sin committed by the front of house.
tagged: PLAN B.
Price per person: $31.72
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.