Our friends have been recommending Côba for awhile now, this little BYOW sushi restaurant on Laurier that has an excellent reputation. Actually, we prefer BYOS over BYOW, for Bring Your Own Sake, which is more à propos for a sushi restaurant. Although we mainly stuck to sushi, Côba is also a Thai and Vietnamese restaurant with various chicken, beef, seafood and noodle dishes.
Unfortunately, this was not the season for their Lobster Rockefeller that all our friends were raving about! We were at Côba for P’tit Soeur’s birthday and she whole heartedly recommended this dish. We started with the Tentation which is from their specialties menu. Shrimp tempura, caviar, avocado and fried onions are in a maki roll and topped with spicy salmon and caviar, similar to the more common Rainbow maki roll.
Côba is so much more than traditional sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls, they exceed what you would expect from a BYOW / BYOS sushi restaurant. The Mille Feuilles specialty was a little pile of Asian inspired tuna tartare, mango, caviar and avocado on a crispy shiso leaf. Difficult to eat, it was delicious, the mango added a lovely tartness to each bite.
Sushi pizza is a North American concept that is served in Canada and the North-Eastern US. Actually, a chef from the Atami Sushi restaurant in Montreal credits himself for inventing it in the early 1990s. Sushi pizza is composed of a crispy fried rice patty as a base for slices of avocado, salmon or tuna, and a blended mayo based dressing. At Côba, the sushi pizza is made with tuna and salmon, shiromi (white fish), tobiko, avocado and tempura. It’s piled high with fish and absolutely delicious!
Montreal is also credited with hunan dumplings or what is more commonly known as peanut butter dumplings. They do not exist in China or anywhere else outside North America, they are a North American Asian inspired specialty that is attributed to Montreal. Côba serves shrimp dumplings covered in a delicious peanut butter sauce and topped with green onions. We prefer shrimp dumplings over pork dumplings so we were very happy with this appetizer!
In the end, it is all about the sushi, and we opted for traditional salmon and tuna spicy maki rolls that were delicious. The spicy scallop was a nice treat, it was fresh and there was enough fish in each roll that you can discern when you were having the tuna, salmon or scallop. Côba doesn’t stuff their maki rolls with filler ingredients. The Rock n’ Roll maki was with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, crab, tobiko, asparagus and avocado for something a little different, but let’s face it, we like our sushi spicy!
We didn’t try any of the Thai and Vietnamese dishes, but we promise that we will be back to experiment! The only main that we ordered was the black cod with miso and sake. Not the best black cod that we’ve ever had, the skin could have been crispier, but the fish itself was buttery and flaky, as it should be. We adore black cod and we’ve had it all over the city!
Côba, you were everything that we were promised by our friends, and more! We got very boozy as we brought tons of wine and sake, your specialty sushi and raw items were divine, and we’re intrigued to come back and try more from your extensive menu. Definitely our favourite BYOW / BYOS sushi restaurant.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 1124 Laurier Ouest, BYOS, BYOW, BYOW sushi, H2V 2L4, hunan dumplings, Japanese, Montreal, Montreal BYOW, Montreal Japanese restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Sushi, Montreal sushi pizza, Montreal Thai, Montreal Vietnamese, peanut butter dumplings, sushi Pizza