Speakeasies have a certain allure to them. A speakeasy offers something a little more refined, a chance to disappear in a bar hidden away from the usual hustle and bustle of the Montreal bar scene. Often speakeasies include delicious specialty cocktails, or a refinement of traditional cocktails. Sometimes their cocktails have exotic ingredients, but they almost always have an atmosphere that simply draws you in.
Gokudo means “one path” in Japanese and the team behind this speakeasy are definitely on the right one! They also own Escondite, Biiru, Habanera, and Koa Lua, all in the same section of downtown, creating quite the niche for themselves.
The speakeasy is actually hidden behind Ryōshi, a six-seat restaurant with a small fish shack menu that serves the Japanese bites available at Gokudo. Sneaky Sneaky…
The owners modeled Gokudo after the cocktails bars in Japan, they’ve surrounded the dark space with Asian themed memorabilia. The bar itself sits 45 people, with leather benches, small coffee tables, and plenty of candlelight to set the dark speakeasy mood.
There is a menu of seven cocktails, and they also have sake, Japanese whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, and more. We loved the Hojo Masako cocktail, which immediately grabbed our attention as it uses Hendrick’s gin. It is made with dry sake, nori syrup, lime juice, and kalamansi purée. Kalamansi purée is part of the citrus family with an even nicer tart flavour. The drink was also garnished with a nori leaf to tie in all the ingredients.
Edamame beans are a popular snack in Japan, and at Gokudo, they’re served with Furikake, a Japanese seasoning usually made with dried fish, sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar and salt, as well as butter and fleur de sel. Trust us when we tell you that you’ll want to order more than one serving of this delicious little snack!
Another delicious bite that we’d like to return for is the eel. Cut into small squares and served with rice, the top of the eel’s skin was torched making it crispy, and adding a tasty caramelised flavour. The eel itself was tender and perfectly cooked.
We also tried their salmon handroll, filled with plenty of salmon tartare that had been slightly torched to add a different texture and flavour. We were happy to see that there was salmon throughout the roll and not just in the first bite. The salmon was mild in taste and even a little sweet!
Gokudo is a great addition to the downtown core of Montreal. The cocktails are diligently crafted, the atmosphere is very relaxed, and the food is perfect for sharing with friends. If you’re looking for a new place to have a drink, check out Gokudo, you can thank us later 😉
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 630 Cathcart, downtown Montreal bar, Edamame, Eel, Gokudo Montreal, H3A 2F5, Japanese cocktail bar, Montreal Bar, Montreal Japanese, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Speakeasy, Ryoshi Montreal, salmon handroll