We’ve been hearing about Saint Sushi Bar for quite some time. Montreal has its superstar sushi chefs importing their own fish, preparing it exquisitely and wowing the city, but what happened to affordable sushi? We must admit we’ve become sushi snobs, but most people still prefer an affordable maki roll over the freshest piece of sashimi with minimal adornments. But we’re not most people …
We are more of a quality over quantity type-of-girls but we often hear the same complaint, especially from the meat head guys we call friends, that they leave sushi restaurants either poor or hungry. Blah blah blah! So everyone told us that this was not the case with Saint Sushi Bar in the Plateau. It was affordable, plentiful and delicious, definitely a step above all you can eat sushi, which is a punishment for your taste buds, but a step below restaurants with superstar sushi chefs that focus on wowing your palate and neglect your wallet.
We had a reservation at Saint Sushi Bar but the table before us wasn’t leaving and we had to wait 30 minutes for our table. We were hungry and aggravated. They gave us green tea while we waited, they were actually really nice, but we were starving. The place is so small that they asked us to wait outside and it was freezing, it was a bit chaotic and disorganized but we managed. Our biggest point of contention is that they don’t have a liquor license… and sushi without sake is a crime. Going out for dinner without a nice drink is for pregnant women and people in AA, we are neither. Bah! A nice cocktail would have remedied the wait.
Potato was back in town so we all got together to spend time with him. Sweet Pea and P’tit Soeur had been to Saint Sushi Bar before, so they made it easy for everyone and ordered for us. Such nice, yet bossy, girls. They recommended the menu degustation that was 23.50$, tax included and according to them more than enough food for all the boys that we were eating with. But no one trusted them, so the boys ordered salmon, tuna and shrimp nigiri, and Diva #1 ordered tuna and Hamachi nigiri.
We were impressed to see Hamachi on the menu, this white fish is more common in more expensive or “fancier” sushi restaurants. The problem with nigiri sushi is that it is extremely reliant on the freshness of the fish, it isn’t like a maki roll that is more reliant on the unique combinations of ingredients. The nigiri were good but not something that we would go out of our way to order again; they all kinda tasted the same.
Besides the nigiri, everything else in this review is part of our degustation for 23.50$, but we included the individual prices of each dish. Ordering the degustation is really worth it, they definitely make it affordable.
Sashimi is the first part of the degustation. The tuna and salmon sashimi was topped in a sake reduction, with green onions, and plenty of julienned green apples for a tart bite. Again the unique taste of the sashimi didn’t really come through, the salmon and the tuna tasted the same, but the sake reduction and green apples went well with the general taste of fish.
Sweet Pea and P’tit Soeur were ridiculously excited when the Sapin de Noel sushi arrived. Little towers of plenty of shredded tuna, and lobster, depending on which one you tried were mixed with green onions and tempura. They stood like little Christmas trees on a simple crispy cracker base. They were fun little mouthfuls.
But then the maki arrived, and the disappointing sashimi and nigiri was forgotten because the maki is what Saint Sushi Bar is truly all about. All of them fun and unique, our favourite included the Michael Jackson Maki that was deep fried with enoki mushrooms, and the lovely Bob Marley Maki with thinly sliced tuna and salmon surrounding the maki roll.
They even had a maki roll named after our dear Sensei, well we like to think that, but really it was to commemorate the sushi chefs’ own sweet Sensei. We enjoyed the maki platter at Saint Sushi Bar, and for the price there isn’t really much to complain about. It was varied, tasty and the highlight of our meal. Our biggest caveat is that they don’t have a liquor license, but to be fair, we’re complaining because we got into a huge fight during our dinner that we are sure could have been prevented had we all been properly lubricated with sake. The Divas can tolerate almost anyone with alcohol at their lips and food in their belly. Oh well! You can’t win them all…
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 424 Duluth, Bob Marley maki, H2L 1A3, Japanese Food, Maki, Michael Jackson Maki, Montreal Japanese, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Sushi, Nigiri, Plateau, Saint Sushi, Saint Sushi Bar, Sashimi, Sushi, Sushi Bar