Jatoba is a favourite among business diners, but it also draws people who know a thing or two about Japanese-inspired cuisine. The modern-yet-totally-Montreal feel of the place hits you the moment you walk in the door, and the terrace is as delightful as the dining room—just perfect for an after-work bite. Chef Olivier Vigneault’s creations, however, are what the foodies come for. Vigneault has the credentials, having worked at Yuzu, in Quebec City and Park in Montreal, among others, and his dishes are both sophisticated and spectacular. For beef lovers, there’s the 1855 filet mignon ($46); fish lovers will want to try the grilled red tuna tataki ($42). If you’re pressed for time and like the idea of a Tokyo-style lunch, Jatoba offers a great bento box for $29.
1184 place Phillips • jatobamontreal.com
This place brings to mind some of the great restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto, with its minimalist, wood-based décor, soft music and discreet service. The atmosphere is hushed, even when packed with diners, and Jun I does draw a great number of sushi and sashimi lovers who can’t get enough of the amazing fish served here. There is absolutely nothing flashy about this restaurant; what’s on the plate is what counts. Chef Junichi Ikematsu has put everying into a simple menu featuring outstanding ingredients and a wine list of private-import sakes. Lunch is ideal for a first visit: for $29, you get an appetizer, a choice of 13 sushi/sashimi and dessert. It’s the perfect way to fall in love with Japan.
156 avenue Laurier Ouest • juni.ca
Welcome to Japanese dining, popular-style. Here, a diverse clientele crowds in to slurp ramen, the soul food of Japan. Plenty of Montrealers have already fallen for this hip little spot that serves a smashing tonkotsu ramen. Made with pork bones, the soup is rich, flavourful and delicious, and $13 will satisfy the biggest appetite. They also serve a chicken broth ramen (kara) and a vegetarian option. But, be prepared to wait for your turn at the table: there are no reservations and there’s usually a line. That, however, is just an added attraction, since the people-watching is right up there, with the food!
4185 rue Drolet • yoka.ca