3339 Boulevard des Sources /Brunswick Boul.
Telephone : (514) 684-3131
Cost: $ 75.37 for two tax & tip included.
Chef Hats: 3.5
I first heard of Maiko Sushi on Bernard Street in the late 80’s, at the time it was one of the first sushi restaurants to pop onto the Montreal restaurant scene. It was a popular place not only for its location but for its fresh sushi, or so I was told by a girlfriend of mine who lived around the corner. She would dine there all the time and raved about how good it was. I never tried the Bernard Street location, but over the years it garnished quite a good reputation and was a proverbial favourite for those near and far until Nov 2016 when it closed for good.
Circa 1997 the second branch of Maiko Sushi opened in the West Island by Chef Maiko herself. This time I was living right around the corner and glad that I could finally get to sample some of their fine Sushi and Japanese speciality after all these years and not have to travel too far.
The West Island branch was a lot posher than the original location and a lot more expensive. Considered fine dining from the onset, it was not a place where you can just pick up and go. The décor was stunning, it had a lounge area for drinks and partying and a cascading waterfall on the side wall. It was the type of place you would go for a special occasion or celebration of sorts. I can count how many times I have been there with one hand in 20 years. Since then it has changed, the waterfall is gone and so is the party section; it has become a more family oriented restaurant. As a family we dine out for sushi a lot, but Maiko Sushi was not always on our list because of the steep prices.
This evening it was time to remedy that and I wanted to bring the next generation to Maiko Sushi. We have literally tried, many times over, most of the Sushi restaurant in the area. Maiko Sushi was a place we had not been to in a while. It remained on my bucket list of places to revisit for last seven years. A visit was overdue.
To my surprise, I found that Maiko Sushi in the West Island is still going as strong as ever. It is always full and very busy. Reservations are required if you go during peak hours and do not want to wait. Service is speedy and food still of good quality. Unwavering, Maiko Sushi has stood the test of time. The décor has changed a little, but it does not look outdated. They have added more tables and chairs to accommodate the demand for more patrons. The menu is relatively the same with all the Japanese favourites, chef specialities and plenty of sushi. The prices are still higher compared to “all you can eat” places, but the experience is more relaxed and finer. The restaurant does tend to get noisy, so it is not totally Zen. Considered a popular place with all age groups, the atmosphere is lively.
Tonight we started our meal by the traditional Oshibori hand towels for cleansing, something only finer Japanese restaurants in Montreal still do. We started by sharing a green tea and an entrée of Gyozas for $ 8.00. Gyozas are Japanese dumplings usually stuffed with some sort of meat and served steamed. At Maiko Sushi they were stuffed with a mix of pork, chicken and shrimp and served crispy with a citrus infused soya sauce. They were delicious; we only got two each which was just not enough. One entrée per person would have sufficed.
For my main meal, I ordered Shrimp Tempura for $ 24.00. A generous portion of six long shrimp coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried. The dish also contained a mix of vegetable tempura. These were crispy and good, not overly oily and fresh. I was content with my choice.
My dining partner had the Sushi Matsu for $ 25.00, with a complimentary Miso soup. Her dish contained 14 pieces of sushi, comprised of a mix of sashimi, maki and a chef special.
She liked her dish, she thought the sushi to be fresh enough and she got four extra sushi’s. The Miso soup was generic but good.
The tea was also complimentary and we were not charged. Our waiter was quick and efficient but not overly friendly or much of a conversationalist. We were in and out quickly and did not linger as our table was needed. Just another casual dinner out, that seemed pretty low key to this foodie.