Shaughnessy Village is full of hidden gems when it comes to Asian food. From ramens, to dumplings to sushi and much more, this neighbourhood next to downtown is a gold mine for Asian food lovers. Miso restaurant stands out for its authentic Japanese cuisine and countless a la carte sushi choices.
Located on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Atwater, a terrace lying below the street level attracts your attention when you pass by that intersection. Their charming terrace can accommodate around 40 people, the suspended lights, trees and plants that decorate the terrace create a very intimate and cozy atmosphere.
When you enter the restaurant, you discover a rather “cozy but chic” ambiance. The open kitchen area gives direct access to the chefs preparing the mouth-watering sushi. The restaurant has two floors that can accommodate up to 130 people; the second floor seems to be a perfect place to host groups. The drink menu offers an interesting selection of sake that will please the connoisseur as well as the amateurs. There is also a small selection of Asian beer that could goes well with the food.
We began the meal with a classic that we all know well; oysters. Usually served raw, their oysters were served differently. They called it shiro miso; it’s a cheese-topped oyster dish. Four enormous sizzling oysters carefully placed in a plate coated with a creamy sauce giving a spicy kick at the end. Do I need to say more?
We decided to have two other appetizers considering how much we liked the first one. Even if the portion was a little small, the tuna tataki was well executed. Served on some asparagus and extra-sharp cheddar, the combination of flavour was really interesting. On the side, pieces of fried ginger were served to go with the tataki. If you like ginger as much as I do, this delightful discovery will make you very happy.
Shrimp odoris are quite similar as steamed dumplings. These tasty, shrimp bites wrapped in won ton style dough, were topped with an extremely creamy and delicious peanut butter sauce.
The last dish ordered before the sushi was the soft shell crab. Its fine breadcrumb coating added a crunchy texture that lets you discover the extremely tender crab meat inside. The crab was definitely the star of the dish over the avocado salad that was served on the side. An enhancement in flavours and seasoning would be needed for this small salad which would have the potential to go well with the taste of the crustacean.
An impressive selection of à la carte sushi is available at Miso. Whether you love fish, seafood, meat or you are a veggie lover; I guaranty that you will find something to please you. We wanted to try as many different kinds of sushi possible so our choices consisted of the following selection: sea urchin nigiris, the Top of the World, the Snow White, the Eden Garden, a spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll, the hosomaki scallop roll, the Surf & Turf as well as the Godzilla.
It was the first time I had sea urchin, tasting new things when I am at a new restaurant is something that I really enjoy doing. Simply served like a traditional nigiri on sticky rice, the Miso chef has strongly made me want to re-experience the "sea urchin". The Top of the World has this name because of the mountain of the tempura and red tuna mixture that is placed on the top of that sushi. The Snow White is made with snow crab, shrimp and white tuna. The Eden garden, is one of the vegetarian choice, it would have been better if a sauce accompanied it. The spicy tuna and shrimp tempura roll was simply delicious. The mixture was full of flavour. For those who love raw scallops, the scallop hosomaki was excellent. The Surf & Turf was one of our favourite roll, the lobster inside as well as the beef tataki outside the roll made this sushi memorable. Finally, the Godzilla was generously composed of snow crab and salmon, which married well with the avocados and the spicy mayonnaise that was in it.
Miso is definitely worth a visit in this area. The menu offers a great selection of dishes besides sushi. You will find tartars, salads, soups and appetizers like fried calamari. A wide selection of meat dishes such as lamb, beef and poultry is also on the menu. To conclude, Miso has more than enough to please everyone you planned to go with!