Written by Dahlia Merlo on 23.08.18

Japanese cuisine has become a dime a dozen here in Montreal, so restaurants really need to set themselves apart to be noticed in our ever expanding dining scene. Yen Cuisine Japonaise is one such restaurant with a gorgeous decor and delicious food to match.

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We were invited to try out their menu and we were not disappointed. We started our meal off with their signature iced teas, one lemon ginger and another lichee. Both were very refreshing on that warm summer night and we knew that if these teas were any indication of the food to come, we were in for a real treat.

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To nibble on while waiting for our food, we ordered the soybeans with shrimp salt and sesame. Wowza! These were amazing. Bursting with flavour and a big step above the simple boiled and salted beans we’re used to.

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Next up: spicy salmon tartare on crispy salmon skin. Yes, you read that right. The perfectly seasoned tartare was sitting on top of crispy salmon skin, and believe us when we say we can never eat tartare with baguette ever again. This was such a wonderful flavour experience; we can’t wait to try to recreate it at home!

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To continue the seafood theme, we tried the Maguro Carpaccio: thinly sliced pieces of tuna with a choice of sauce. We chose the spicy sauce; it was full of flavour with the perfect amount of acidity and heat. A great, fresh, and delicious dish.

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Yen Cuisine Japonaise has a small selection of maki rolls so we had to try at least one. We went for the Hotate Katsuo Uramaki: grilled scallop with tobiko mayonnaise, avocado, and tamago uramaki. You don’t often see scallops on makis, and we think that’s a travesty. These were delicious, with no other flavours overpowering the buttery scallop.

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Our last savoury dish was a step away from the sea as we headed over to dryer shores. We tried the Gyu Tataki Soba: a soba noodle dish with beef tataki, a boiled egg, nori, and teriyaki sauce. The umami flavours in this bowl were unreal. Every bite was so satisfying and homey, we couldn’t get enough.

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We ended our meal with dessert. Initially, we weren’t too impressed with the selection. Who serves panna cotta and crème brulée at a Japanese restaurant?! But on further inspection, these weren’t your average desserts. You could order both with a choice of either green tea or black sesame flavouring. Hello! Now this is a different story. We had black sesame panna cotta and green tea crème brulée. Our favourite was hands down the black sesame panna cotta, but truthfully, both desserts knocked it out of the ballpark.

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If you’re downtown at a loss of where to eat, stay away from the typical tourist traps and try Yen Cuisine Japonaise. We promise you will be wowed by their incredible food and wonderful hospitality.

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2157 Mackay St, Montreal, QC H3G 2J2
(514) 543-3354

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