Written by Victor Yu on 10.10.17

Neighbourhood restaurants with a simplistic menu have been the latest appeal in Montreal. We are talking about various restaurants, such as Noren, who focuses on serving delicious okonomiyaki and takoyaki, Nozy, who makes homey Japanese food served teishoku-style, and Le Majesthé, who serves east-meets-west dishes. Now we have Café Neko, a little Asian counter that serves primarly donburi (rice bowls) and udon to be tasted on the spot or for take-out. It’s located one block from Bristol Chai.

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Josserand Valiquette is chef and owner of Café Neko. He has worked in several French restaurants, notably as executive chef at Le Pois Penché. He spent over a year and a half travelling around East Asia and worked in Japan for a short time. Now he is bringing East Asian comfort food to Montreal with Café Neko.

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We got to sample some of their bestselling dishes, such as the sesame udon, an inspiration of the Wuhan-style noodle dish reganmian. The sesame sauce is a mixture of sesame paste, sesame oil, light & dark soy sauce, and Szechuan chili oil. It comes with toasted peanuts and coriander. This dish is 100% vegan. You can add sous-vide soy sauce chicken to your order.

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For the donburi, we opted for the flame-torched salmon tataki complemented with homemade ponzu vinaigrette (kombu, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and yuzu), avocado, and nori. Fresh and delicious!

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All their desserts are made in-house, like the black sesame rice krispies, mochi, and matcha tiramisu.

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You have to order the yuzu cheesecake with lemon-yuzu curd, tempered chocolate, and butter crumble.

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For drinks, they offer several options that are popular in Asia such as Hong Kong milk tea (black tea + condensed milk), kopi cham (Malaysian/Cantonese coffee-tea drink), 4 flavours of ramune, and other Japanese soft drinks.

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Be sure to check their Instagram (@cafenekomtl) for their weekly specials.

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Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 11am-9pm; Saturday: 12pm-8pm

3717 rue St-Urbain, Montreal, QC H2X 2P5
(514) 548-2795

Photos by Victor Yu (@randomcuisine).

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