In the summery days of Montreal, the most ideal way to spend your time with close ones is on a terrace for a nice 5 à 7.
That is exactly what my friend and I did in August when the sun was setting earlier at night and we knew that Fall was soon to come. We couldn’t lose a chance at another sunny day, so we researched a few restaurants with a terrace in downtown Montreal and made reservations the night before.
Kinka Izakaya is a newly opened Japanese pub in the heart of downtown Montreal situated just near Concordia University on Ste-Catherine Street. They serve a range of appetizers and drinks, along with noodles to satisfy your hunger.
I met up my friend downtown closer to 5pm when she finished work a bit earlier than expected. Our reservations were made for 6:30pm, so we kindly gave it a shot and asked the hostess if there was any way we can get a table right away. Luckily, it wasn’t very busy at the time so they were more than happy to take us in upon our arrival – an hour and a half early, that is!
The hostess placed us outside on the terrace where the waiter handed us the drink + food menu. Immediately, we noticed that it was Cocktail Tuesday (my favourite kind).
Once we ordered, the hostess came back out to hand us a personalized card that had been prepared for our “supposed” arrival.
I was quite impressed and was definitely pleased by the personal touch they added to their service. It definitely made me feel like a somebody.
The term izakaya is the equivalent to a pub or a tapas bar. It’s the ideal place to spend some good time with friends and have a drink with some gastronomic goodies. Sometimes you’ll find a really good pub, but it lacks the flavour and attention in its food items on the menu. Some pubs focus more on serving alcohol than combining the good flavours of both alcohol and its yummy food. After all, the two go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, it’s rare to find a good tapas bar or a pub that excels in both areas.
Kinka Izakaya is exactly a good mix of both wonders. Their range of dishes on the menu made it difficult for us to pick just a few. Their drink menu also had authentic Japanese sake drinks and sake bombs.
The portions were just perfect and I was more surprised to learn that the dishes weren’t on the expensive side. They are affordable and definitely worth every piece. I was surprised by the thickness of the meat on the mackerel sushi that we had for our appetizer. Following our appetizer, we each ordered a bowl of authentic Japanese Ramen – possibly the best I’ve had in Montreal. The soup was so simple and yet rich with flavour. It was clear and definitely wasn’t heavy or left me feeling oozy with oily remnants in my mouth.
As for dessert, the menu was a little ambiguous. We couldn’t decide on whether to try the fried banana dish or the matcha crème brûlée. We went with the latter since it was something we never heard of, but to our surprise, we didn’t expect to also get a matcha ice cream. It really got us thinking if the dish is actually just a matcha ice cream + crème brûlée and that it just wasn’t specified properly. However, as we were trying the crème brûlée, we noticed a hint of tea in the cream!
As the sun was slowly setting between the tall buildings of Downtown, we raised our glasses to our last sunny day out on a terrace for the summer of 2017.
There are plenty of new restaurants constantly popping up in Montreal and it is always such an excitement to try these places. Every new discovery is as though I’m learning and appreciating more of city in which I live in. When you can’t travel, this is pretty much the next best thing. Why not discover what good little treasures are hidden in our own very city?
Discovering little finds is just as exciting as discovering them in other parts of the world – the better part is that … you get to go to these places anytime because you live there!
For those who enjoy their local go-to restaurants, I encourage to try out something different. Search up a few places with your friends and make a visit. Go out of your comfort zone and you’ll see that sometimes the best finds are right around your corner.
Don’t have time? People who have time and people who don’t have time carry the same amount of time. Time is a relativity. If you don’t have time, then make it. Squeeze your work in or push some meetings. Make it happen.
You’ll see why it’s worth it when you explore new places. 🙂