Photo cred - n8fire
Over the last couple of years it seems like new Japanese pubs have been popping up in every district of Montreal; from Biiru to Big in Japan, and Imadake to Kinka Izakaya, to name a few. A new one on St. Laurent/Prince Arthur just opened today. The list is never-ending, between legit 'izakaya' and average restaurants claiming to be a part of this rise in the Japanese pub scene.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, an izakaya is a Japanese establishment that serves small tapas-style plates and drinks. The environment is really casual, laid back, and a lot of fun. But you'd never think that behind the scenes there's (what seems like) a raging war among the restaurateurs to take over the title of "Best Izakaya in Town."
While they all share a Japanese theme, they don't all live up to the qualities of a true izakaya experience. I can't claim to know all there is to know about it, seeing as how I'm not Japanese, nor have I been to an izakaya in Japan. But I've been to a few here in Montreal, and can definitely lean wholeheartedly towards Imadake being the best this city has to offer.
Photo cred - Urban Expressions
No matter the day, Imadake is always busy, pushing quality drinks and food at very respectable prices. From the moment customers walk in, they're greeted with genuine smiles and great service.
This is one quality that not many restaurants can consistently handle. Instead, you get stuck with a server that hates his/her job and shows it, a server that can't quite communicate in either English or French, or you just get left to fend for yourself while you're left on the backburner. And this goes without even mentioning the awful food that gets sent out sometimes, some of which are definitely microwaved and not freshly prepared.
At Imadake, however, the staff wants to share a memorable experience with you, and the owner wants nothing more than to keep everybody happy. Since day one, this is what they have strived to achieve, and despite achieving it, they have never failed to remain consistent in the quality of food and drinks, pricing, and service. They've got your back.
Photo cred - Tourism Montreal
So what can you expect? Smiles all around, cheering, and the most thrilling of all? Sake bombs. You'll also find plenty of fun cocktails and yummy small plates to choose from on their menu. For those who automatically pair 'Japanese' and 'sushi' together: Sorry, that's not what you'll get here, but you'll definitely find authentic cuisine sure to satisfy your appetite! And if that wasn't enough, they are all about protecting the environment, sustaining it, and leaving a positive mark.
Photo cred - Globeater