Former Laurier Avenue sushi spot Ryú is open again in Montreal-proper, this time with a shiny Peel Street location.
The sushi restaurant started branching out into a more casual approach in recent years, adding a location at the Carrefour Laval mall, and two at Montreal-Trudeau airport. The more formal Laurier location received warm write-ups, as recently as last September when critic Lesley Chesterman praised the sushi offerings (although she wasn’t a huge fan of the defunct Laurier location’s slightly odd club vibe).
Ryú is keen to stick to a more casual format, which is reportedly why the more formal Laurier location closed earlier this year. Take-out and delivery are big parts of the very lunch-friendly Peel location (the restaurant even had its bento box design custom made). Given the brick-and-mortar storefront (as compared to the more food court-like airport and Laval locations) it works as a sit-down venue, too.
Maki, nigiri and sashimi all figure as a major part of the menu (see it in full below), and Ryú is jumping aboard the poke train, featuring two versions of the chirashi-like Hawaiian rice bowls with raw, marinated fish. Those looking for more can splash on set omakase options, a choice of four for lunch service and another four at dinner.
Ryú is using only sustainably certified fish (the restaurant itself holds a certification from non-profit Ocean Wise, run by the Vancouver Aquarium). Such responsibly-sourced fish does tend to cost a little more — a poke bowl is around $17 — but realistically, it’s not like Montrealers should be expecting to get their hands on such a dish for $10.
Inside, Ryú is sleek and minimal — the 20-seat space has no shortage of white surfaces, wood, and plants. Take a look.
STATUS — Ryú is open at 1468 Peel from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.