Old Montreal has a new izakaya, with Hanzo now open on St-Nicolas, dishing up Japanese small plates, cocktails, and sake.
It’s brought to you by Yann Levy of downtown restaurants Biiru and Escondite, as well as bar Gokudo. But Levy has another noteworthy name helping out: chef Nick Liu of acclaimed Toronto fusion brasserie DaiLo put the menu together for Hanzo.
There’s plenty of takes on izakaya standards — crab croquettes with maple tonkatsu and shiso relish, pork neck with a Sapporo caramel, and brisket with a shiso pepper crust, are a few highlights Levy notes. Fried chicken goes a step beyond the standard karaage — here, it’s dubbed Konbini Fried Chicken, or KFC (a conbini is the Japanese equivalent to a dépanneur, but often serves hot food), and comes with spicy aji amarillo aioli.
Beyond that, there’s some raw options like spicy beef tartare or hamachi with a ponzu glaze, a grill section featuring duck heart yakitori, and a couple of bigger dishes like ramen and Okinawa-style taco rice.
On the drinks side, Levy recruited Tao Zrafi of Quebec City’s Chez Tao to put together cocktails — sakes and Japanese whiskys also feature prominently.
While Levy has done an izakaya before with Biiru, he tells Eater that this 90-seat restaurant is “more adult” in its vibe. The design draws inspiration from movie Kill Bill’s “Crazy 88” fight scene in Japan (drawing on the set design, not the piles of dead bodies), so expect plenty of wood and Japanese paper wall coverings.
STATUS — Hanzo is open at 417 St-Nicolas from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
- Hanzo [Official]
- Inside Gokudo, Montreal’s Refined Two-In-One Hidden Japanese Bar [EMTL]