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Critic Dubs Mile End Sushi Spot the ‘Best Japanese in Montreal’

While another critic finds a BYOB French surprise on Duluth

Spanish mackerel

This week, La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie is at Mile End sushi hot spot Juni. The last time chef-owner Junichi Ikematsu’s Laurier Avenue restaurant was reviewed (in 2017), it cleaned up with a perfect five stars, and it seems that little has changed: Lortie dubs it the best Japanese in the city. Top quality fish (see: redfin tuna) is key, and Lortie’s interest seems piqued by Kyoto native Ikematsu’s dips into French cuisine, with bisques and tartares making occasional appearances. That redfin tuna is a coup de cœur for Lortie: fresh, soft, and given some texture with taro chips; equally delightful is rich black cod, flavoured up with miso and citrussy yuzu. Beyond sashimi, the maki rolls get points for creativity: the critic’s highlight is the unagi dynamite, of eel, shrimp, avocado and puffed rice. Dessert, while shifting away from the Japanese approach (see: the house specialty crepe-cake), also gets a nod of approval. In all, it’s the details that make the difference at Juni, writes Lortie: the just-sticky-enough rice, the mouth-melting fish, and the tempura fried to an ideal level of crunch. And while there’s the occasional predictable flavour combination, Lortie has pretty much nothing to fault. [La Presse]

Meanwhile, Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet is in for a (small) throwback this week, as he visits Plateau BYOB La Prunelle, which has chugged away on the French cuisine beat on Duluth for some 19 years. And Tastet concludes that Prunelle has certainly still got it: even though Prunelle was a last-minute back-up to cover another restaurant’s cancellation, he dubs it a “lovely surprise”. It’s modest and low-key, but from the soundtrack to service, it hits the right notes. Wild mushrooms with a buckwheat tartine and aged cheddar are superb (although a touch heavy on truffle), while Icelandic cod with a Jerusalem artichoke purée shines. While it doesn’t get into rave territory, Tastet “only has good things to say” on all dishes, from crispy sweetbread to spatzle with sea urchin cream and house boudin with chorizo. A solid three stars. [Le Devoir]


156 av. Laurier Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H2T 2N7 (514) 276-5864

La Prunelle

327 Avenue Duluth Est, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1J1 (514) 849-8403 Visit Website