You won’t notice Parc Sushi unless you’re paying attention. Walking down a part-residential, part post-industrial strip of Parc Avenue, the neighbourhood’s newest sushi spot has just a few small markers of its presence: a black sandwich board on the lawn, some fish lanterns fluttering atop a lamp post, and lunchtime diners spilling out from the front door.
Inside, owner Maggie Yu takes her orders on her personal cell phone. She greets each guest by first name, even if they’ve only visited once. Her husband, Kiku Ju, is in the open kitchen preparing sushi for the day’s lunch orders. Guests wait for their food on the plush, lived-in brown leather couch in the family’s former living room, with a view of their daughter’s drawings plastered on the walls.
The couple is originally from Dalian in northern China, but Ju trained as a sushi chef in Tokyo for five years. In Montreal, he has spent 15 years honing his craft in a string of Japanese kitchens, including long-gone Katsura, Zenya, and Bistro K2 Sushi.
Having just moved into a new home, the couple’s previous residence was left vacant, and they wanted to do something for the neighborhood, which until recently, had very few restaurants (and newer arrivals like Manitoba and Le Diplomate are relatively high-end).
“We lived in this house — and in this neighborhood — for 10 years, but there were never any restaurants in the area. There was nowhere to eat unless you cooked at home as I did,” Yu explained. “So we had the idea to make simple, delicious food for a reasonable price and share it with our neighbors.”
Parc Sushi opened earlier this year, and the menu is kept short and sweet, comprising of nine maki and nigiri sushi sets, plus three poke bowls. The combos are well-priced, starting at $4.99 for a 12-piece cucumber and avocado hosomaki. The most expensive set (at the time of writing) is a 15-piece maki combo with two pieces of salmon and shrimp nigiri for $12.99.
Three variations of poke bowls are available: salmon, shrimp, and unagi (grilled eel). The fish is freshly prepared daily. The poke bowls are generous, flourished with the usual protein, bright jewels of edamame and a handful of crispy tempura flakes on a bed of rice and salad, laced with a secret spicy dressing.
Yu’s neighbors were the first to visit, some of which she’d never spoken to when they were living here. “I want them to feel like they’re [coming] home to have lunch, and I treat them as family or friend,” Yu says.
While diners are not permitted to eat inside the home, they can take it out onto the front lawn in warmer months, otherwise, it’s strictly a take-home operation.
STATUS — Parc Sushi is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, closed weekends and public holidays.
- Parc Sushi [Official]