In the new year, we’ve taken up walking as a post-work activity. It feels good to stretch our legs after a day at our desks, but we’ve also taken the opportunity to explore parts of town by foot. As you might expect, it’s led to a few discoveries.
One night, we were taking a stroll around Atwater Market when a craving for sushi hit. The closest thing around was Nozy, a little unassuming hole-in-the-wall-type place on Notre Dame, so we went for it.
To be clear, Nozy is NOT a sushi place. It doesn’t matter. It’s even better.
Chef Nozomu Takeuchi specializes in teishoku, which basically means Japanese meals served as a set. It’s also NOT an izakaya, which I think Montrealers might use as a catch-all for Japanese food that isn’t sushi or ramen. Teishoku feels more like soul food, or at least a homecooked meal with a little more refinement. It’s a quiet spot, perfect for dates.
We’ve been a few times now, and every time we’ve left full and happy. The two on-and-off specials: uni (urchin) and toro (tuna) are where it’s at. The freshness will make you think you’ve stumbled upon Tsukiji fish market, but nope, it’s a Montreal resto you can check out without a reservation. Because it’s teishoku, the mains come with miso soup, rice, salad and pickled veggies. (Incredible rice, might I add.) The prices for the specials may seem a little steep at first, but the meals as a whole are deceptively filling. In the end, we consider it a solid value. We’ve been to other places (*cough* Otto *cough*) that gouged us on uni and Nozy always sells it at a good price.
They do cold soba buckwheat noodles for lunch, which is our current obsession right now. Another unreal dish we’ve had here: cold lobster and ramen. It came with a generous portion of fresh lobster and a heaping of delicious noodles. Next time we went we splurged on a seafood platter with oysters, toro, uni, sashimi and some more goodies. It was a beast.
They also do cocktails, but we recommend opting for umeshu plum wine if you haven’t tried it before. Another obsession of ours. There’s meat on the menu, ribs and karaage-type stuff, but we’ve yet to go that route because the seafood is so fresh. Everyone who knows us knows we’re on a Japan kick right now, and amazing spots in our hometown like Nozy helped give us an authentic taste of the country before our trip.