Tri Express

One of my favorite things about Montreal is how many fantastic restaurants are tucked away in hidden corners with unassuming exteriors. Tri Express is a great restaurant with a creative menu and lively decorations tucked away in the heart of the Plateau. Tri, the owner and chef, is an unassuming man who is seen visible within the restaurant and contributes to the daily restaurant operations and sushi-making. The decor is very busy mix of Japanese decoration and 50′s American Diner. It is a cramped space, to be sure, but the rolls and sushi are quite good and worth the sacrifice of elbow room.

Tri Express Miso SoupTheir miso soup is both tasty and comment-worthy, because it is so different from standard miso soup. Instead of having tiny slips of leafy greens inside, there are full leaves. Add Enokitake and carrots for somesignificant body and some tofu for something to nibble on, and the result is a soup that’s uncommonly good for the North American scene.

Tri Express Sushi and MakiThere were four nigiri to sample on my order: Tuna, Salmon, Eel and Octopus. The rice was well done: a good temperature and texture, with perhaps a hint of sugar. The tuna was very light and well cut, containing a nice flavour without relying on fattiness to achieve it. The salmon was standard, perhaps a bit on the fatty side. The octopus was good, not to chewy, again standard. The eel was lovely, very tender, with a bit of spice on top which left a nice aftertaste for a few minutes afterwards. Savor the eel.

The first roll I ordered was the ‘Inspired’ off the appetizer menu. I had never tried sushi wrapped in rice paper, and this tasty roll with a focus on texture. Working from inside out and from soft to crunchy, the roll contained avocado, cucumber, rice, rice paper, fish on top, sesame seeds and roe. It was a wonderful experience! Their Laurier roll is a beautiful marriage of lobster and tuna, with enough cucumber in between to keep you from slurping this tasty concoction down like a slurpy. The spicy salmon was a pass, both because it was too heavy on the onion and also because it was light on the actual fish.

The atmosphere and food were both a delight to consume – this is a great place to experience with a few friends!

Visited: November 10, 2012
Restaurant Web Site:
Tri Express on Urbanspoon

Review Score
The fish was definitely fresh and reasonably well cut, just missing that wow factor.
The rolls are very interesting, with good flavours and a focus on texture.
The restaurant is fun though cramped, and the cash-only payment is a bit of a nuisance.
A great restaurant for those wanting to start a fun night out right.
1650 Avenue Laurier Est Montreal, Quebec
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