Maiko is well known in the Montreal sushi scene and I had been eagerly awaiting my chance to test the best. Located in the trendy Mile-End district, Maiko is a chic restaurant with modern decor, a full selection of alcohol and a comfortable atmosphere. I had hosted my birthday party here 2 years ago, and was pleased to return.
The miso soup was an unfortunate start to the meal. The broth was fairly thin, and while the tofu and mushrooms were both excellently done, there was only one piece of each on the soup. The hot, moist towels which followed helped us refresh ourselves for the meal, and reminded us that we’re at a restaurant that takes service seriously.
The first roll served was delightful. The l’enfer is a fried roll with cooked salmon in the middle, garlic, ginger and lemon slices to garnish, vegetables inside, and a solid-but-not-overbearing batter. It was served next to spicy mayonnaise which offered some kick if desired. I was pleased with the tastiness and texture on all counts, and was glad that it arrived first – the hearty roll took the edge off my hunger without inundating my taste-buds with so much flavour that the rest of the meal would be wiped out. There was too long a pause between this roll and the rest of the meal, but my stomach appreciated the break.
The remainder of the meal arrived on a single plate. The red tuna nigiri was average but was neither expertly cut, of a superior quality nor extremely fresh – thus “ok” on all counts but nothing more. The eel nigiri had only a light terriyaki sauce, allowing one to really taste the texture and quality of the meat, which I quite enjoyed. The spicy salmon roll I found lacking, as it was neither particularly spicy nor tasted much of salmon, with only the green onion garnish to hint at the roll’s true nature. The avocado roll was a reasonable avocado roll. The rainbow roll was excellent. The textures within were built on fresh ingredients (tobiko and cucumber contrasted well), and the layer of fish on top the roll consisted of very healthy portions. We ordered a roll with tempura shrimp which sadly tasted of nothing more than tempura-fried shrimp, and at best presented an opportunity to use sauce with abandon. The bonzai roll was absolutely amazing, with salmon and avocado in the middle for a mushy interior in opposition to three varieties of tobiko, each colour painting a stripe lengthwise across the roll. Well done! As you can see, all the rolls and nigiri were beautifully presented.
Visited: March 12, 2013
Restaurant Web Site: http://www.maiko-sushi.com/