Dinner at Tsuki Izakaya Sake Bar Grill

I know, I have been blogging a lot about Japanese food lately.  It’s not intentional, I swear.  However, how can I miss having dinner with my no. 1 fan J? J has a huge thing with izakayas and since dining at Kazu in Montreal, he has been searching for great izakayas to go to.  While we were all talking about restaurants last week, he said he might want to give Tsuki a try since it’s labelled as an izakaya. I don’t know anything about the restaurant except that it’s owned by Fujiyama next door, but I thought trying a new restaurant with a group of people will be a ton of fun! So a bunch of us went to give the place a try last Friday.

When we arrived, it looks like they took one side of Fujiyama and converted it into Tsuki.  I do have to say the decor did have an Izakaya feel to it, although one of the red lanterns still says Fujiyama on it.  As I’ve never been to this side of Fujiyama, I don’t know what it looked like before.  There were a few tables put together for our large group and our server was the owner’s wife (whom I guess is also an owner, lol).  She was as attentive as she can be given that she was the only person running the show.

Here’s what we tried today:

Tsuki - Avocado Boat (S)

Avocado Boat (S) – $6

This was definitely a favorite of the night.  Cubed sashimi (salmon, red tuna, hamachi) with cubed avocado, resting on half of an avocado and drizzled with a miso sauce – topped with seaweed shreds and fried noodles.  The sashimi was very fresh and there was a generous amount of it.  I love the sweet and salty taste of the miso sauce where it provided enough flavor to the rest of the ingredients without masking it.

Tsuki - Robata D

Robata: Negi-Gyu – $1.50, Pork Toro – $1.50; Cheese Momo – $2.00 (per skewer)

Hubby and I had one of the skewers each.  My favorite was definitely the pork toro, which is the belly.  The meat was succulent with great pork flavors, and it was not fatty at all! The fat part actually had a slight crunch to it… hmmmm! The beef with green onions was average – thinly sliced beef wrapped around green onions and drowning in sweet sauce.  The beef was not overcooked but I thought there was way too much sauce that topped it.  The least favorite was the chicken with cheese – the chicken was rather dry and didn’t really have any flavors and the cheese didn’t really do much.

Tsuki - Salmon Toro

Salmon Toro – $6

Grilled salmon belly lightly topped with salt.   The salmon belly was cooked perfectly with slippery smooth meat and just lightly seasoned with salt.  I thought our order was grilled perfectly but J’s was a bit burnt.

Tsuki - Toro Tower

Toro Tower – $10

I think we ordered this just because it was toro.  This was simply toro sashimi basking in a ponzu sauce, topped with green onions and fried onion bits.  The toro was fairly fresh and sliced to a good thickness.  The ponzu sauce was slightly sweet with a hint of citrus and complemented the fish quite well.

Tsuki - Special Scallop

Special Scallop Nigiri – $2.85/pcs

As hubby’s favorite gunkan nigiri, he had to order this.  I didn’t try it and he said it was decent.

Tsuki - Red River

Red River – $10

A large slice of red tuna wrapped around a salmon and masago mixture, avocado, and tempura crumbs.  The flavor of this dish comes from the spicy mayo sauce that you would often find on many spicy rolls.  The fish was fresh, but other than that there was nothing memorable about this dish.  I just feel that the texture of everything together was a bit too soft – it needs something crunchy inside to provide more contrast.

Tsuki - Parfait

Parfait – $10

Sushi in a dessert form? Not quite.  The bottom of the martini glass is filled with shredded wonton wrappers, then topped with a layer of chopped raw scallop and seared salmon.  The white stuff is a light cream mixture and then topped with salmon roe.  I really like eating the sashimi and the shredded wonton wrappers but I didn’t like the frothy mixture.  It didn’t have much of a taste to it – yes, I was actually expecting it to be sweet so it was a bit of a disappointment.

I ordered way too much food for the two of us.  I didn’t know what the portion sizes were like and since the prices seemed quite low, I thought they were smaller portions and went crazy.  I have to say I did enjoy the food tonight with the exception of a couple items, and I much prefer to dine on this side rather than Fujiyama just because of all the neat dishes offered – especially the Avocado Boat and the Robata.  Prices are very reasonable and there are specials on a separate menu.  They are also opened quite late on the weekend so it’s a great place to grab a light meal and drinks if you’re on 17th Ave.

The rest of the group learned from the start that I was a blogger and very sweetly offered their plates to me so I can take pictures of them :)

Tsuki - Gyoza

Gyoza – $4

Tsuki - Avocado Boat (L)

Avocado Boat (L) – $14

Tsuki - Kaarage

Karaage – $4

Tsuki - Robata B

Robata

Tsuki - Robata C

More Robata

Tsuki - Robata

Even more Robata

The one on the far left (scallop wrapped with bacon) was ours.  You get one complimentary robata per person during happy hour if you order a drink.  The scallop was quite meaty, and the bacon had a nice charred taste from the grilling.

Tsuki - Salmon Tataki

Salmon Tataki – $13

Tsuki - Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki – $13

I tried this from J and thought it was decent – the tuna itself, sliced very thinly, was at a cool temperature and the ponzu sauce didn’t take away the freshness of the fish.

Tsuki - Rolls

Assorted Rolls

As I didn’t do the ordering I don’t know what these were.

Tsuki Izakaya Sake Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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