The Japanese word omakase means to trust or to protect. In sushi bars, it means "chef's choice;" you pay a pre-determined price and the chef chooses what you will eat.
While we were in Montreal, we had a chance to dine at Kaizen Sushi Bar. Since they had omakase, we decided to see how tasty their chef's choices would be. We were not disappointed.
Our meal began with a fantastic clam soup with buckwheat noodles. It was a slightly sweet, pure broth with a bit of a spicy kick. A great way to begin our meal, really.
Next, we were served some pan-seared giant scallops with edamame salad and some sort of teriyaki demi-glaze. I've never had such perfectly-prepared scallops; they were fresh, so the meat was tender and still retained some of its sweet flavour. As well, the chef prepared it so that it was just cooked, rather than slightly stringy and overcooked.
Our favourite dish came after the scallops. This was an unnamed maki roll, invented by the chef that very day for our meal. I have no idea what was inside the maki roll (possibly shrimp, chili sauce. and tuna), but it was topped with fresh octopus and a drizzle of some sauce that left us wanting more. The unnamed maki was particularly tender, which surprised us since we tend to find octopus a tad chewy.
Next came the raw oysters, which were accompanied by horseradish and this red "cocktail" sauce that turned out to be super spicy hot. Hubbs' lips were still burning by the time the next dish came around (don't worry - it was a good burn).
We were then treated to the "Tropical Storm" maki, a lightly-breaded, fried maki that contained cucumber, avocado, crab stick, mango, salmon, and tuna. It was phenomenally good and not nearly as heavy as you might think. There was little rice in the maki roll, the bulk of it consisting of the other ingredients.
Then, our entree: a Kobe beef tenderloin served with fresh seasonal vegetables. I've never had Kobe beef before, and I know that it isn't exactly cheap meat. Our tenderloin was prepared rare, and was the tastiest beef I've ever had. It was tender, moist, and only slightly marbled, and it was so good that Hubbs ate all of his 8 oz. tenderloin, as well as a portion of mine! :)
Finally, our dessert was served. It was a fruit-topped ginger creme brulee, and probably the best and lightest brulee I've ever had. It had almost the consistency of a whipped cream, and was light and subtle, with a fine flavouring that did not overshadow the flavour of the "creme."
This was probably the best meal that Hubbs and I have ever had, or one of them at any rate. It was satisfying, perfectly portioned, and decadent. We felt very spoiled and privileged to be able to enjoy such a sensual dining experience.
And that, my friends, was probably the biggest highlight of our trip - our meal was the perfect end to a fun time of sightseeing in Montreal and NYC.