Plane ticket to Vancouver or Dinner at Park

For our week off from work, we decided on a staycation. We figured there’s so many things to enjoy in Montreal, why not just stay here. We chose dinner at Park as our extravagant indulgence. This was our se
cond time here. Why? Because I couldn’t go another day looking at those beautiful sashimi platters on my Facebook feed. I had to tick this one off my bucket list.

We were seated at the bar and greeted by a moustachioed gentleman. What a moustache it was, twisted and tweaked with care. We explained exactly why we were there, he listened and light hearted jokes ensued, always a sign of good things to come.

Sitting at the bar is a must. We watched the sushi chefs techniques: how to cut fish, assemble and roll. It was like attending a sushi class as a bonus to our dinner.

Obviously, we ordered the ultimate sashimi platter, omakase style (chef’s choice). It took us 3 hours to eat this beauty, which consisted of fresh, sustainable fishes including salmon, king crab, sea urchin, toro (fatty tuna belly), seared tuna, and snapper, acupunctured for tenderness. $125 per person with the toro. All the fish is line-caught.

The salmon was buttery. One of my favourites. The king crab was probably an acquired taste. Tough little pieces of white flesh. One of the chefs eagerly asked if we liked it, explaining to us that this was the most expensive piece on the platter. I was too shy to say I didn’t like it. It tasted a bit fishy and the rubberiness was odd. Matt loved the sea urchin. We stepped on a family of them once in Mexico. The pain that ensued is akin to lighting your feet on fire, which makes me not feel bad for eating them. I got over my squeamish side regarding the urchin as soon as I tasted the flavour combinations. Really inspiring. The caviar with its saltiness was a nice touch. Apparently some specimens are flown in directly from Japan. I’m guessing the tuna. I don’t normally like tuna but I am now a convert. The tuna with spices seared around the edges was juicy and delicious, not dry at all. I gulped those down pretty quickly. The toro was succulent and beautiful. Also one of my favorites.

The pickled veggies were a nice accompaniment. I wished there were more. We barely touched the sauces they provided, except for the chimichurri to dip the seared tuna. While they were delicious accompaniments, we found the best partner to be the soy sauce and fresh wasabi. It took us 3 hours to eat this beautiful masterpiece.

Considering Park is an established restaurant in Montréal, run by renowned chef Antonio Park, it’s no surprise that our evening was exquisite. Eating the fresh sashimi was like devouring a piece of art. Great service and entertaining sushi chefs made this night complete. Next time, I think we should order a smaller platter!

Beer Guy Recommendation: Go with a Japanese beer. The Japanese have a fine tradition of brewing light lagers such as Asahi or Sapporo. They do a fine job of complementing sashimi’s tastes and textures.

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