In an impromptu dinner last week, and after I managed to cross the barrage of construction on Notre Dame Street West, I ended up seated at the bar at Restaurant Nozy, a small Japanese restaurant in Saint-Henri, which was on my list of restaurants to visit since it came highly recommended by several friends.
Nozy’s been open since the fall of 2015. The restaurant gets its name from chef’s Nozomu Takeuchi’s nickname. The restaurant is simply decorated but feels cozy and warm. The welcome was gracious, especially since I didn’t have any reservations. The restaurant was full that night, with a lot of regular customers filling up the 30 or so seats. Sit at the bar in the back if you can so you can observe the chef cooking and assembling your food.
Teishoku style cuisine
Restaurant Nozy specializes in the teishoku style cuisine of Japan, which basically means a prix fixe meal. The meal usually includes miso soup, rice, seasonal sides and a main meal. At Nozy, however, an à la carte menu is available, as well as the fixed price menu, which includes several bowls of hot and cold dishes. The tasting menu is very generous and is almost enough for two people. Add a main dish or a couple of appetizers and you’ve got yourself a feast!
Every main meal on the menu comes with a miso soup and a green salad. The plates are grouped and served on black trays, which makes for a very pretty presentation. We ordered one tasting menu, which included an array of delicious items: miso soup, wakame salad, beef tataki (delicious!), karaage, seasonal sashimi, salmon chirashi, braised pork belly and steamed fish. I was lucky enough that soft shell crab and sea urchin were in season when I went so I didn’t hesitate to order them both. The kani mesh (snow crab with dashi sauce served over rice) and the uni ikura don (sea urchin, salmon tartare and roe served over rice) made a great addition to the tasting menu dishes. Both were fresh as can be and the uni was so silky smooth, I could’ve eaten a few bowls of it. Everything we ate that night was delicious. Among some of the most memorable dishes were the beef tatami and the karaage (Japanese style fried chicken), which was the best I’ve ever had. The freshness of the ingredients, the attention to detail, the pretty plating and the friendly service all combine into a great dining experience at Nozy.
3568 rue Notre-Dame West
438 386 9797
Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Wednesday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm