Persuing with what is —- according to the local major foodie web sites / local experts (just google “best sushis in montreal” and the first links are what’s considered as our most important sources of local restaurant infos) —–widely known as the best local sushi spots in town, . I basically picked 2 high end (Jun I and Park) and one mid level (sushi Yumi) sushi shops among the best suggestions of those web sites / experts. Jun I and Park surprised me, but … not the right way (My review of Jun I, here. The one on Park, here). Sushi Yumi stands out of the pack in the category “affordable local sushi”, according to the local experts. So, I went to find out.
Sushi Yumi (Address: 5124 A Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, Phone: 514-227-5300; URL: http://www.sushiyumi.com) is located in the wealthy neighborhood of Westmount. The space is small, but clean, with an unassuming interior. The sushi shop seems determined to serve you the freshest sushi of your life as clearly stated on their web site “””You won’t find : a fridgeful of pre-prepared, ready-to-go sushi in plastic boxes. At Yu Mi, shushi is made strictly to order – you order it and then it’s made.””” —
Miso soup (tofu, seaweed, shitake and enoki mushroom) – lacking definition/depth/texture and gusto. A traditional take on the miso, which is my preference, but one that tasted very ordinary, even by our weak local standards. 3/10
Chef’s selection of 4 pieces of nigiri, 4 pieces of numaki ***, 4 pieces of tempura sushi. – The nigiris had the common toppings of shrimp and salmon and tuna. Spicy crab served as the topping for a piece of cracker, as well as the filling of some of the other makis. The rice of the nigiri had a consistency that was unpleasantly compact in mouth. The spicy crab did nothing for me (I found the taste hard to describe, as well as hard to enjoy). This was a very weak performance. I can understand that Sushi Yumi is offering affordable sushi but if that is what makes of SY one of the local top contenders in the eyes of our local experts, then the myriad of average cheap sushis in town should also be promoted as top contenders. And I certainly had better sushis in SY’s price range in Mtl. 3/10
*** as/per their web site, a numaki is “”Numaki are like maki sushi (sushi rolled and cut into thick slices) except: they’re wrapped in rice paper instead of dried seaweed, they’re made with vermicelli noodles instead of sushi rice, and they’re accented with our creamy house sauce “” —
Cons: The fact that, at that those prices, the fish can’t be stellar, that is fine, and that is why I refrained from elaborating further on the fish (it was ok for the low price, btw, BUT I can’t explain myself why the rice had to be of such unappealing compact texture and … whoever raves about that spicy crab, I wanna know who he is so that I can him from talking about food. I am baffled …
Overall food rating: 3/10 I have no clue what the authors of Sushi Yumi’s rave reviews did feast on, at Yumi, but I was a world away from the planet they did land on. Jun I, Park, Sushi Yumi do currently (as/per their fresh 2016/2017 assessments) rank high amongst the current top sushi shops according to the local experts, experts who have a strong influence on the promotion of food tourism in Montreal. To those promoters, I say “go to those places as a normal diner would, go on any day of the week, go when the star Chef is not there, then you will be promoting …reality!”. The problem is the perpetual lack of consistency at the big majority of Montreal’s sushi restaurants , the problem is that the promoters of Montreal as a foodie destination refuse to face that reality, the problem is that Montreal, as long as it continues to accept such inconsistencies…will continue to have a widely overrated restaurant scene.
Bottom line: that is what you get when promoting is more important than cooking. Not the fault of sushi Yumi, but the fault of that culture of ´business first, the rest after. I mean, in plenty of cities around the world, they can both promote and deliver decent sushis at the same time. The question is ´why isn’t that possible’ for most sushi restaurants in YUL?