Montreal Restaurant Review: Sushi Momo

Although I’m not vegan, I don’t eat meat and I try not to eat seafood too regularly. Going out for sushi is when I tend to have the most fish, mainly since it’s hard not to. So many sushi restaurants have pretty limiting options for vegetarians—other than a plain yam, avocado or cucumber roll—and little to no vegan options. Sushi Momo completely changed the game. It’s an entirely plant-based sushi restaurant, the first of its kind in Montreal. I was pretty skeptical at first and doubted that the entire menu could be fish free, since I always thought veggie rolls were pretty restrictive as far as ingredient combinations would go. I was pleasantly surprised—the menu didn’t just resemble a longer list of the expected veggie rolls at every other sushi restaurant. From beetroot tartare to soybeef fried tempura and “poutine aux 4 champignons,” Sushi Momo’s extensive menu is creative and immensely satisfying. I can guarantee that like me, you won’t even notice that what you’re eating is plant-based, and you definitely won’t feel like you’re missing out by not having sashimi.

    Open since December 2014, Sushi Momo’s chef, Christian Manuel Ventura Alatorre, set out to create a contemporary twist on classic Japanese cuisine for Montrealers. He’s been so successful in doing so that Sushi Momo has just recently opened up a take-out counter called Kokomo right next door to the restaurant, with its own separate menu. The dine-in restaurant is actually quite spacious despite the low ceiling. It’s a comfortable, dimly lit space with a kitchen in the back. The sushi is made at a counter in the middle of the room, which creates a great ambiance. It’s a cozy, intimate and modern environment appropriate for any occasion.

    What’s great is that this restaurant can easily accommodate anyone—there’s a second menu for those who are intolerant to gluten or soy. Regardless of what the dietary restriction might be, Sushi Momo isn’t making anyone compromise when it comes to flavour. I wouldn’t shy away from taking your meat-eating friends here either, because between the delicious rolls, “pizzas” and appetizers, something is bound to easily please any cravings for fish and meat. I’ve been to Momo a few times now and I’ve raked up a few favourite menu items—namely the green papaya salad, Agedashi tofu, Momo, Oma and “Monsieur Croquant” rolls—but the other night, I went in wanting to switch up my usual order. For times like these, or for newbies, they have fixed menus for nearly any sized party. I was there with a friend and we tried the “Omakase,” which gave us 2 miso soups, our choice of appetizer, and their “incontournables” (25 pieces of their best sushi rolls). I found this the perfect way to test out menu items that were new to me, and it’s a great way to sample their best-sellers if you don’t know where to start. These fixed menus can accommodate parties even larger than six people! If you’re not sold yet, be sure to check out their great list of sakes, or show up between 3-5 p.m. for $5 pints to accompany your memorable meal.