11806 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton
Edited post below
Japonais Bistro is one of Edmonton’s newer sushi places, at around only 2-3 years. I’ve been here when it first opened, and then several times afterwards. Having only just started blogging, I have to go back to all the places that I’ve already been, but I’m not complaining! Just another excuse to go out and eat. It’s located on Japser Avenue and 118 Street. There is some parking in that little plaza, but it’s very scarce. There’s some meter parking immediately east of the restaurant on the street that you can usually grab a spot though! The inside is relatively big compared to the other sushi places that I’ve been. It’s nice and pretty modern inside.
Japonais Bistro is self-described to focus on a modern Japanese menu with a touch of North American influence. They serve a larger variety of different dishes, and some really unique food combinations. They also have oyster night on Tuesdays, which I have been guilty of going to on an occasion or two!
This most recent occasion, I went with my sister, Lequyen. I had just gone there a week before with my brother but my sister somehow deleted all of my pictures by accident.
We decided to start off with the Japanese calamari. Calamari is one of my favourite appetizers to get at a restaurant. At only 10.95$, I figured why not? I’m actually surprised that I never got it before. It came out nice and hot, and it was a surprisingly large portion. It actually came with a little side salad as well, which was unexpected. The calamari was perfectly cooked. Nice and tender, and the breading was really crispy and light. They lightly drizzled some wasabi-based sauce, and this really made the dish. The sauce could have used a little bit more wasabi but otherwise this was a great choice of appetizer. The little salad was really light and refreshing too. The vinaigrette had a little bit was sweetness and it was really nice to eat in between pieces of calamari.
I’ve had almost all of the rolls here before, so I decided to go with one that I haven’t had before – The Love Crunch roll. It’s described as baked crab, avocado roll with salmon and spicy tuna, tempura bits, sweet soy and tobiko. I wasn’t completely sold on the mountain of tempura bits for the presentation. A little bit sure, but I think it was a bit overkill. Overall, it was decent. I find that most things at Japonais Bistro is on the heavier side, and very rich. I didn’t expect the salmon to be cooked on the outside, but overall it was alright. One thing I do have to say about The Love Crunch roll is that you do end up getting a lot of fish, inside and out! There were generous portions of salmon, tuna, and crab.
The other roll that I’ve never had was Halo. It’s a salmon and cucumber roll with torched smoked salmon, sesame sauce, and jalapeno. I think I preferred this to The Love Crunch roll. There was a generous amount of smoked salmon, and it was very smokey. The jalapeno was cut into circles and placed atop of each slice, like a halo. There were no seeds, and it wasn’t spicy at all. The jalapeno complemented the smokiness of the salmon very well. Overall, it was a pretty tasty roll. The sesame sauce gave it an extra bit of savouriness and creaminess and it was really good.
Lastly, we got the Chirashi Donburi. I’ve really been on a Chirashi kick ever since I’ve had the one from Sushi Wasabi which was amazing. The Chirashi donburi here comes with salmon, tuna, octopus, and squid. The rice here is really good, and the fish is so fresh, so I highly recommend this if you like fish and rice. I usually get sashimi, but sometimes, you just have to have rice!
Overall, I consistently have good meals at Japonais Bistro. It’s definitely one of my favourite sushi places in Edmonton. That, plus the added convenience of being really close to me makes me really like this place. The sashimi here is really fresh, and some of the simpler rolls are really fresh and delicious as well. Some other honourable mentions from the menu would have to be the seafood ceviche, the new style sashimi, and definitely the volcano roll!
Edit: August 2017
I went in August for their Seafood Tuesdays. They have some really good deals on Tuesdays, and they’ve actually expanded it to all days where there is a home game for the Oilers.
Their Seafood day has raw oysters, fish fingers, and 1$ salmon sashimi. It’s a pretty good deal! When I went, I got some of the usual dishes that I get, such as beef tataki and the volcano roll to supplement the food from their Tuesdays Seafood menu.
I really like both the volcano roll and beef tataki here. The volcano roll has a nice heat to it, and very filling. The beef tataki has a good sear and also very enjoyable.
For their seafood menu, everything on the menu is a really good price. The salmon sashimi and raw oysters are very fresh, we actually ended up getting a couple orders! The sashimi was cut a little bit more thinly than I would have liked, but at $1 a piece, it’s still a pretty good deal.
If you need something to fill you up though, their fish fry does the trick. It’s a really big portion, with nice thick pieces of fish. Light and crunchy, these were also very good to eat.
Edit: November 2018
I just went for an Omakase experience. Omakase means “I’ll leave it up to you” which allows the chef to organize a tasting menu. I’ve been to Japonais Bistro several times before and have always had a good time. The tasting menu changes seasonally so I will just talk about a few of my favourites.
The seared scallops with the celeriac puree was amazing. It had such an amazing flavour. Definitely my favourite and wish I could order it off their regular menu!
My next favourite was the steak which was served with garlic done three ways. Chip, Salt, and powder. The texture of the powder was really enjoyable and it just really melted in my mouth.
A bit expensive at 100$ a person. I could see myself spending 200$ from their regular menu and be really satisfied but I did like ‘changing it up’ a little bit and eating some other dishes inspired by the chef.
Got the creamy lobster udon from Japonais bistro recently on one of my visits. I came on a Tueday and got several of their cheap seafood deal (1$ salmon sashimi, 1$ oyster, etc) and wanted to try something new. Overall, not too bad, I found that there was very minimal lobster. I prefer the carbonara udon from Izakaya Tomo, where the sauce is a bit more seasoned from the bacon.