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Quebec, City of Gourmet: You'll love this new Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Foy

Quebec, City of Gourmet: You'll love this new Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Foy

Lovers of Japanese cuisine and those who want to discover it will be impressed by the new brasserie Iru Izakaya, which has just opened on Place Ste-Foy.

I couldn't wait to try this bistro, which opened its first establishment in 2022 in Brossard on Montreal's South Shore, and I was not disappointed, both with the quality of the food as well as the decor looking good.

As soon as you enter the restaurant, you will feel the cozy atmosphere. Neon signs are reminiscent of Japanese alleys and combine with more traditional elements such as wood and lanterns.

Gorgeous recessed benches, illuminated by beautiful blue neon lights in the shape of Japanese characters, evoke Japanese cities like Kyoto and Tokyo.

Neon-lit seating creates a cocoon of intimacy.

Photos by Marianne White

The atmosphere is supposed to be festive and relaxed, e.g izakayas, These are places where Japanese workers go to relax after a long day of work.

The 150-seat restaurant adds to the offer of Japanese bars already existing in downtown Quebec City, for example, Tora-Ya Ramen, Torii Izakaya and Hono Izakaya.

The aim of the new chain, under the Grandio group, which notably owns Cage and Restos Plaisirs, is to democratize Japanese food and attract new fans to it.

Between classics and new releases

The impressive menu of dishes, including many shareable dishes, was created by Frédéric Dufort, an avid fan of this cuisine who interned at the three-Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Benu.

There's a nice balance between classics like gyoza and fried chicken. karaage Or crab cakes, and more innovative dishes like taco maki. Here, a seaweed sheet replaces the tortilla. Topped with sticky rice, salmon, tuna, or crab tartare and topped with spicy mayonnaise. Delicious and innovative!

“There are plenty of options in the dishes, to share or not to share, which makes it possible to please everyone,” explains the executive chef, who was also behind the success of French bistro Lionel in Montreal.

I enjoyed the array of raw fish sashimi as well as the wonderful red tuna served with ponzu sauce and yuzu jelly that brought freshness.

Quebec, City of Gourmet: You'll love this new Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Foy

Red tuna tataki.

Image courtesy of IRU Izakaya

We can also feel the touch of the experienced chef in the exquisite presentation of the dishes, as well as in the quality of the products and the homemade sauces, with real wasabi – which does not happen everywhere.

Quebec, City of Gourmet: You'll love this new Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Foy

Assortment of sashimi.

Image courtesy of IRU Izakaya

Lunch and bento menu

Other, more upscale Japanese fish will eventually be introduced to the menu, as well as slate dishes to highlight it.

“We first want to get to know our customers to see how far they are willing to go,” explains the man who was on the show's fourth season. Bosses! Which will be in the next edition, which is expected to cause a clash between the previous participants.

Quebec, City of Gourmet: You'll love this new Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Foy

Executive Chef of Iru Izakaya Restaurant, Frédéric Dufort.

Photo by Pascal Valle

His favorite on the list? Sablefish marinated in miso and sweetened with mirin.

“I have a regular customer who doesn't eat fish. I made him try the miso cod and he really liked it. He takes it all the time now,” he says with a touch of pride.

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It's on my list for a future visit, along with the Carbonara Ramen.

Note that the restaurant is also open for lunch and serves bentos and meals in a box where each item is nicely portioned.

The establishment also offers a wide range of sake and original cocktails revisited with a Japanese twist, such as the mojitotokyo.

Open 7 days, lunch and dinner
2450, Paul. Laurier (on Place Ste-Foy, near Baton Rouge)

Two more new features

New cage

The Grandio Group, which is behind the Japanese pub, last week also opened a new branch of La Cage restaurant on Place de la Cité. The old building, formerly occupied by La Voie Maltée and Beaugarte, has been completely restored to satisfy fans of a sporty atmosphere. This new flagship restaurant of the chain has more than 170 seats with modern decor.

2590, Paul. Laurel

A2H Meursault

Roman pizza lovers can now satisfy their cravings in the Upper City, with the opening of a second Meursault branch on Rue Saint-Jean. I already told you about this delicious pizza with a thick and crispy crust when the restaurant arrived in Limoilo last year. You'll be able to discover new recipes, including vegan eggplant pizza. The small counter holds about thirty seats.

714 Saint-Jean Street (Gear Tutto Gelato)