Finally, you and your dear friend have decided to go out for a brilliant sushi dinner. Fortunately, the Montreal restaurant scene is proliferated with high-quality, creative restaurants offering their perspective on raw fish.
And raw fish is essential. If, by some gross misfortune, you’re one of the few troglodytic consumers that consider sushi to be nori (seaweed paper) and rice wrapped carrots, then I can only suggest that we part before things get testy. I’m sorry, it’s not you - it’s me. Maybe, someday, I can change.
For now, the emphasis is on fish, and the more unusual or creative, the better. Case study: Me and the infamous Dr. Smooth were chillin’ outside for lunch, eating our respective sandwiches. So, after a FULL meal, we started talking shit about sushi, and one thing led to another, and soon we were rabidly fantasizing about hand-rolled cones. The maniacal Dr. Smooth glinted his predatory eyes through his opaque sunglasses.
‘We could go and get some succulent…cones,’ he states.
‘What?!? You crazy, man…why you go and suggest a ting like dat?’ I protest half-heartedly.
‘Just mebbe sit at the bar and have one. You know, like a nightcap. It is, after all, what the doctor recommends!’ he counters.
I should mention that while this ‘debate’ is occurring, we’re already sprinting down Sherbrooke…and we both know the final destination. Where else would we go for lunch other than Sho-dan?
Where else indeed? Sliding smoothly onto stools at the bar, the Korean waiter looks in obvious disdain, both of us dressed in shorts and dusty sandals, with obvious signs of a lazy morning shave. The Evil Doctor stops the waiter mid-introduction, returning the a la carte sheet, and eyes him aggressively.
‘We’d like something off the menu. Youse guys got any special cones?’ he insists with an air of total belligerence.
The Doctor may have a special empathy with women, but a gnawing hunger like this turns him in to a lunatic, bordering on violent.
The waiter does his thing, and we see the chefs sweating it out, throwing all kind of fire into some unidentifiable creation. When we get the cones, they’re wrapped in a special nori sheet, and I see hints of chopped tuna buried inside. I eat mine fast, and Dr. Smooth pulls a close second.
Waiters and chefs are busily tidying up, closing the restaurant after lunch. Smoothie and I communicate via Green Beret-style eye signals.
‘Still hungry. Want another?’ he winks.
‘I could empty a floating cornucopia of sushi. There is no limit to my capacity for sushi of that magnitude,’ I jiggle my eyebrows evocatively.
Smoothie hooks the running waiter by the back of the collar, provoking a hilarious ‘Blaugh!’ sound, and asks if we can get one more cone each…but this time, something ‘interesting’.
I should have recognized the signs of a cornered animal. To all appearances, the waiter agreed with us easily, but I remember the smell of retribution, and my Spidy-senses tingled like Tiger Balm on the gonads. When the cones came, we attacked them like an electrical storm in full fury…I was blown away by the Unagi, or roasted eel, that fused with the cone ingredients to take me to a higher plane of sushi nirvana.
But the waiter had the last laugh, as he gave us the bill…Dr. Smooth insisted that I turn it over, and after seeing my reaction, put his credit card down with a shaky hand. Doctors don’t pull in much coin, and the meal, for two cones each, set him back.
The serving staff bid us a sinister adieu as we walked out, dejected and defeated. Regrets? None…sometimes you gotta take the hit, in order to eat that well. Sho-Dan is a terrific location for lunch, if you can swing it. And it’s hard to stay frugal, as the chefs always seem to flash their latest creations, tempting even the steeliest-hearted connoisseur. Forget about it, blow the cash; beautiful Montreal summers deserve a fabulous lunch, and when you walk out of Sho-dan, the downtown crowd will pause and look at you carrying yourself with a hint of class and style.
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