It’s been a long time coming but last week Kyozon has finally opened its doors on Crescent Street. As a Kyozon Insider, DJNL has seen the new, Asian inspired restaurant go from concrete floors, bricks and beams to the richly decorated restaurant we were invited to last Wednesday. The official opening party was massive, bringing out Montreal’s most curious and excited foodies for an unforgettable night of entertaining and fun. The night kicked off with black fortune cookies on the steps of the restaurant as the media and VIP portion of the evening got underway. The space quickly filled up as we mixed, mingled and snapped up photos of the sprawling restaurant. Throughout the course of the evening we sipped on freshly blended cocktails, wine and bubbly while sampling some of the delicious food like tempura shrimp, pad thai (and plenty of sushi) and more of what Kyozon will be offering. From her pulpit overlooking the entire restaurant, DJ Abeille kicked off the party with her signature blend of remixed pop and kept us going well into the night. Located in a landmark building, the 8500 square feet of space is maximized with enough seating for over 250 guests. Split across two exquisitely decorated floors, the main floor houses a bar and dining area while the second floor features a cozy lounge near the front of the restaurant and more tables (both communal and intimate). Described by the owners as ‘casual industrial’, Kyozon has one of the most ambitious decors Montreal has ever seen with elements truly unique to this space. My favorite feature of the restaurant is the bar. First of all it’s massive, well stocked and even has an island in the centre where the bar staff can quickly reach for whatever they need to make our cocktails. Looking up from the bar is the skylight the first blew me away when I entered the space while still under construction. During the day it lets the natural light pour in and at night we get to drink under the stars all year long. Perhaps Kyozon’s most unique feature is the kaiten belt that snakess around the second floor dining room. A kaiten belt is a conveyor belt that quickly delivers feshly prepared sushi to tables around the circumference of a balcony that looks out over the spacious bar area. Yoshiaki Shiraishi first developed the Kaiten belt in the mid 1950’s, as a means of quickly providing sushi to his guests when staffing was short. The idea caught on and continues to be a popular format in dining out. The kaiten belt will allow guest to grab sushi from the communal tables that extend from the belt. The plates are colour coded with each colour representing a price ranging from 2 to 7 dollars. The word kyozon means to co-exist and as one of Montreal’s most buzzed about restaurants Kyozon has something for everyone. Whether you’re out for a quick afternoon lunch or you are looking to have dinner or even simply a cold beer, the restaurant gladly welcomes you.
Photo credit: David Major-Lapierre