Kozu opened a couple of months ago in the space that once housed the now defunct Rachel-Rachel. With an Asian-inspired menu designed by Jatoba’s executive chef, Oliver Vigneault and a swanky new design, Kozu is the latest Asian Brasserie in the city hoping to garner attention on the Plateau.
Being located in the heart of the Plateau is a major selling point for any restaurant and Kozu is no exception to that. Within walking distance to bars, parks and major attractions, Kozu is a great place to gather for a pre-dinner 5a7, a bite before or after your favourite sporting event or even a place to cozy up for a night of delicious dumplings and crafty cocktails. Each tapas-sized plate is perfect for sharing (or not, if you really love dumplings) which means you get to try more of the restaurant’s fun menu.
The restaurant’s décor has a strong Asian influence but retains a little gritty Montreal cool (no doubt a very good thing for later in the evenings) to help balance things out. Dark wood, pristine marble and semi-opaque glass do all the heavy lifting while softer details like hanging plants and soft lighting help round things out. I like that they layout remains open enough that you can sit back and people watch but enough space remains between the tables that you are not sitting in people’s food when you’re moving in and out of your chair.
The food at Kozu is simple and delicious. It’s Asian food without any deconstruction or gimmicky fusion. They serve a selection of delicious dumplings including vegetarian, pork, chicken and more. The pork dumplings are amazing. They also feature fresh salads and vegetables prepared in various ways. The steamed broccolini, crispy tofu, steamed edamame and sautéed julienne potatoes are standouts. They also feature several meats and fish and I highly recommend the blackened cod. It was one of the freshest, most flavourful pieces of fish I’ve eaten in a long time.
We were pleasantly served by an informed wait staff who knew the menu, front to back. They’ve done their homework and it shows. They were helpful and respectful without being overbearing which made for a fantastic experience.
Kozu may not be Montreal’s first Asian Brasserie but it does standout for the quality of the food and the drinks. It’s stylish, elegant and edgy without trying too hard and you can’t get more Montreal than that.
Image credit: David Major-Lapierre