For years friends had been telling me about a restaurant on Duluth Street called Saint Sushi (http://www.saintsushi.com), the place where sushi rolls were named after celebrities. They set up shop in the Mile End District in 2013 and drew a strong following. In the winter of 2019, they opened a second location on Greene Avenue in Westmount and attracted an immediate following.
Founding owner Saeng Outhipvongxay was studying mechanical engineering and paying for school she found work at a sushi restaurant called Tri Express. She started off by washing dishes and moved her way up to sushi chef. After a few years of learning the trade, Saint Sushi was born. The Duluth spot seats 35; Westmount, 55.
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience in Westmount. With hip music playing in the background, the place is full of energy.
There were three of us on this night and we studied the menu carefully, getting some tips from our servers and starting off with some glasses of wine. It was then time to dive into the sushi.
From the Nigiri, pieces of fish or seafood on rice ball, we chose the Hamachi and salmon and they were absolutely delicious. Then came one of their signature items, the Christmas tree, cone-shaped tartar on a rice cookie. We went for the tuna, scallop, and shrimp. There were three pieces each and they did not last long on our plate.
On to the rolls we went, starting with the sensei lobster. The six pieces weremixed with masago, tobiko, tempura avocado, cucumber, Boston lettuce and yogurt sauce rolled in a rice sheet. It is also available with tuna, salmon or shrimps.
Next was the Marvin Gaye: sweetened and marinated in miso fried shrimps, a mix of lobster, avocado, cucumber, tobiko, masago and spicy mayonnaise rolled in a seaweed sheet and rice on the outside. Wow, after sampling that I said to myself “I feel good!” So it was only natural to order The James Brown Maki- tuna, salmon, tempura, masago, tobiko, kanikama, avocado, cucumber and yogurt sauce rolled in a seaweed sheet and rice.
You can start off your meal with a Miso Soup or Chef’s salad. Some of the other celebrity makis are named after Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Madonna and Tupac. “We wanted a fun and vibrant menu, different from others,” one of the managers told me.
The Westmount location also has a nice lunch menu. In addition, you can always order a tasting platter. This includes a selection of different sushi.
Saint Sushi in Westmount (1358 Greene Avenue) is open Monday to Saturday from Noon to 3 pm and 4:30 pm to 11 pm. For reservations call 514-543-4814. In the Plateau (424 Duluth East) they are open Tuesday to Sunday from 4:30 pm to 10 pm. Info: 514- 507-7537. You can see the menus at http://www.saintsushi.com.