Bus: STM 64, 126, 128, 215, 468
Visit: December 22, 2013
All you can eat. Those four words are very powerful when you start to think about it. There was a time in society where a credo like that would fuel the motivation for someone to eat all that the slowly failing heart could desire. These days, when the world’s economy hurting and the waistlines of society expanding, one can only reflect on what those words truly mean. Either way you want to look at it, I had a chance to find out for myself at Sushi Palace.
Right off the bat, I’m going to admit that I would probably never step into Sushi Palace on my own volition. For one, as I make it a habit to mention, I’m not big on the chain restaurant and Sushi Palace’s 6 locations puts it in that category. If it wasn’t for the fact that the family wanted to celebrate the latest birthday at this place, I would have been far away from this location. Did I mention that I pass by this address nearly every morning on my way to the day job?
The concept of Sushi Palace is more or less all you can eat. There was a time in my life where those four small words meant a great deal for me. At a time, when I ate for quantity, buffets were like my Disney World. Now, I never was able to do it on the level of a John Pinette, but I did pack away food to the point where I couldn’t stuff anything more in my mouth, even air. These days, when I’m focusing more on quality, all you can eat is the furthest thing I want to even touch.
Sushi is another concept that I’m not too comfortable with, yet. I had the chance to try a really nice place last May and I found it to be an eye opening experience. I used that as my motivation to set off in the middle of a snowstorm to make it out for an evening out to Sushi Palace. Who, in their right mind, would go across the island of Montréal for food that they’re not entirely sure about? Well, I guess the answer is me. When I give my word that I’m going to be somewhere, nothing short of death will keep me from being there. If I think about it, even my casket will have to finish my commitments after I kick the can.
Well, I managed to make it to the restaurant right on schedule, as there were absolutely no delays in the public transportation I chose to use that evening. The first big surprise came when I set foot in the restaurant. Not only there were people eating on this evening, but the place was packed. That alone says that Sushi Palace must have some staying power to attract so many people on a Sunday. It’s either that or people must not of had much energy after last minute shopping.
The ordering system at Sushi Palace is very simple. You’re given a place setting like this with the list of all the items you can order. The menu is separated into a sushi section and a warm food section. This way, you can service all the needs of a large group of people. We were 7 on this evening and this was the perfect way to go. When you feel like you want more, you write down all the numbers once again and they bring you more food. If you don’t finish things, they may charge you a dollar a piece for anything wasted. This was not an issue for us. In all, the all you can eat menu cost us about $24 a head on a Sunday evening.
In an all you can eat situation, you must come prepared. If you don’t know what you’re having for sushi, this handy plasticized document acts as your cheat sheet. This allows all the beginners to pick the sushi that they are the most comfortable with. For a person who needs content for a blog, this acts as a wonderful tool for one’s memory. What you should note is that you might not get everything you ordered.. I encountered this issue at Seoul Chako a while back. Then again, we ordered so much food that we never really noticed and it’s not like you’re being charged for what you never received.
For the purpose of this post, I’m not going to write every single little item, as I that would be akin to asking a sumo wrestler to sit on me for an hour. The reason for that was that there was so much food that some of it never really entered my mouth. I’m going to pick the more memorable things and go from there.
Won Ton Soup
When I saw this soup on the menu, my curiosity got the better of me. Before the soup ever got to the table, I knew that I wasn’t going to find the best soup ever. It’s like what I do with the burgers, I seek out different versions just to compare. This particular version reminded a lot of the kind you can get at a Tiki Ming. The paste was quite thick and that’s not really good for the dumpling. The broth didn’t taste like much and I wasn’t really impressed off the bat.
Here’s one of the more popular items of the evening. Outside the obvious sushi, it was one of the few things that we ordered seconds of. Here, you see our second time around with two varieties. The beef on a stick was actually my favorite, as the meat was nicely seasoned.
The next most popular item was the various types of tempura. From what I remember, we had shrimp, sweet potato, and eggplant. The eggplant version was probably my favorite. I do remember hearing during the evening and talking about it during the drive to the metro that the tempura had just too much batter, which didn’t really allow you to taste what was inside so much.
I want to mention the pad thai since it’s the third time I’ve ever had the dish. Pad thai is a dish that includes items like rice noodles, eggs, and chicken. You can also include various different styles of meat. This version’s noodles didn’t sit well with me because I felt like I was chewing on them for a long time. I know that they don’t have the same consistency as Chinese noodles, but I can’t sit there celebrating two birthdays waiting for me to finish a bite.
During the course of the evening, we manage to order three separate platters of sushi. Each time, we made sure to get the ones that left the best impression on the table. Overall, I was pretty happy with every single piece of sushi I tasted. For a place that’s called Sushi Palace, that’s what I’m mostly going to use to judge my visit. With that being said, I’m going to share some of the more specific pieces of sushi that were big hits with me personally. Unfortunately, I can’t be very specific about what I’m about to write since I rarely eat sushi.
This roll contains sesame, avocado, and rice. This was the first one I got to try during the evening. I also had the chance to try this particular kind in the past. The fact that there’s no meat or fish in this version isn’t missed at all.
This roll contains items like caviar, an omelet, cucumber, and salmon. The physical appearance on this one alone makes it a star of the evening and the taste did match up.
This roll contains lettuce, spicy mayo, cucumbers, lettuce, and fried chicken. For one obvious reason, this particular roll stood out and piqued my attention right off the bat. The inclusion of fried chicken is something that I never thought I’d be eating in sushi on this particular evening. I was a bit hesitant putting it in my mouth, but that feeling quickly vanished as I ate it. It’s definitely something I’d order again.
This roll contains sesame, smoked salmon, and cream cheese. Speaking of other items that I would never of conceive in sushi, here’s cream cheese. Much like the previous roll, it actually worked really well.
Our evening at Sushi Palace was some mixed feelings. But, where it counted, regarding the sushi, everyone felt the same way, satisfied. The concept of eating as much as you can isn’t a license to stuff your mouth. What it is, in reality, is the ability to choose and try what you want before settling in on the popular items. For that, I wouldn’t mind returning to Sushi Palace if ever the opportunity would present itself.