Youkoso, or welcome, in Japanese, is the first thing I hear as I walk into Imadake near Atwater metro. It’s my third visit so I’m used to employees quickly looking up to address each patron but I love catching first-time customers who are startled by the welcome. Although its always better to reserve for groups or visits later in the evening, the hostess looks over her reservations and has no problem finding a table for three.
Since my last visit, they have added pictures to the menu to help with selections. Imadake actually means “only for now” because the website says the restaurant aims to keep the menu new and interesting. The pages show a great range of appetizers, different types of ramen noodle dishes and a range of Japanese beers and cocktails. The prices are moderate but the servings are small so I negotiate which appetizers to order with my friends. Luckily, the food always comes quickly and you are welcome to order more than once.
Japanese pop songs play as I sip my deliciously sweet Imadake Slammer and my friends drink their Sapporos. I always enjoy trying their cocktails and my friends appreciate the selection of beers you cannot always find elsewhere in the city. The whole atmosphere of the pub makes it feel like we have left the west end of Montreal. When our food arrives, we feel transported by the perfectly cooked dumplings, lightly battered pumpkin tempura and mashed potato covered in a unique spicy sweet sauce with mayonnaise. We finish by splitting the green tea cheesecake. It’s a small portion but enjoyable enough to make it hard not to order it at each visit.
For those who seek thrifty options, Imadake offers lunchtime specials and it can be great to order with friends to share. Overall, I always enjoy my visits but limit them to once every few months when I really want somewhere nice to have a drink or am craving their delicious ramen.
Imadake is located at 4006 Sainte-Catherine St. West.