Must Try: Ryu Tapas

Since it’s opening in March 2011, Ryu has quickly become the new ‘it’ spot on Laurier for young professionals to dine on fresh sushi and an amazing Asian-inspired menu. Ryu also features some of the best cocktails in the city thanks to a cocktail card designed by mixer Lawrence Picard, champion of the “Made With Love” competition. The idea for Ryu was imagined and put into reality by owner David Dayan, who after spending time traveling the world – specifically Asia – and experiencing the restaurant industry abroad, decided to open in Montreal. His vision is inspired by contemporary Japanese cuisine combined with French cooking techniques, worldly ingredients, and authentic Japanese herbs, spices and sauces. Service is not your traditional three-course meal; rather, Dayan keeps a flow throughout the meal by offering small plates that are brought out at a steady pace.

Before opening, Dayan realized how important it was to have a chef who was well versed in authentic Asian culture, so he sent chef Alex Cohen on a ten-month trip throughout East Asia to get inspired. The 28-year-old comes with experience from his time working at restaurants in Montreal like world-renowned Joe Beef, Griffintown Cafe, Time Supper Club, Greasy Spoon, and Factory Bar. He took his travels by storm and went on a culinary adventure with a Spring 2012 Ryu menu in mind, and is now ready to unveil the masterpiece and take Ryu’s menu to new heights. He describes the new menu as ‘”a combination of new and old, fun, creative, and playful dishes with a classically Asian approach, respecting the freshness of the ingredients.”

In addition to a new menu and a whimsical, yet mature cocktail card, including unique mixes like the Asian Maid (Hennessy Black, ginger beer, cucumber and mint leaves), Dayan is also passionate about his Sake collection that he offers to his customers. In keeping with his commitment to authenticity, Dayan wanted to make sure that his patrons would have access to Japanese Sake brands that they may not otherwise find anywhere unless visiting Japan. His collection includes bottles like Hakushika Junmai Dai Ginjo. Additionally, he boasts a phenomenal private import wine list and vast scotch card. Relish the opportunity to enjoy his impressive drink collection at the bar with the recent introduction of their light snack menu.