[Review] Restaurant Flyjin – Montreal’s Exclusive Underground Izakaya

by · October 22, 2013

Flyjin from the Japanese word Gaijin (foreigner), comes the meaning of foreigners flying back to their homeland. 417 St-Pierre is where Restaurant Flyjin will guide you back to a Japanese underground izakaya. Entering Flyjin is an experience of itself. The basement level restaurant entrance is textured in gold leaf, artist Kevin Ledo represented the equinox on the gold surface. The effect projected by this contrast is stunning.


The design of the restaurant comes from the creative mind behind Velvet and Les Enfants Terribles, Alexandre Brosseau. Flyjin is the complementary “japanese speakeasy” to his collection. Red walls, hand crafted wooden tables and green-aqua leather banquettes reflect a traditional yet modern japanese color scheme. Two bars keep a steady flow of cocktails “flyjin” out by mixologist Yul Hennelly of Nectar Mixology. Here are some beautifully layered cocktails made with his daily homemade syrups using fresh market ingredients and served in Flyjin stamped pottery vases.

Here is the Sacré Printemps, very vivid and refreshing with hints of Yuzu (citrus fruit) and served with a Royal Jelly with Ginseng. A perfectly well balanced drink of Belvedere and the above. The Zen Buddha is a concoction of Soju, cucumber, mint, fresh curry and sake bubbles. Close your eyes, (be zen) you will feel the striking Sake bubbles on your tongue, which will peak with fresh mint, at last the curry spices your after taste.

Stairway to Buddha is the modern take on the classic Old Fashion. Glenmorangie, cointreau, sirop de Cassia, passion fruit purée, lemon grass and cinnamon, mixed perfectly to leave you with what is a vividly fruity drink with a hint of cinnamon which makes the experience so much more different.


Co-Head Chefs James Yoon & Narith Plong cook up a storm of traditional Japanese cuisine. Yoon is a protégé of Antonio Park, also a childhood friend, and was his sous-chef at Park Restaurant until last November. He brings an experimental passion to the Flyjin kitchen. His flavors come from his Korean roots and Paraguayan nationality, reaching across East Asia and South America. Plong, grandson of a Cambodian butcher, and again a student of the infamous Antonio Park, works side by side with Chef Yoon. Narith’s previous kitchen experience at Kaizen, Joe Beef, Europea, Koko, and Venti Osteria, speaks for itself. Let’s cut to the chase and go through these meals. First up, as appetizer, is the Flyjin Salad. Beautiful, if you are looking for something small and refreshing with apple vinaigrette and light peas.


Sashimi of Yellowtail Hamachi with truffled peaches followed the salad served with a fruit ceviche.

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Flyjin’s neo take on tacos are the “Taco au Canard De Pekin” (duck taco) served with a sweet and sour sauce homemade which gives the extra “flavor punch”.
After eating in a few different Japanese restaurants, the one meal which is often present but always so different is the Black Cod and usually cooked with Miso. At Flyjin, the take on the black cod tasted delicious, it’s a classic way of proving that the chef knows how to prepare the fish the traditional way.
Served minutes later was a biologic Salmon Tataki. Needless to say this fish was a spicy and flavourful masterpiece . Nicely grilled & cut the salmon was laid on a mixture of tomato and yellow beet salad.
We had the honour of being served the chef’s speciality, the neck of a wild catch Yellowfin tuna, which in Japanese is named Hamachi Kama. It was honestly the best part of a fish we had a chance to taste, light & packed with flavor.
Be sure to check out Flyjin located in the old port of montreal on 417 rue St-Pierre and keep an eye out for the above-ground Flyjin Café opening soon. It’s an adventure all on its own. Thanks to all the staff who made this possible, and special thanks goes out to Simon from Speakeasy, to Marc Oliver our waiter and Joe Franchini, operating partner and manager.

Flyjin on Urbanspoon

Discussion1 Comment

  1. [...] #1  Flyjin  , located at 417 rue St-Pierre in the Old Port, is a underground izakaya. Be sure to make reservations.  Chef James Yoon is a protégé of the infamous Antonio Park ( Park Restaurant). Flyjin’s cuisine respects traditional japanese cooking with a modern flare. Try the stairway to Buddha as cocktail. [...]

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