Casa Kaizen’s creations are Montreal’s most innovative vegan dishes to date

Welcome to the Craving for food series, where we take a look at some of the dishes we particularly enjoyed at Time Out Market Montreal because we think you’ll love them as much as we do. This week, we’re revisiting the mind-blowing vegan creations of Casa Kaizen and chef Christian Manuel Ventura Alatorre, whose tacos, tostadas, flautas and other Mexican-Japanese are unlike anything we’ve ever tasted in town before.

This time, the spotlight is on the “calamari” tacos and nori tostada from Casa Kaizen. These two creations are, in our opinion, in any case, two strokes of genius from chef Ventura, whose work is also found in restaurants such as the universally prized Sushi Momo, the ode to childhood Nopalito, and the incoming burger. and shake spot Bvrger.

The first is a real fried squid optical illusion in the way it accomplishes an illusion for our eyes, but it also tricks our taste buds by cleverly mimicking the taste and texture of squid. It comes on a “fusion” taco topped with a jicama pico de gallo and shiso pepper which brings a touch of freshness alongside a crunchy texture, and this kimchi emulsion as a final vinaigrette? It’s as complex as it is flamboyant. You’ll see, one bite won’t wait for the next.

Until you get to the nori tostada.

Photography: JF Galipeau

“It’s beautiful, it’s good, but I never know how to eat it,” warns the chef, while the plate – indeed delicately arranged – appears on the table.

At first glance, it’s hard to believe that the three pieces placed on a thin layer of guacamole and chipotle aioli aren’t real salmon. The color, the white stripes, the texture … It’s all there.

The nori seaweed sheet, placed on one side in a tempura bath and then fried, gives it the crispy texture of a tostada, in addition to adding a “sea” effect which adds the final touch to the taste illusion. some salmon. The only downside: too generous an amount of guacamole and aioli encroaches a little too much on the delicacy of marinated konjac, camouflaged in salmon, but that’s a matter of opinion.

Casa Kaizen, Time Out Market Montreal
Photography: JF Galipeau

If you think we’ve revealed all the secrets of the menu, Chef Ventura has a lot more to do.

Each visit for a taste will come with a few new tips, so skip the whole menu and see for yourself.

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