Food Reviews

Review: Japonais Bistro

Japonais Bistro at 11806 Jasper Avenue.
Japonais Bistro at 11806 Jasper Avenue.

I’ve been to Japonais Bistro (11806 Jasper Ave) a few times in the last couple months and I have to say it’s now become one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Edmonton!

Inside Japonais Bistro.
Inside Japonais Bistro.

Japonais (pronounced ‘zaponay’) is very spacious. It takes over the old one one eight restaurant and before that Suede Lounge. I had never been to either so I don’t know how much different it looks now but it is a nice, modern, clean, and spacious place.

Sushi chefs in action at Japonais Bistro.
Sushi chefs in action at Japonais Bistro.

The delicious food photos you’ll see as you scroll down in this post are from a mix of a date I had with my friend Brittany (@britl) as well as a double date night Mike & I did with his sister Amanda and boyfriend George.

What I really love about Japonais is their variety and how unique the variety is. A lot of Japonais’ rolls and their ‘Chef’s Specialities‘ are offered at no other Japanese restaurant in Edmonton. Not only is there lots of variety and one-of-a-kind dishes, but these are very tasty dishes. Fresh, great flavour combinations and just very much a different style than you’d expect with typical rolls and Japanese food.

Salmon sashimi (6 pc) - $9.95
Salmon sashimi (6 pc) – $9.95

They get the usual suspects down right. The Sashimi ($9.95 for 6 pieces) is fresh, the Beef Tataki ($12.95) is sliced just right and the ponzu sesame dressing with seaweed is delicious.

Beef Tataki - seared beef, fresh grated daikon, red onion and green onion with ponzu & sesame dressing - $12.95
Beef Tataki – seared beef, fresh grated daikon, red onion and green onion with ponzu & sesame dressing – $12.95

I tried their Tuna Nachos ($13.95) on the Chefs Specialities menu and just fell in love. These nachos have spicy sesame tuna with tobiko, avocado, sesame seeds & japeleno on crispy wonton chips and they were so light and all the ingredients just worked. I had wanted to try their Seafood Ceviche ($14.95) – assorted seafood, jalapeรฑo, garlic, cilantro, onion, fresh lime juice with wonton chips but someone had ordered the last one right before I put in my order so while the Tuna Nachos weren’t my first choice, I would be picking them again the next time I go.

Tuna Nachos - spicy sesame tuna with tobiko, avocado, sesame seeds & jalapeรฑo on crispy wonton chips - $13.95
Tuna Nachos – spicy sesame tuna with tobiko, avocado, sesame seeds & jalapeรฑo on crispy wonton chips – $13.95

I didn’t think their Pizza Sushi ($8.95) or their Chicken Udon Soup ($11.95) were anything too special but I still wanted to share the food photos:

Pizza Sushi - deep fried sushi rice topped with salmon, tobiko, scallops, mayo, avocado, sesame seeds & sweet soy - $8.95
Pizza Sushi – deep fried sushi rice topped with salmon, tobiko, scallops, mayo, avocado, sesame seeds & sweet soy – $8.95
Chicken Udon Soup - $11.95
Chicken Udon Soup – $11.95

Now let’s get to the rolls! By far – our favourite rolls were Japonais’ TNT – crab, avocado shrimp tempura, tobiko, TNT sauce & sesame seeds – rolls ($13.95). Not only is the presentation fantastic, but the texture/crunch and flavour is amazing. For the price, I also think the TNT rolls are your best bet – it’s significantly cheaper than most of the other rolls but also significantly more delicious.

TNT rolls - crab, avocado shrimp tempura, tobiko, TNT suace & sesame seeds - $13.95
TNT rolls – crab, avocado shrimp tempura, tobiko, TNT sauce & sesame seeds – $13.95

The Love Crunch rolls (baked crab, avocado roll with salmon and spicy tuna, tempura bits, sweet soy and tobiko – $17.95) are also a favourite – though I still prefer the TNT – for both flavour and price. Still the presentation here, as with all the other rolls we had except the Bakudan rolls, was great.

Love Crunch rolls - baked crab, avocado roll with salmon and spicy tuna, tempura bits, sweet soy and tobiko - $17.95
Love Crunch rolls – baked crab, avocado roll with salmon and spicy tuna, tempura bits, sweet soy and tobiko – $17.95

Check out a few of the other rolls we tried (the Cheezy Dragon rolls are interesting because they include cream cheese. I really liked it!):

Cheezy Dragon rolls - shrimp tempura, cream cheese roll topped with eel, avocado, sweet soy and sesame seeds - $15.95
Cheezy Dragon rolls – shrimp tempura, cream cheese roll topped with eel, avocado, sweet soy and sesame seeds – $15.95
Volcano rolls - hot spicy chopped scallops, squid and tobiko sauce over an avocado and eel roll - $16.95
Volcano rolls – hot spicy chopped scallops, squid and tobiko sauce over an avocado and eel roll – $16.95
Bakudan rolls - spicy tuna with tempura bits - $8.95
Bakudan rolls – spicy tuna with tempura bits – $8.95

In a past dinner date Mike also tried their Ishiyaki beef (beef cooked on a stone grill at your table, served with sesame and ponzu sauces – $15.95) but didn’t find it that great because you don’t get too much beef and the $15.95 price doesn’t include any rice or sides so $16 for some beef you cook yourself is not really the best value.

I’ve now tried three different desserts at Japonais as well and really liked all three. The Banana Spring Roll (banana, nutella with caramel syrup & black sesame ice cream – $6.95) is Mike’s favourite. You can also get it with other flavours of ice cream but Mike doesn’t like green tea so black sesame is a great alternative. I actually think the Cheese Tofu ($7.95) dessert is my favourite. It has a very refreshing and light feel to it. And the Matcha Creme Brulee was good but not my favourite. The presentation for it is definitely the best though!

Matcha Creme Brulee - housemade green tea creme brulee - $7.95
Matcha Creme Brulee – housemade green tea creme brulee – $7.95
Banana Spring Roll - banana, nutella spring roll with caramel syrup & black sesame ice cream - $6.95
Banana Spring Roll – banana, nutella spring roll with caramel syrup & black sesame ice cream – $6.95
Cheese Tofu - housemade creamy mascarpone tofu, honey, strawberries & toasted almonds - $7.95
Cheese Tofu – housemade creamy mascarpone tofu, honey, strawberries & toasted almonds – $7.95

Japonais hasn’t been around for that long but I really do hope it stays. It’s a great addition to the Edmonton food scene + Japanese food scene and again I can’t stress how I love the variety of rolls and how unique some of the dishes are. There’s also oyster night on Tuesdays which I haven’t tried yet but is on my list to try (though you need to order $20 of other food & drinks before you can get the $1 oysters. That’s easy enough to do though!) They also have a chef’s assorted special dinner you can get (Omakase) for $75 a person, which I would be very curious to try but also wonder if $75 can be justified, lol.

The prices here are expensive – no doubt about it. Japanese restaurants for dinner typically are and Japonais is no different in that sense. The restaurant and the food is delicious, the service is also great, but I wish it wasn’t as pricey as it is. Don’t let that keep you from trying Japonais or from coming back to it though. It’s definitely one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Edmonton now!

So have you been to Japonais?! What did you think??

Linda


Japonais Bistro on Urbanspoon

Linda Hoang is a Canadian blogger based in Edmonton, Alberta, who writes about food, travel, lifestyle and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda loves exploring the world with her husband Mike, eating their way through cities and photographing Instagrammable Walls. She is the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival and a fur-mom to two cats and two dogs.

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  • Giveaway: $50 Gift Card to Edo Japan – Happy International Sushi Day! – LINDA HOANG | edmonton food blog | social media specialist, communicator, cat lady

    […] a lot of great Japanese restaurants in Edmonton (Japonais Bistro, Izakaya Tomo, Mikado, to name a few), but as far as fast food Japanese goes, Edo Japan is pretty […]

  • Jenn

    Thanks for the review – I’m a big fan of Japonais Bistro too. My favourite roll is the cherry blossom – scallops on the inside, salmon and tuna on the outside, all deliciously fresh. Also recently tried the lunch omakase special – a great deal for $20 – I got everything I wanted (sashimi, karaage) and more (ceviche, snapper collar, and lots of other goodies). If they have it on the daily special, you should try the wasabi octopus salad next time – it’s a tiny little serving but resonably priced and delivers a great punch!

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  • I just love the @brownbuttercafe! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’› Pictured ๐Ÿ“ธ is their Sunny Day bowl with runny egg (๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป), potato, kale, tomatoes avocado, cucumbers and yogurt. My favourite bowl here though is the Crispy Chicken on rice. ๐Ÿคค And today I also tried their housemade kettle chips and bacon jalapeรฑo โ€œmak & cheeseโ€ which were both soooo good (and so affordable at $2 and $2.75 each). THE BEST!
Also the best? You guys, for your very kind and supportive comments about my Big. Life. Update on the previous post. THANK YOU! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›
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  • BIG LIFE UPDATE! ๐Ÿฅณ
As some of you know, Iโ€™ve been on a personal leave from my work as a Digital Strategist at marketing & comms agency @calderbateman @zgm_marketing since January as @mikethyking & I explored whether some time off would help our #UnexplainedInfertility & journey to have a baby. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป (It hasnโ€™t. ๐Ÿ˜ž But we are still hopeful ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป)
My leave ends this month and Iโ€™ve decided I will not be returning to the agency, and will instead go full-time with my blog & personal social media + my own freelance social media strategy & consulting business! ๐ŸŽ‰
Going out on my own is something Iโ€™ve wanted to do for many, many years. Itโ€™s something I thought I would do naturally after taking a maternity leave but that timeline kept getting pushed because Iโ€™ve never been able to get pregnant. The leave was just what I needed to reassess and make the decision to finally be my own boss!
Iโ€™m so grateful for the time I was able to take off from full-time agency work (though I am aware I was still pretty busy with personal projects ๐Ÿ˜… lol). Iโ€™m also truly grateful for an employer that was kind & understanding enough to give me personal time off. ๐Ÿ’— Iโ€™ll miss working with the talented team, but am so excited for this next step in my life! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
Over the next few months Iโ€™ll be updating my blog with a new look & feel + better categorization, putting out (hopefully lol) even better & more useful content for followers & readers, getting some presence up for my new business & throwing myself into organizing @yegcatfest! ๐Ÿ˜ธ
Iโ€™m also taking new social media strategy, consulting & training clients and am so grateful for all who have been referring clients my way already (unsolicited, which Iโ€™m pretty excited about now that I am soliciting lol). ๐ŸŽ‰
Thanks to my incredibly supportive husband & best friend @mikethyking. ๐Ÿ’— And thanks to all of YOU for following and engaging with me. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป I feel so lucky & happy that Iโ€™ve been able to turn my longtime hobby (social media ๐Ÿค“) into a career, in such different ways, and now based at home with my furkids ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฑ Read my full update at the link in my bio!
๐Ÿ“ธ credit: @sethmvc
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  • Ugh. I LOVE Korean food and this was a good one. ๐Ÿ˜ In between #JasperPJParty & mountain adventures, we checked out the Kimchi House in the town of Jasper this weekend. This japchae glass noodle dish with beef was delicious! Along with their bulgogi and army stew (budae jjigae). (The stew broth was so good and extra spicy. But why is there never enough broth? lol) I was sad the Kimchi House didnโ€™t serve banchan (side dishes typically provided with a Korean meal) but was happy with the rest of the meal! ๐Ÿคค #lindorktravels
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  • A weekend in the mountains ๐Ÿ” is not complete without a mountain photoshoot! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“ธ Thanks to the @fairmontJPL for inviting me to teach some Instagram / phone photography & editing workshops for #JasperPJParty!! ๐Ÿ’• Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions!! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป Thanks to @britl for being my session helper & mountain photog!! ๐Ÿ“ธ And thanks to @theporkgirl for lending me her hat!! ๐Ÿ˜ I have been itching for a mountain road photo for a long time so am happy to check this off my list! โœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ (We were very safe about it!) #lindorktravels #fairmontJPL #myjasper
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  • Ahhh it was two years ago this weekend that I got a photo at this iconic Instagrammable #PaulSmithPinkWall ๐Ÿ’• in Los Angeles, California and shortly after I started making Instagrammable Wall Guides to cities, organizing wall photo walks, and searching for these walls wherever I travel. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’— This is still one of my favourite walls and I wish more buildings were painted bright, uninterrupted colours like this it makes me immensely happy. ๐Ÿ’• #InstagrammableWalls #Instagrammable #IGwallsofLA #lindorktravels
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  • ** UPDATE! **
Congratulations to @thefuramigoss & Sarah L on Facebook, winners of tickets to the Edmonton Hime + Garden Show! Thanks everyone who entered!!
** GIVEAWAY + NEW BLOG POST! **
The Edmonton Home ๐Ÿก + Garden ๐ŸŒธ Show returns March 21-24 and Iโ€™m giving away tickets to the show! ๐ŸŽ‰ Thereโ€™s lots of awesome features to check out including Cooking Stage demos from local chefs and  @masterchefonfox Season 7 winner @chefshaunoneale! This week I made one of his recipes, delicious lemon zesty blueberry cream cheese danishes (pictured here ๐Ÿ’•) and I look forward to seeing what he cooks up at @yeghomeshows! Head over to the link in my bio to see what other features you should visit at #EHGS19 and enter below for a chance to win tickets to the show! ๐ŸŽ‰
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Follow me + @yeghomeshows
2. Leave a comment telling me what home renos, updates or projects you think you might work on this spring/summer! Also tag a friend to spread the word about the show + giveaway.
Iโ€™ll randomly select two winners from all entries received across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by March 18. Each winner will get a pair of tickets to the show! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›
Thanks to @yeghomeshows for partnering with me to promote the show! (my blog and this post are sponsored). ๐Ÿ˜Š
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  • I always feel SO lucky that I get to meet the coolest cats on the Internet (and their pawrents) through the work I do with @yegcatfest! ๐Ÿ˜ธ This summer, #YEGCatFest is bringing @sukiicat and her pawrent @enchanted.forest to Edmonton to meet festival attendees!!! ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜ป Suki the Adventure Cat is a gorgeous bengal cat who loves adventure! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ›ถ Suki is definitely one of my favourite travel Instagrammers ๐Ÿ˜น, Iโ€™m one of her 1.3 MILLION Instagram followers!! ๐Ÿ’• And perhaps the coolest thing about Suki? She lives in Alberta!!! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Head to the link in my bio or Story to learn more about Suki and be sure to pre-purrchase your Cat Fest tickets! Meet & greets are included with your festival ticket. โ™ฅ๏ธ Thanks to @fairmontmac our Celebpurrty Cat Hotel Sponsor!!
Photo Credit ๐Ÿ“ธ: @enchanted.forest @sukiicat
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  • Thanks @imedia_yeg for having me back as an emcee (with @tylerjackbutler) and speaker over the weekend! โ˜บ๏ธ Iโ€™m always up to talk anyoneโ€™s ear off about social media & influencer marketing. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค“ And always love learning from talented digital marketers! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Stay tuned now for a @dontcallmeaguru #iMEDIA19 recap podcast with the special return of Tyler, pictured here looking like a gangsta! ๐ŸŽ™
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  • Made ginger sesame ground beef with green beans and a runny egg on rice for lunch on this very slow-moving Sunday. ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ’• #lindorkcooks
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  • ๐Ÿ’› Happy International Womenโ€™s Day! ๐Ÿ’› Today and every day, letโ€™s #BalanceForBetter. Challenge gender stereotypes and bias. Insist on gender parity. Celebrate womenโ€™s achievements. Lift each other up. ๐Ÿ’› If youโ€™re looking for a specific way to celebrate #IWD2019 today, consider supporting one of many women-owned or co-owned @edmontonmade businesses! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป NEW ON THE BLOG (link in bio), Iโ€™ve started a Guide to Women-Owned Businesses in Edmonton & Area!! Thereโ€™s SO many wonderful businesses in a range of industries being led by women. Thanks to my friend (also a woman lol)  @argenplath for helping me compile this initial directory, which includes over 70 businesses!! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ Do check it out and I *know* Iโ€™m missing many more great ones so please comment and let me know who else should be highlighting and Iโ€™ll keep adding to the list! โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’› #InternationalWomensDay2019
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  • So thrilled to have found @banhcuonyeg through Instagram! ๐Ÿคค Bรกnh cuแป‘n is a delicious Vietnamese steamed rice roll filled with ground pork, mushrooms and shallots. Itโ€™s one of my dadโ€™s favourite Vietnamese dishes and something I used to eat a lot with him! When I found out the Khau family was offering made-to-order, fresh bรกnh cuแป‘n for pick-up in North Edmonton, I *had* to try! ๐Ÿ˜„ Theyโ€™re so good! And bring back great memories. ๐Ÿ˜ @banhcuonyeg is charging $6 for a dozen rolls (one order). This week I got four orders and have been having some for breakfast, lunch and dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคค My parents were so happy with the flavour and quality of the rolls (they hold up really well!) that they got the Khau phone number to make their own future orders (theyโ€™re not on Instagram lol) ๐Ÿ’• Also itโ€™s always wise to have a bรกnh cuแป‘n maker on speed dial lol. The rolls are best with Vietnamese ham (cha) but you need to get that separately.
VIETNAMESE FOOD IS THE BEST. โ˜บ๏ธ
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  • ** NEW BLOG POST + GIVEAWAY! **
I love Date Night! And while @mikethyking & I have done lots of different things for Date Night over the years, thereโ€™s one tried and true outing that always delivers: dinner and a movie! โ™ฅ๏ธ If @therecroomca is part of our Date Night, we also love playing games too! โ˜บ๏ธ Read my sponsored blog post (link in bio) for the Ultimate Foodie Date Night inspiration which includes great food, games and entertainment! ๐ŸŽ‰
& ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $100 GIFT CARD FOR YOUR OWN REC ROOM DATE NIGHT!
1. Be sure youโ€™re following @therecroomca
2. Tag who youโ€™d take to Date Night in the comments below! (one tag per comment. unlimited entries)
See the blog for more ways to enter and watch a Date Night promo video Mike and I did with The Rec Room! โ˜บ๏ธ Iโ€™ll randomly select a winner from all entries received on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by March 17. Good luck!! โ™ฅ๏ธ
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LINDORK