Big in Japan Bar – Plateau Mont-Royal

So I had been hearing a lot about this bar lately from my local friends. They had been saying that this place was really cool, and was super hard to find. They were right about everything, and more.

So we get here around 10pm, and push through this kind of sketchy red door.

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Big In Japan Bar’s Mystery Entrance

So we walk in, through this narrow corridor (which is actually where people end up waiting in line). The walls were lined with this taupy-greyish thick fabric. And at the end of the corridor was the entrance to the bar which was not yet visible to me, as it was covered by this fabric.

We walk in and my eyes probably lit up like Harry Potter’s when he saw the Great Hall in the Hogwarts Castle.

The bar was very oddly shaped, with the waiters and waitresses being able to walk through to each customer (an ingenious design in my opinion). There were swivel chairs that could be expertly placed if you wanted more intimate positions. Some people were just standing. We were able to get a spot with two swivel chairs, which we pushed together so that the three of us could sit on them.

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Big in Japan Bar; 4175 St Laurent; Coin Rachel; 438-380-5658

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I ordered the Yuzu Chu-Hi, which was part of their Japanese menu. This was a 355mL bottle for $9. It’s got an interesting taste which I think is because this is a malt-based drink. There were two flavours available: yuzu and grapefruit. It was hard for me to decide because I love both, but I figured yuzu flavoured products were much harder to find in Montreal so I settled for that.

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My friend got the Americano, which contains campari and vermouth. It was really quite delicious even though it was a little strong for me. The flavour was sweet enough but not too overdone so that it makes you want to gag after a few sips. It was garnished with a slice of orange.

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Jamaican Mule

My last friend ordered the Jamaican Mule, containing rum, ginger and some syrups. I thought this was surprisingly delicious. When she had first ordered it I had imagined it to be a dark and thicker drink. But it was actually very refreshing and the ginger was not overpowering at all. All of the drinks came with the cute little Japan-themed tooth pick. I thought it added such a cute but subtle flare to it.

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On top of the main portion of the bar, where we were situated, there were these bottles hanging there. My friend explained that these were unfinished bottles of patrons when they order the expensive sake. They are allowed to sign or write a message on it, and then are placed there for others to see. I thought that was a great way to add a more personal relationship with the patrons.

You can either open a tab or pay as you go. If you open the tab you get this cute little card that kind of resembles a hotel card, with a number on it. At the end you can pay separately if you’d like by card. I thought this was a system that worked very well with what patrons often need.

In terms of the ambiance, I absolutely 1000000% loved it. It’s perfect for me. I love way it was decorated. Simple, modern yet with very subtle accents. The candles obviously gave a romantic touch, and I did see a lot of couples there. But it’s not so obviously “romantic” that friends can’t enjoy the atmosphere. It wasn’t TOO loud, but definitely wasn’t a super quiet environment. I loved that you don’t get secluded booths so that it’s more lively and you could probably meet some interesting people there. The owner comes around later in the night to pour your drinks and make conversation with you which was something I really appreciated. This place is definitely not good for a big party though. The reason being that you have to sit or stand along the bar and it’d be very difficult to chat with your friend who was standing 9 people down…. I’d say if you have a party of 3 or 4 would be perfect.

I loved this bar so much, it has become my favourite bar at the moment. Just everything about it made me so at peace and happy. The fact that it has a slight Japanese theme to it didn’t hurt either. I highly recommend coming here for a chill night if you just wanna chat with your friends!

Service: 3.5/5
Drinks: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: dark, down-key, relaxed, sophistocated, modern, simple
Price: $10-15 per drink

Big in Japan on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon

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