Sushi: we finally get it
It took Halifax a long time to embrace Japanese cuisine, but I think we’ve done it! At last count, there were nine restaurants, plus a few food-court vendors in malls. The grocery chains have also caught on to one of North America’s most popular food trends, offering fresh sushi at their deli counters.
The simplicity and freshnees of a Japanese meal is unique. Afterwards, you’re full, but your body is thankful you’ve treated it so well.
1520 Queen St. has have various lives, as a Caribbean restaurant, and as a fabulous fish & chips joint. Now it is mostly Japanese, thought Korean, too. You can sit at the bar and watch chef Chung Young Ko (or James, as he is known) in action. We choose a table instead, but within chatting distance of the chef. Having been employed in restaurants in his homeland of Korea, and in Toronto, he has been in Halifax for six months, happily operating his own place.
We visit on a Friday evening – it is very quiet downstairs with people at only two other tables, while in the upstairs dinning room a large group of tae kwon do enthusiasts seem to be having fun.
The extensive menu is almost overwhelming. For appetizers, we choose the Kushi Yaki, two tasty skewers of broiled beef, chicken, carrot, onion and zucchini, as well as an order of tempura, fried shrimp and vegetables. The Tempura batter is light and the shrimp and vegetables are cooked perfectly. We share a seafood salad, a generous serving of crisp greens, loaded with fresh – and raw – seafood: salmon, surf clam, and tuna. I don’t often have raw fish in my salad and I don’t know if I’d try it at home, but it’s a fun treat.
For the main course, my pal chooses what we are told is the most popular Korean dish on the menu: Bulkokee, sliced sirloin marinated in a sesame, soy and garlic sauce with steamed rice and miso soup. Miso, a traditional Japanese soup made from a soybean paste, as usual has a very delicate favour. The sirloin is tender and its sauce subtle but a tad oily. We also share some sushi, all fresh and delicious. Negihamachi Maki, is yellowtail tuna with green onion wrapped in nori, paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed. Salmon Maki, has a spicy sauce on top, Futo Maki is a large, stunningly arranged roll of – get ready for this… picked radish, cucumber, cooked mushroom, squash, friend egg, crab cake and, naturally, bbq eel. Yum.
What makes sushi fun, of course, is dipping it in soy sauce and wasabi, Japanese horseradish. A hit of fiery wasabi is unlike anything else – directly up your nose, it is highly recommended to clear sinuses!
Much to full to try the tempting ice cream with bean paste for dessert, I settled on a relaxing cup of Genmai made from green tea and roasted rice, with an almost nutty flavour.
It, like the restaurant, is a good choice.
Review by: Valerie Mansour
The Coast: Minato is cozy but there’s enough space to put down your shopping bags and enjoy some good sushi. Maki, sashimi and other Japanese treats are well represented, but leave room for their spicy Korean dishes, including bee-bim-bap and noodles.
Ben B: So if you’re looking for the best vegetable dragon maki in town, it’s right here.
Sarah H: The Spider Roll is great, and they have a great selection of unique rolls to choose from, along with all of your other Japanese fair.
Laura P: Minato may close its doors for the month of October, but with a sudden rebirth of sushi desire– I’ll sweat out the wait.
Tyler Childs: This is very food. It’s a lot of food and sometimes I can’t always finish it all. 5/5 would food again.
Andres Flores: Overall Excellent
Steven Verbeek: I live this place, I go there at least a month and get vegetable dragon roll. I just love the sauce they put on it.
Marie: BEST sushi and Ginger salad in the city!!!! Try the veg dragon roll too!
Food was yummy and the owner/worker seems to be a authentic Japanese chef. Price was pretty decent and the shop have a cute little look to it.
Underrated Sushi restaurant in Halifax. The owners are very nice and friendly and the food was delicious and nicely presented. This is one of my favourite sushi places in the town.
Some of the best shuhi I have had in some time. Well prepared and wonderfully tasty fish delight.
Super delish! Vegan friendly dishes and really great tasting rice and fresh veg! Would love some atmospheric music but good either way!!
Minato sushi is a hidden gem. Truly amazing sushi. Great katsu, donburi etc. Pleasant service. Amazing prices.
Quiet and traditional Asian cuisine establishment. Have visited twice (2/2020 and 8/2021). Staff is polite and respectful. Service is reasonable, as are prices. Quality and presentation appear to be very good although I'm not an aficionado of any type of cuisine. Place is a little rustic but generally seems clean.
I absolutely adore this place. It has amazing food, amazing tea, super relaxing and there's so much art. Heres our rolls with unagi, surf clam, octopus, and genmai tea (brown rice green tea)
Cozy and quiet spot for some excellent sushi! All of the maki and sashimi we tried was fresh and delicious. Staff were very friendly and welcoming. Would definitely recommend to real sushi lovers.
Love this gem of a place! They give such big portions of fish for their nigiri and their rice is always fresh. They also don't skimp out on their ginger, they must make their pickled ginger themselves because the pieces are huge! I also find that the soy sauce they give is tastier, some sushi restaurants water down their soy sauce. Little details like that make all the difference! Plus the owner is super kind :-)
Delicious food in a cozy setting. Will definitely be back
Minato Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Monday11:30am - 7:00pm
Tuesday11:30am - 7:00pm
Wednesday11:30am - 7:00pm
Thursday11:30am - 7:00pm
Friday11:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday11:30am - 7:00pm