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!
Best sushi in Halifax such a hidden gem. Always a great experience and the owners are very friendly. James makes great sushi that is authentic and taste amazing. Always ask to make it spicy adds so much more taste! Highly recommend!
Amazing food! Such great quality and very friendly staff. The cost is affordable and you will leave full and satisfied! This place was perfect for lunch and will have me coming back many times :)
The server timed each dish to come our perfectly so we were satisfied our entire meal. Super fresh sushi in a really cute and memorable building, plus it's in a convenient area!
Awesome. I lived in Japan for 10 years in the countryside. This wonderful restaurant made me feel like I was home there once again. Japanese food was truly authentic mom and pop Japanese style. The hosts were Korean but reminded me of several shops we often visited run by Ojisans and Obaasans. (Grandpas and Grandmas) beautiful sushi.
Minato’s is our go to sushi restaurant in Halifax. The owner and his wife are the best! If you haven’t been, you’re missing out!
I wish I could rate this restaurant more than once. Every visit is perfect. Every dish is delicious. It feels like your in a spot only you are lucky enough to know about, but you're right off Spring Garden. Quite, peaceful, table for one or among friends, this is perfect sushi zen bliss. *Google asked me to update my review but they didnt let me add another star, so heres my own 🌟**
This place is very cozy and nice place to have Japanese food. The owner, chef James and his wife were very kind and friendly. We had chef's special sushi and roll plater and an extra roll on the side plus tempura for two people. It was too much food for us two but we killed it!!!!! It was sooooo goooood 👍🏻 especially scallop sushi was the best one for me :)
This was my first visit here and it didn't disappoint. I walked into a cozy environment that felt warm and inviting, and was quietly and kindly welcomed. As I perused the menu. I could hear the table in front of me pretty much moaning over how delicious their sushi and Udon bowls were. This made the visit even more promising and, it didn't disappoint. The food was simple and utterly delicious! It was nicely presented and it was served in/on unique and pretty bowls and dishes. The service was polite and professional but warm and welcoming at the same time. Prices were very reasonable, which was a nice break from the prices that are often encountered now a days in restaurants. Overall, a wonderful (and very tasty!!) experience and highly recommend this restaurant! Enjoy:)
A great expensive experience I had here. BBQ eel nigiri is awesome, sake is perfect, tuna belly sashimi is highly recommended and the salmon sushi roles are super delicious because of the Korean sushi rice. Will come again soon. Visiting again after a long time: It's even better. Just give the eel role a try followed by sake and miso soup.
Best sushi in Halifax! Always fresh and well prepared. Service is very fast and they are so kind! Very quaint and calm atmosphere which really lets you enjoy the delicious food and take in how good the meal is. Highly recommend!
Minato Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Monday11:30am - 8:00pm
Tuesday11:30am - 8:00pm
Wednesday11:30am - 8:00pm
Thursday11:30am - 8:00pm
Friday11:30am - 8:00pm
Saturday11:30am - 8:00pm