Matsuri means “festival” in Japanese. In Japan, these festivals mostly in the summer give people an occassion to wear a yukata (a more casual version of a kimono made with lighter fabric for the summer). You can enjoy snacks and drinks while strolling around, playing activities and usually watching fireworks.
Montreal has their own festival called Matsuri Japon, which happens in August. This year’s 12th edition was held on August 10th at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal. I have not been in 2 years since they moved from the Old Port to the JCCCM.
I was really excited to eat Japanese food, I wanted to try everything but unfortunately I couldn’t. My wallet and my stomach would not have survived. Accompanied by Sat and Mick, we tried what we could. We also rented yukata that you could wear for an hour. You had to leave a piece of ID as well as a deposit of 10 dollars per person. Of course, volunteers are there to help you put them on.
First, we started with yakisoba: fried noodles with beef and seaweed powder over. It was very savoury and the seaweed powder added extra flavour. It was worth its price at 7 dollars with a good portion.
Then we tried some J-dogs aka japanese hot dogs. Sat had the kimchi dog and I had the wasabi one. The kimchi was fresh and delicious. It was ready in the morning, a nice lady told us and we could taste it. The wasabi was mixed with the mayonnaise. It was pretty strong but after a few bites, it was okay. If I was given the choice to get some again, I’d go for the kimchi. I would have tried the okonomi one but there was no point since we were getting okonomiyaki later.
On to the okonomiyaki now. It’s a pancake filled with different ingredients. This one was pretty simple with vegetables and potatoes. Only cost 4 dollars for a good portion, which left us full.
Though there’s always space for dessert, especially at 3 dollars! Kakigori is shaved ice dessert with flavoured syrup. You can serve it with azuki (red bean) paste and condensed milk for a dollar more. I opted for strawberry with azuki paste. The taste was heavenly, a mix of cold, sweet and refreshing. Mick had the orange one with condensed milk and azuki paste while Sat had cherry with both. I realized that they were asked if they wanted condensed milk in their kakigori but nobody asked me! I was a bit upset but happy with my flavour as I gulped it down pretty fast. Also the condensed milk was heavier but oh so creamy and decadent. The cherry was like a foodgasm. Luckily, we were abe to eat some of the last kakigori, they ran out about 10 minutes after I ordered. If ever you see shaved ice dessert, taste it and do add the azuki with the condensed milk, you will not regret it!
Somehow we managed to have space takoyaki, small wheat flour batter filled with cheese. You get four pieces for a total of 4 dollars. They had no more shiitake mushrooms when I ordered them. The cheese ones were pretty good. Usually I get the ones with pieces of octopus so they’re more spongy than creamy.
I had also bought some azuki filled buns from Yuki Bakery, a nice bakery in NDG. Their cupcakes are amazing, Em got me some for my birthday and I literaly had some foodgasms eating them!!! I got four buns for 5 dollars. I love snacks with azuki paste to not say I’m obsessed with it. I ate one bun on my way home from the festival. I had the other three buns for breakfast this sunday morning. Sweet and delicious like always.
I also bought a green tea scone, I was curious to try it. It cost 2.50 dollars, pretty much the same price as the ones in Starbucks. Also had it for breakfast but didn’t enjoy them as much as the buns. It had pieces of cranberries, which I’m not a big fan and I ended up removing half of them.
That’s all for my adventure at Matsuri Japon this year!!!