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When sushi first hit the North American dining scene, it caught on like wildfire, making it the hallmark of Japanese cuisine in the West. But while the popularity of sushi grew, other cultural and culinary treasures from Japan went largely unnoticed.

After a long day at the office, it's customary for Japanese workers to head to the Izakaya, or Japanese pub, to unwind with a drink and Japanese tapas. While popular in the Land of the Rising Sun, Izakayas are a rare find in North America, with just a handful sprinkled across the continent, and only a few to be found in Canada. And that's just what inspired Patrick Fung and Chris Côté, two Montrealers, to start one on the city's west side. "We wanted to do something different and create something authentically Japanese," says Patrick.

Imadake, with its pub-style decor and menu, opened its doors in the summer of 2011 to introduce visitors to a little-known side of Japanese culture and cuisine. “For the first few months, it was quiet," says Kevin Fung, Imadake's Operations Manager. "But the Montreal Gazette wrote a great review and the concept took off."

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    Imadake is the home of sake bombs, Japanese izakaya delicacies, and ramen. It’s the perfect spot to not only eat dinner, but also continue your night and getting a little wild. They have traditional pork belly ramen, that you can enjoy in their original or miso broth. However, our favourite is their rare steak ramen, the red beef is cooked ever so slightly from the heat of the broth. Since you’re at Imadake, enjoy your bowl of ramen with their takoyaki (octopus balls) and their okonomiyaki (seafood pancake).

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    Imadake is a Japanese izakaya located in downtown Montreal. Our favourite dishes include their deep-fried chicken skin, their fried goat cheese, and their takoyaki (octopus balls). We’re also staunch supporters of Imadake’s sake bombs! Their bar is open until 3 am but their kitchen is open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday, although some dishes like their ramen are only available until around 11:30 pm.

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