From A5 Hospitality – the Montreal-based hospitality group whose portfolio includes local hot spots Kampai Garden and Jatoba – comes Kozu, a bustling Asian brasserie in Plateau-Mont-Royal. Envisioned by interior designer Amlyne Phillips, the space maintains a chic, but cosy vibe.

As with classic brasseries, you’ll be welcomed with marble-topped tables and walls, lots of brass accents, and cushy leather banquettes. And the crisp palette is familiar, too, with black, white, and tan. But that’s where the traditional references stop. The white oak flooring and ceiling beams serve as a subtle nod to the restaurant’s Asian roots, while custom-designed lighting pendants and wallpaper keep the overall look fresh and original.

As for the food, chef Olivier Vigneault created an Asian-driven menu of savoury, shared plates. The dumplings, like the pork and shrimp gyoza and chicken gai gao, are especially popular, as are the raw seafood creations, like the torched hamachi with sweet soy, jalapeño, and puffed rice.

For heartier appetites, there’s babyback ribs, which have been slow cooked for 12 hours and glazed in a Japanese barbecue sauce. Wash it all down with one of the spirited house cocktails. Kung Fu Panda, for example, is an especially refreshing blend of rum, fresh lime, coconut, and pandan mousse.