Chef Tri Du

The master’s secrets in every bite

Tri Du fled Vietnam as a “boat person” and was taken in by a family of farmers from Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Years later, however, the lure of the big city proved irresistible, and he left the land to move to Montreal.

He held a variety of jobs there, eventually ending up at La Croissanterie, where his abilities so impressed the management that he began helping the pastry chef and ended up with the title himself. But Tri Du needed something else and moved on to Sushibar, where he trained under a team of Japanese chefs.

An innovator, creator and artist, he revamped the classics, and the name Tri Du quickly became synonymous with fine dining on the restaurant scene. Altro, Primadonna, Kaizen and Tree House all had the good fortune to welcome this new master as part of their kitchen staff.

Tri Du finally opened his own establishment, Tri Express, on Laurier Avenue, a cozy restaurant that seats about 30 customers. Inside, the decor is original, a bit like a curio shop, decorated with a thousand and one trinkets. On the menu, sushi, sushi and more sushi, along with two perennial favourites, the Tri seafood soup and salad. But it’s definitely Chef Tri’s sushi and his sublime spicy sauce that keeps ‘em coming back for more. He’s the only one who makes it, and, of course, the recipe is a secret.

He’s also the only one who shops for his fruit, veggies and fish. That’s a non-negotiable; it’s how he makes sure the ingredients in his dishes are always fresh.