posts displayed by tag
Chiang Mai is heralded by food critics and top chefs as the holy mecca of Thai food. After watching Anthony Bourdain and Andy Ricker destroy the plates of roast chicken while praising this place non-stop, we knew we had to make a trip while we were in the city.
This place is honestly the cutest. Maybe also one of the kitchiest but it’s a vibe I can get down with. Action figures populate little cupboard protected by glass (Mexican and other), flashing neon bulbs surround a mounted photo of Madonna and dark doodles on a black chalkboard set the mood. I especially love the sassy facts written on the wall like “Nacho chips are NOT a Mexican food” and “Achiote is a condiment” and “The green sauce is not guacamole”. Word.
With decor that can be only be described as eclectic and entirely whimsical, Chez José is a favourite local lunch spot with smoothies to die for, bangin’ sandwiches and awesome homemade pastries. Looking around the small shop, brightly contrasting animal prints (red and yellow leopard print, purple and black zebra stripes), funny bits and pieces of memorabilia (“sex scene – do not cross” tape, Ken barbie doll, disco ball) and high res photographs of nameless individuals catch your eye and make you smile.
Divided between the Shahi Palace and Tandoor & Grille, we opted for the former as it seemed advocates for it were stronger than for the latter. I personally had never been so I was totally game. Ya’ll know how much I love trying new restaurants…
After visiting the Librairie Drawn and Quarterly to pick up issue number 2 of David Chang’s new food mag Lucky Peach, we slid next door for some eats at Nouveau Palais. We usually come here late at night to get delicious Grumman tacos but it was nice to come at a more reasonable hour and check out the regular menu.
Armenian cuisine is hard to come by in the city. Going into Laval, the dearth seems to suddenly disappear, replaced by a wealth of Armenian bakeries, schools, restaurants and grocery stores. We headed to Karoun, a restaurant that is relatively easy to access from the highway. While it is true that Laval is out of the way for most people living in the city, rest assured this restaurant is well worth making the trip out for. It had been years since I last visited the place but I remembered very clearly the raw meat dish, the kebbe naye that had been one of my favorites back in the day. That was first on my list to order.
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been on a streak of rotisserie type meals for the past week. Just can’t get enough. At work last Friday, we decided to order in from the Montreal famous Chalet BBQ on Decarie. It’s an old classic and a great one at that. People already know this – the place has been voted as the #1 rotisserie in the city by the Le Choix des Connaisseurs and is one of oldest in town, having been open since 1944.
Terrase Nelligan is a restaurant and bar sitting atop the Nelligan hotel. The space and ambiance has a very 5 – 7 feel to it attracting mostly a late 20s to 30s affluent crowd. It is Old Montreal after all. Terrasse Nelligan is one of three restaurants in Hotel Nelligan, along with Mechant Boeuf and Verses. The menu is pretty basic and is comprised of mostly finger foods with some mains as well.
One of the snazzier restaurants the West Island has to offer, Enoteca Mozza has a full bar as well as a separate dining area, both of which were incidentally humming as we stopped by for Friday night dinner. Boasting wood-fire ovens, an authentic selection of Italian eats and a penchant for simple, fresh cooking, Enoteca seems to be doing things right. Tailored to the suburban clientele, the place is accommodating to families (almost every dish on the menu is offered in ‘family size’, reinforcing this idea), larger groups and sports fans (large TVs broadcasting sporting events are strategically placed by the bar and in key spots in the dining room). In the course of ten minutes, we heard three “Happy Birthdays” sung around us.
Having opened its doors about two months ago, Restaurant Biarritz is a new restaurant venture headed by Stéphane Bouzaglou who has previously worked with celebrity chef Daniel Boulud (check out this post from Singapore for a review on his Bistro Moderne). The place is a cozy, tiny little thing that exudes friendliness and warmth, offering up a casual chic atmosphere to meet up with friends and family.
Way back when I first heard the La Iguana was closing, I was sad to see one of the few good Mexican restaurants in Montreal go. But now, with the opening of Ice House in its stead (literally in the exact same location) I think I may have found something even better!Only a block away from all the action on St. Laurent street, Roy is surprisingly quiet which is actually kind of nice for a more intimate dinner on a hot summer night. The place has barstools, wooden benches, convenient napkin dispensers (no cutlery given!) and an eclectic sense of decoration, with for example, a mounted rabbit with antlers attached just by the cash.
Hungering for something cheap and delicious, we stopped by the legendary Cuisine Bangkok for lunch. Located in the low-key setting of the Faubourg right by Concordia University, the restaurant can be found on the top floor and is easy to pick out by the usual lineup of people around lunchtime. Awarded “Best Thai” restaurant in the city by the Mirror, it is no wonder the place is almost always in customer overload. The pad thai here is famous (whether you order it with shrimp, calamari, chicken, beef etc.) as is its eggplant and chicken dish. We ordered one shrimp pad thai and one chicken pad thai, with extra lime. When they ask you for how spicy you want it, be careful. They don’t kid around with the spice level – if you ask for spicy, you’re going to get it. And remember, cash only. For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, stop wasting time!
I finally got a chance to go to Toqué for my birthday dinner. After having heard so much about the gourmet eatery in the Old Port, I can say that the restaurant went above and beyond in every respect, including the hype surrounding it. I was completely blown away by the impeccable service, the great food and the amazing ambiance. Walking in, the atmosphere of ‘high class sophistication’ is apparent from the get go.
This has been a favourite spot of mine for years. It’s close proximity to my apartment and park lafontaine, very friendly staff and unbeatable table d’hote price speak for itself. To top it all off, it’s bring your own wine and they even have a small terrace. I’ve eaten here over 20 times and never had a bad experience. This summer, the restaurant underwent major renovations and this was my first visit back.
Located directly across from Lasalle College, Avesta may be easy to miss amongst many ethnic eateries on St Catherine West. Once we saw the lady in the front window happily stretching fresh dough to make delicious flat bread, we committed to giving it a try. The service was somewhat slow during the lunch hour as we picked up sandwiches (that were really wraps) to go. Word on the street is that Avesta’s specialty is Manti which is fresh dough with spiced beef covered in yogurt, butter and spices.
Looking down the comment/review list on Burgundy Lion‘s Urbanspoon page, sentiments are mixed. While the crowd is doubtlessly cool, the atmosphere is chic and the decor is interestingly laid out, the service is sporadic, the menu is forgettable and the food is at its best mediocre. I really wanted to like this place after hearing so much about the legendary trivia night, the great drinks and the people – but unfortunately the food did not measure up.
Tandoor & Grille’s new digs on des Sources street is more than a few steps up from the comparatively smaller space they occupied for years before just a block over on the strip. Boasting chandeliers that hang from the high ceilings, flat screen TVs on opposing walls and a seating capacity that’s about triple the size of the old restaurant, Tandoor is clearly doing very well. And it’s all because of the amazing food they serve there. Loyal customers from the beginning, we have come to be acquaintances with the Pakistani chef. As we tried to order the famous dahl soup, he came out to tell us that it wasn’t ready (we were some of the only diners in the restaurant at noon on a Sunday) and suggested the chicken vegetable soup instead. So we took it! It was hearty and actually had some Chinese influence – coming with optional toppings of two types of chili and soy sauce, that much was obvious. If you’re going to order a big meal, this soup is not recommended with those with smaller stomachs – you won’t have room to eat much else!
Located immediately next to Atwater Market’s parking lot in its open air market space, the Satay Brothers has been garnering a lot of buzz in the Montreal food scene lately – and rightfully so. Serving South Asian food, the menu is short but sweet and filled with authentic Singaporean items. Alex (one of the Satay Brothers) ordered for us after we asked him to give us the best of what they had.
The West Island welcomes a new addition to its ethnic roster of restaurants: Aryana. And no, it’s not another serving Indian food – this time its Afghan. It’s nice to see some more diversity in the curry, stew and grill departments on des Sources Boulevard. Having been open a mere three weeks, the family run restaurant is still very new to the scene in terms of notoriety and recognition – hopefully people will hear more about it and take the time to visit the place because it is unbelievably good. Some even make comparisons to the more established Khyber Pass on Duluth and conclude that Aryana has a better grasp on the authenticity of the cuisine!
Everyone appreciates good food. When it’s cheap too, it’s a pleasant bonus – this unbeatable combination usually makes the place an instant favorite or a go-to spot. Dépanneur Le Pick Up is one of such places. Serving a number of different clubs and sandwiches for lunch – the pulled pork is notably their most famous item – Le Pick Up exudes a very friendly and very casual vibe because if you were wondering, the restaurant really is located inside a dépanneur so after your meal you can conveniently pick up a few things for the kitchen if you wish. Unfortunately the pulled pork was all out by the time we got there, so we got the club chipotle and the vegetarian Vietnamese sandwich. The chicken in the club was tender, juicy and delicious and the smoked Mexican mayo contributed a nice spicy kick to the overall flavor. The Vietnamese was quite spicy in its own right, being peppered with hot red ones throughout. Everything disappeared faster than you could say “Dépanneur Le Pick Up” – a foretelling sign that we’ll be back in no time.