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Omnivore is a cute Mediterranean restaurant serving a mix of themed platters and delicious, fusion-type sandwiches. The place has a bit of a hippie sort of vibe that’s all at once calming and forwardly friendly, accentuated by the long wooden communal table and the close quarters that encourage diners to sit and eat together. Leafy plants decorate the windowsills and eclectic animal and abstract art decorate the colourfully tiled walls. You walk in, give the chalkboard menu a good look and step up to the counter to order. If you’re staying to eat, take a seat and wait for the servers to bring you your meal.
On our last night in Japan, we went to Matsuskagyu in Osaka. As recommended by the New York Times “36 Hours in Osaka” travel guide, this spot is ‘where the beef is’. After two weeks of meals made up of predominantly fish, we were excited to try a meat-centric meal for a change. We headed to the Fukushima location where up a flight of stairs, and through a narrow walkway we were seated in a semi-private booth with an inlaid tabletop grill. All seatings up there have half curtains that lend a sort of privacy to the diners sitting inside so that they can grill and drink more intimately.
As an ex-resident of the West Island, I’m happy to say that I still frequently go back and visit. Panama has been one of the newer, ‘trendier’ restaurants to appear in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, along with the installments of La Verita and Panne Pazzo by Marche de l’Ouest. After hearing several acquaintances praise the Jean Talon location of Panama for their authentic Greek food, we decided to try it closer to home.
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!
For just $490 NT you can eat as much as your heart desires at the grill-it-yourself On Fire restaurant by the Dinxi MRT station. There is all sorts of seafood (shrimp, scallop, cod, clams) and meat (veal tongue, chicken, pork, sausage) to choose from at the self-serve food bar at the back of the restaurant. There is a ingredients bar for the hot pot that includes fish balls, button mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and tofu among other delicious staples of Chinese cuisine. This deal also includes a nice selection of ice cream by Haagan Daaz and others – flavors range from more Asian influenced ones such as black sesame, taro and sapodilla to more conventional Western ones like cookies and cream. strawberry cheesecake and rum raisin.
Shin Yeh seems to be a popular name for restaurants around here! It means “Vivid Leaves” in Chinese. This particular restaurant serves popular Taiwanese food that you should be able to find almost anywhere, at any food stand around the city. The difference is likely in the degree of cleanliness, the atmosphere (a hotspot for business meetings – every table around us was definitely at the restaurant in a work context) – the speed of the service though, is probably the same. Less than five minutes after we ordered, every dish was on the table, hot and ready to eat.
For lunch, we went to the Yamato restaurant for some Japanese cuisine. Whetting our appetites with a plate of crunchy marinated burdock roots, we eagerly waited for the the deluxe sashimi assortment. It was a nice mix of different elements that are harder to find as fresh in places like Montreal. The squid was very tender and chewy, the tuna and salmon melted in your mouth. As for the tempura shrimp, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and asparagus, each item was deep fried to perfection. The tea kettle soup was one of my favorites of the entire meal – it was tasty and full of nutrients, being composed of the juices of clams and mushrooms and a hint of lemon. Served piping hot, the tea kettle is served with a miniature cup that rests on top – you flip it down and use it to drink the broth out of. I thought it was a compact way to serve the dish and an aesthetically pleasing one too.
Serving Hunan style food, 1010 is located on the 6th floor of the swanky Eslite building. We ordered Chinese cabbage with some pork strips, orange chicken (especially delicious), ribs smothered with cumin seeds (tender, falling off the bone goodness. You get a plastic glove to eat with and a wet towel to clean up with), grilled shrimp (bite off the head and tail, eat the rest of the body, including the shell. Crunchy!), Chinese buns done two ways, steamed and fried along with condensed milk sauce. For dessert, we had the black sesame ice cream topped with tapioca balls and a bowl of chestnut soup with longan (dragon eyes) inside. Unghh, so good. Personally, I never get really excited about Chinese food simply because I have it so much at home. 1010 did a great job of serving delicious Chinese food with a few interesting surprises here and there.
Exhausted after sunning ourselves all day and swimming in the lake (I know, hard life right), we had to have something that was going to fill our empty stomachs and wake us back up. While enjoying the beautiful view of our backyard, we started with a tomato and watermelon salad with feta, dill and mint. The first time this dish was made was for my parents – for their joint birthdays back in April. Since then, it has become a house favorite for the summer, despite the seemingly uncommonly put together ingredients. The watermelon brings sweetness to the dish, the tomatoes weight, the walnuts a crunchy texture and the mint and dill a surprising twist. The recipe can be found here.
For the grilled vegetables, all you need is fresh produce. Cut up a few eggplants, asparagus, red peppers, artichoke and whatever else you fancy and throw them on the grill. Easy!
The challah bread is store bought, so just head to your closest Kosher bakery and pick up a loaf.
The ribs are perfect for a summer BBQ. Juicy, tender and oh-so-delicious. The ribs have to be pre-cooked for three hours until the meat is falling off the bone. It must then be marinated with Diana Sauce and grilled for five to seven minutes.
Check out this link to get the details on how to make the rhubarb strawberry oat crumble. This is also a relatively easy recipe to get through. Throw all the ingredients together in a baking dish and put it in the oven. Good to go![flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626900447500″]