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If you’re Asian and grew up in the 90s, GaNaDaRa’s decor might bring back some memories. Remember those hilarious journals we used to get? The ones where there would be cute cartoon animals on every page and assorted “life lesson” quotes about love, relationships and happiness to help inspire whatever thoughts you were writing down? Morning Glory anyone? GaNaDaRa Montreal has a similar theme running – the walls are painted with at least two quotes that run in the same vein and feature some art that might trigger some childhood memories. I know they made me smile.
Not sure exactly what the deal is with cute Asian, specifically Korean, restaurants in Montreal lately. Something about the colorful, playful aspect of the decor and signage seems to reel customers in by the dozens. Omma sort of has the cutesy Korean vibe down to a T, but as you can probably guess, there’s a new contender for the title. Kantapia is a new Korean restaurant located at the busy corners of Parc and Sherbrooke that has been open for about a month now. We headed there for lunch one day last week to give it a try.
This place has so much hype it’s ridiculous. Everyone that I’d spoken to in Toronto had already been to Banh Mi Boys and every single person raved about it. When talking about it in groups, people nodded knowingly to each other and proceeded to discuss their favourite sandwiches and sides… for minutes on end. Having had a relatively consistent reign over UrbanSpoon Toronto’s “Talk of the Town” since last year, I made it a point to check the place out this time around.
This year’s Oysterfest was another smashing success. The weather fully cooperated: it turned out to be an overall perfect September afternoon – smiles all around. With all the delicious foods being made and served on the premises, I don’t know what in the world anyone could have been upset about. Upbeat music blasted through the speakers and people milled happily about within the thick mish mash of aromatic scents in the air. Regardless of where you looked, people lined up left, right and center for a taste. And you can’t blame them either.
One of those quick in and out restaurants, Sumo Ramen specializes in… you guessed it. Ramen noodles. The large cartoon sumo wrestler that represents the place is instantly recognizable, giving the place a bit of edge over say, Hakata Ramen. With the majority of the clientele being student based, the prices are friendly and quite reasonable. We ordered a Heineken and a standard milk tea with bubbles. I have to say that the bubble tea here is not the best you can get in the city. The milk tea did not taste super fresh – more like it was made out of a powder or something concentrated. The tapioca balls seemed thin and lacked substance – they were not chewy or bouncy like you would expect them to be. I would suggest going to Magic Idea for a proper cup of bubble tea instead. I do definitely appreciate Sumo Ramen’s effort though.
Le Bremner is one of Montreal’s newest and most popular restaurants – not only has it been all over the Urbanspoon talk of the town, but it has been quite successful in getting a fair amount of attention just through word of mouth. This buzz may mostly be because of its celebrity chef owner, Chuck Hughes. With a sweet spot on St. Paul street in the Old Port and one of the most beautiful terraces I’ve seen in a while, the back part of the restaurant is an absolute gem. Weather permitting (fall and colder weather fast approaching), make sure to request for a spot out there. Surrounded by rustic chic decor and leafy greens, paneled/embossed ceilings and great big wooden tables, Le Bremner has its look nailed. The lack of signage makes it very possible for people to miss Le Bremner – the word “Restaurant” is written in simple red lettering above steps leading to a basement level giving it a more underground, exclusive feel.