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Before we even sat down, I had my doubts. The restaurants was hot and didn’t seem particularly clean. The food sitting behind the counter didn’t look freshly cooked, nor did it look hot. The server at the front had trouble explaining the dishes to me when asked – never a good sign.
The West Island has been steadily becoming known for it’s vibrant South East Asian community and the gloriously heavy, fragrant food its natives produce. It makes total sense. The immigrant population here is thriving – just take a look at the perpetually busy Adonis, Akhavan, Mourelatos grocery stores and the packed ethnic restaurants down the Sources strip (Tandoor & Grille, Aryana, Shahi Palace, Pushap etc.). Rumor has it that another Indian restaurant is quickly taking over the scene, attracting customers away from the more popular places previously mentioned and into another, more discreet counterpart: Bombay Choupati. Our curiosity was piqued – what could seriously rival Tandoor & Grille in the West Island? We went in to find out.
Situated in what one could call the Little India of Montreal, Bombay Mahal is at the centre of all the commotion. Competition is fierce for customers craving Indian food in the area, with the likes of Curry House right across the street and places like the Chand Palace, Punjab Palace, Moti Mehal and India’s Oven (the list goes on) beckoning on every street corner and nook and cranny of Parc Extension.
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…
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.