It goes without saying that if your restaurant name includes a name of a dish, chances are that’s your specialty. No one is going to Big Bob’s Bussin’ Burgers for their impecable teppanyaki service. Places like Amy’s Dejeuner, Liuyishou Hot pot, Maffeo’s Fried Chicken, and Toni Pizza, one look at the name you can pretty much guess what you’re getting. I recently checked out a Vietnamese spot in Saint-Michel that specializes in one very particular dish – a savoury pancake called Banh Xeo – I went to Banh Xeo Minh.
I recently polled my Instagram how everyone defines brunch. Is it the food that dictates what brunch is? The time? The day? Answers were varied. Some think that brunch is explicitly regulated to Sundays after 10am, others will say anytime after noon. I also received answers that it’s the type of foods eaten that makes a meal brunch. This blows my mind; eggs Benedict = breakfast, eggs Benedict with avocado and smoked salmon = brunch. I don’t get it, but what I do get is that I’ve succumbed to the ritual of rolling out of bed on a Sunday and rushing to line up to eat breakfast. This week I checked out a spot that’s quickly becoming a favourite of mine, Amy’s Déjeuner.
Who doesn’t love a sandwich? It’s the most versatile meal and snack. You can eat it in a restaurant or in a park. It’s delicious on a plate or in the Metro with a shark. The humble sandwich is always a go-to meal regardless of the situation. Whether it’s a BLT or beef shawarma, pork belly bao or even hot dog, I love all sandwiches. I especially love banh mi. A Vietnamese sandwich packed full of grilled meats, pork loaf, fresh verbs and pickles. I was recently invited to check out a new banh mi spot Mi Bao.
I’ve said it before that Montreal’s ramen scene is strong. Some might even argue; too strong. What’s great about having so may options is that everyone is relatively on the same playing field. When everyone is lined up next to each other doing the same thing, that’s only when the stars will shine the brightest. My gold medal standard bowl of ramen is from Yokato Yokabai. Their classic tonkotsu is undefeated. Although (don’t tell anyone) I’ve become a big fan of their Gomami broth – a sesame based broth. This week I went to check out the new location of Kumamoto Ramen in Ville Saint Laurent to see where they stack up.
We’re going to start 2023 with a bang. Literally. A meal at this place felt like a straight body-shot to the gut. You may not know it but not only does Montreal have great Chinese restaurants, but we are home to restaurants that represent the various regional cuisines of China – as per my article for Tourism Montreal. The majority of restaurants in the city serve Cantonese cuisine- fried noodles, sweet and sour deep this and thats, rice dishes, sizzling platters, dumplings. It’s once you get into regional specialties can you tell the difference. The spices, the techniques, the ingredients. The regional cuisine that stands out is Szechuan. I recently discovered the small Szechuan restaurant – Mala Express – in one of the most obvious neighbourhoods in the city… Kirkland.
In the past several years, it seems like the city has experienced an exponential boom in fried chicken spots. You’ve got the OGs like, Triple Crown, Icehouse, Mon Ami, Comon, to the new kids, Olivia’s, Corilla, Cali and Maffeo’s. I’d like to say that the fried chicken frenzy has peaked but with a few more spots that I have lined to to write about, I don’t see an end in sight… for now. That being said, this week, I hit up one of our home-grown fried chicken chains to pop up, Jack Le Coq.
Have you had hot pot before? It’s often referred to as “Asian fondue”. Which technically isn’t wrong. The principle is the same. Things dipped in a simmering liquid and eaten with a sauce. When you think fondue, you picture a pot of simmering tepid broth heated by a can of sterno. Different color-coded two-tined prods sticking out holding on to thin slices of meat or vegetables. The main difference between hot pot and western or French “fondue” is that Asian hot pot is better. PERIODT. I recently had the opportunity to check out one of the hottest hot pot spots around, Liuyishou Hotpot in downtown.
Teishoku Style Dining in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue – Mont-Brise Cuisine Japonaise
Quick, name you most favourite Japanese restaurant in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. As we all know this area of the city is a bustling hub for fine Asian cuisine. Jokes aside, if you know anything the current Montreal restaurant scene, you would not be surprised to find hidden gems in any corner of the city. Blue-collar neighbourhoods like Verdun or Ville Émard or Côte-Saint-Paul once known for their greasy-spoons and casse croutes are now home to awesome Asian restaurants like Comon, Les Street Monkeys and casual fine dining with the likes of Joe Beef’s McKiernan. Or maybe Laval which was once a baron wasteland of anything delicious is now home to fun drinking and food spots like 123Dzo, Gon Bui and modern Italian at Gatto Matto. The list goes on. This week we’re going to the way West Island to check out your new favorite Japanese restaurant Mont Brise serving Teishoko style dining.
Your favourite secret Chinese restaurant is back at it again with an undercover (well not anymore) DAILY dim sum service. I first wrote about this place eight years ago. For those who don’t know about this Chinese restaurant speakeasy, it’s in the basement of an all you can eat sushi spot. When you walk into Kanda Sushi on Decarie, disregard the hostess station and walk past the sushi bar towards the spiralling stairs. Pass the high chairs and random pile of table linens, the stairs will give way to an alternate universe, a second restaurant – a restaurant within a restaurant – Oriental Fuzion.
I know I often talk in superlatives and hyperbole. Likening something to a mind shattering experience of epic proportion‘s or comparing something to the warm embrace of your mother. I mean, both statements could be true. I’ve eaten a lot of things so if I tell you something is awesome I’m usually right. Also your mom‘s hugs are A1, trust me. So, when I tell you that this place serves the best French toast you’ll ever have in Montreal you’ll have to believe me. And I’m not even a fan of French toast. This week I visited a local café that if you closed your eyes and concentrated hard enough, you’d think you were transported to a quaint Parisian neighbourhood. You need to go to Les Bourlettes Café in Ville St. Laurent.