Montreal’s fried chicken scene is happening. We’ve got all types the run the gamut from Korean fried chicken like my faves, Comon, Mon Ami, Corilla, and Dawa, to Southern style at Triple Crown Dinette and Icehouse to everything in between. Now comes a new player in the game. When I first got word of this week’s spot, I was excited. Not only because it was fried chicken, but one the kind that is not represented AT ALL in the city. What do you think of when I say Filipino fried chicken? That place with the dead-eye mascot performing a choreographed dance at a children’s birthday party? What if I told you, there’s a place in Montreal that’s comparable… and dare I say, even better. This week I check out Maffeo’s Fried chicken.
Once upon a time, I was not a fan of brunch. I disliked the idea of having a whole new set of rules and restrictions of what food identified as to be categorized as another meal. But I overcame, no titles will define my meals. Maybe it was just because it was embarrassing to include brunch in the list of meals I ate in a day; breakfast, second breakfast, brunch, pre-dinner, dinner and second-dinner. To be fair, you can’t blame me when Montreal has so many great brunch options. To add to the growing list, this week I checked out the newest location of Tommy Cafe at Fairview Pointe-Claire.
I’ve always joked that dim sum is almost a form of Chinese tapas – small dishes, bite-sized foods easy to share – “chapas”. I recently had the opportunity to check out a spot in Laval that is re-interpreting and re-envisioning modern Chinese cuisine and serving them tapas style. Gon Bui is a young and fun spot interpreting what Chinese tapas would be. Done by incorporating elements from other Asian cuisines to amalgamate and present something thoughtful and new. I’ll drink to that… Cheers? Santé? No, gon bui!
When was the last time you were at Place Bell? Yes, THAT Place Bell, home of the Laval Rockets and host of various events and concerts. I’ve been exactly three times and not for hockey games or shows, but for food. No, not at the concessions or the arena cantine where they serve questionable steamies and overpriced alcohol. Place Bell is home to one of the most happening restaurants in Laval – Gatto Matto. Far from a sports bar with sticky floors pumping out deep fried frozen foods. This spot bills itself as a place who’s “bright and vibrant colors give a WOW factor that will make you feel like in a modern Milan hotel with a girly touch.” Listen, don’t judge me for the fact that I’ve already been three times. Keep reading and you’ll know why.
There are a few things that we Montrealers are passionate about; politics, the great bagel and smoked meat debates, road construction and a good food festival. If you think hard, you’ll be able to remember the times the city was literally a buzz with food-centric events. Hungry hoards of foodies making the trek to different parts of the city all in the name of devouring some of the best dishes by the city’s best culinary talents. One of the biggest Old Montreal food festivals is back after a two year hiatus; Happening Gourmand and it’s better than ever.
Cheers! Santé! Kampai! “When I say sake, you say bomb… SAKEEEEEE…” We’ve all said these things at one time or another. If you’re not Vietnamese (or drank with Vietnamese friends) I’m about to put you on to a new drinking toast. “1…2…3… Yo!” which roughly translates to “1,2,3 let’s go!” This toast is the namesake of the newly opened Vietnamese spot in Laval, 1,2,3, Dzo! A spot that is offering up legit street food eats and an authentic curb-side dining experience. Be honest, we’re all fans of street food and we’re fortunate enough in Montreal to have access to all kinds. From Japanese izakayas, to Korean indoor stalls, Chinese crepes and dumplings and Vietnamese pubs, we’re got them all, and now, we’ve got another.
I recently had to opportunity to check out one of the hottest tables in the city right now. And by “table”, I mean “bar”… as in sushi bar. Okeya Kyujiro is one of the newest Japanese restaurants and it has taken the city by storm. Be honest; have you ever been asked what you wanted to eat and you answered with, “whatever”? You’re in luck, because this spot has you covered. Okeya Kyujiro serves an omakase menu exclusively. This Omakase menu is a 25-course sensory exploration. Short of the assorted 20 piece pre-made sushi box you pick up from your local sushi spot, the omakase menu at Okeya Kyujiro is more than a meal, it’s an experience.
When you think of Caribbean food, what do you think of? Spicy chicken and beef dishes, stews, plump roti, doubles and patties? Washing everything down with sorrel or peanut punch? Keep that thought. Now what comes to mind when you think of Caribbean food in Montreal? If one of the first places that comes to mind is the iconic Caribbean Curry House in Cote-des-Neiges, then congratulations, you know what’s up. I’m happy to let you OGs know that your favourite Caribbean oasis has recently opened their second location! Can you guess where? That’s right, Caribbean Curry House is bringing the tastes and flavours of the islands… to the WEST island!
Can we call agree that we all love pizza? I don’t think I know one person who dislikes pizzas, then again, anyone who doesn’t like pizza, isn’t someone worth knowing. I mean, we’ve got pizzas that satisfies all palates, vegan, gluten free, low carb, high carb, keto, there’s literally no reason to dislike pizza. We all have our go-to pizza spots. Like New York style pizza? Cop a slice at La New Yorkaise or Pizza Toni. More into traditional Neapolitan, Gema, No. 900, Rita has you covered. You can find more here. Those are some of my favourite slices in the city, and this week, I add another to the list, I try GPizzas.
Someone finally did it. Someone finally took one of the last humble dishes to the next level in Montreal. That dish; Pho. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve eaten my way though the city and have a pretty extensive list of restaurants where I’ve eaten pho. From spots in Cote-des-Neiges, to the Mile-End, West island to Rosemont, I’ve eaten them all. Yes, yes, I’m working on up updated “best of” post – will be out soon. The dac biet is my bowl of choice. It’s the gold medal standard. It’s got all the bells and whistles – rare steak, brisket, flank, tendon, tripe, meatballs topped on chewy rice noodles in a delicious bone broth. What can be better? It’s perfect. How do you improve on perfection? Well, this spot did just that. I checked out Pho Jean-Talon to try their soon-to-be-famous filet mignon pho.