What goes through your mind when you think about the food scene in Outremont? Quiet cafes tucked away on the side streets, little bistros du quartier with casual terrasses that line the sidewalks. Hipster wine bars that serve “small plates to share”? Sure, that, but what if I told you that as of now, you can find fiery authentic Thai street food in Outremont? You’d think I’ve been taking too many summer fish sauce shots and crushing one too many noodle bowls. But it’s true. I recently hit up a new local hot spot that’s guaranteed to shock the vanilla neighbourhood with it’s spicy flavours and neon lights. I visited Tham Ma Da.
I’ve always said that the best part about south-east Asia, is not the beaches, the cheap beer, or ladyboys… but the FOOD. This week’s recipe is one that I’ve been working on for a while that even upon the smell of the marinade, throws me back to sweltering nights sitting on the side of the road or public parking lot turned street food hub chowing down on plate after plates of these chicken satay skewers served to us by an Indian hawker who insisted we called “Little Brother”. My buddies and I were such great customers what when we sat down, he’d greet us as “Big brother” and immediately asked “how many plates?” – in Cantonese.
In recent years I have been fortunate enough to visit and travel through Asia; the heat, the humidity, sights and smells are comparable to nothing and is something I think about often. The one thing I miss the most is obviously the food; the meals I shared with friends under a smiling moon, on the side of a bustling street, being lit by tubes of halogen lights and propane flames. Not knowing exactly what it was we were ordering but it looked good, it was cooked fresh and more often than not, by a chef with a cigarette in his mouth and flip-flops on his feet.
It’s been a while since I’ve had quality dirty hawker street food. As ePetitions are signed and public opinions reformed, the realization of Montreal street food is elusive as driving on a street without orange street cones. So can you guess how happy I was to come across the closest thing Montreal will ever come to as a Hawker stand at the Atwater market? Happy like a pig in shit or like a fat kid at Tim Hortons with a pocket full of allowance money. So I hit up Satay Brothers with one of my twitter followers Nic.