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.
On my never-ending quest to find Montreal’s best Pad Thai, I found myself at this place in Ville St-Laurent called Sawadika. Ever since my favourite Thai restaurant closed a while back, it left a Pad Thai void in the city – every Thai restaurant that I’ve been to (so far) has failed in comparison. To perfect the combination of flavours and tastes to tantalize all areas of the palate isn’t easy. The mastery of the taming of ingredients and having them succumb to the will of a fiery hot wok isn’t a skill every chef possesses and it was very evident when I had lunch here.
You know how you drink hot chocolate in winter to warm up after an hour of digging your car out? What do we do in summer to stay cool? Swim, eat copious amounts of ice cream, stand naked and pose like Captain Morgan in front of a fan after a shower? Try eating spicy southeast Asian food! Sink your gob into a steamy bowl of hot soup noodle or chow down on a plate of spicy noodles. I remember when I spent time in southeast Asia, the spicier the food was, the cooler you became. I’m not going to give you a science lesson on how sweat cools you down and how spicy foods make you sweat that would perpetuate the evaporation of moisture to give your body a cooling effect. I recently visited this Thai restaurant in Villeray serving up some authentic Thai and Lao cuisine that made me sweat in places I didn’t even know I had glands.