Saturday, September 16, 2017

Miel

Another day, another meeting with friends. This time it was with ma boos from Sushi Taxi, Val and Mel. It's so sad when I'm almost forced to go eat at a restaurant. Ugh, I just hate it. You sense the sarcasm? You should. Peeps that personally know me KNOW I'm sarcastic 87% of the time. Miel had obviously been on my radar, it being a new restaurant AND in my neighborhood. Hello.
They fixed up the place in record time, in the span of a couple weeks. Chapeau. Cha. Peau. It looks really inviting and warm inside, with two separate rooms, lots of frames, dark tables, wood everywhere. It was super cuteness.
They brought us homemade focaccia first. Do you even realize how much I like homemade stuff? I like it because it means that a: they care about their products and b: they care about their clients. Oh, and it also means that they are competent. It's soooo easy to buy ready-made stuff and serve it on a plate! Way too easy. SO MANY restaurants do it. You don't even know. You know, because I know ALL their secrets. Ps: trust me, it's better if you don't know :p
It was a table d'hôte so I started with the gazpacho. This is supposed to be cold tomato soup. With, perhaps, some peppers, cucumbers, garlic, what have you. If there were any tomatoes in there, then that's a surprise to me because all I tasted were peppers. It was a tad too much on the sour side for me, as well as the two other girls that tried it.
The lamb burger. A big meh for this. MEH. There you go. The meat was unfortunately dry and the bun was nothin' special. The harissa mayo wasn't... harissa-ed enough (it's a thing, yo) and the caramelized onions were few and far between. All in all, somewhat of a miss. On the other (very surprising) hand, the salad, which was the ever-dreaded mesclun, was uber fresh and crunchy and actually quite tasty. Y'all KNOW I ain't a fan of that sh*t, but this was actually nice.
Dessert! We shared because the three of us were full BUT we are also little piggies, sooooo... That can only mean one thing! D-E-S-S-E-R-T!!! We had the feuilleté with strawberries and a lemon mousse. I'm not the biggest fan of fruity desserts (I mean come on, fruit is not a dessert!), but this one was nice and fresh. The lemon mousse was perfectly cold and the pate feuilletée was perfectly crunchy. One word: yummy!

Service was very professional throughout the meal. We got water in a timely manner and the waitress explained the menu very well to us. We also had the pleasure of meeting the owner because he knows Val, my ex boss. Ya, she cool like that.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 9

Well, it's literally a 5 minute walk from my place and since restaurants are few and far between in Pointe St-Charles, there's a big possibility I'll be going back!

Miel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 4, 2017

Cafe Neko

I stumbled upon Café Neko right after their opening, a couple months ago and had put it on THE list. The BIG list. The ever-growing list. Ugh. so many restaurants, so little time! Café Neko is this cute little Japanese restaurant right at the corner of St-Urbain and des Pins, and although it doesn't look like much from the outside, we were about to be pleasantly surprised! And you guessed it, I was having lunch with my main Asian squeeze, the Asian connection himself, Jer Bear.
There was a lot of construction right outside the restaurant, so once we opened the door, with the lovely classical music, it was like an oasis of serenity. Ya, I'm deep like that. The place is quite small with some tables and some seats at the window. Lots of pictures on the walls that were pretty god damn nice. It's owned by the two sole workers: a white dude and an Asian woman with a baby on her back. Basically, the cutest thing ever. I thought it was a back pack at first, but then realized it was a bébé and then I fell in love.
Jer and I started by sharing a couple very, VERY cheap entrees. Those are my FAVOURITE entrees. First: the Asian slaw with sesame dressing. Mmmm, mmm, mmmmm! So fresh, they had probably just picked the cabbage from their garden 2 minutes prior. It was nice and crunchy and the sesame vinaigrette was a bit gingery too which made it THAT much better. I actually don't think I've ever enjoyed a slaw that much in ma life.
Kimchi. I loooves me a good kimchi. I also hates me a bad kimchi. Thankfully, this one was up there! Perfectly fermented and just spicy enough. It wasn't my all time fave but kudos to the chef!
Beef dashi. FYI, dashi is a fish stock or simple broth usually made with kombu, bonito flakes, and it tastes damn didely delicious! There was rice, edamame, marinated ginger, green onions as well as some boiled onions. This was just wow. You should've seen Jer's face when he bit into a piece of beef. Holy hell that beef was tender. It was just falling apart in my mouth and oh, the flavor that it had absorbed!!! Umaaaamiiiii! Every time I say that word, I remember my Food Science teacher making a 'mmm' sound. Ah, ITHQ! The ginger added just what was needed to complete the lovely taste and the edamame added a nice texture. Oh, and the rice was perfect! Damn that dish was good!
Jer took the salmon tataki. I'm ALWAYS in for a good tataki. By the by, tataki means half-cooked. This was also a hit. The salmon melted in my mouth and the avocado just fit so well in there and had the perfect consistency! The nori added umami to it and the rice was perfect. YUM!
We were forced into having dessert. FORCED I say. OK, not really. We were full but didn't want to miss out on all that homemade goodness! I had the yuzu cheesecake. YES, a YUZU cheesecake. I'm gonna say that again: a yuzu cheesecake!!! I don't even know what to say to this except DAYUUUUMMMM! After each bite, it was like a punch to my taste buds with all that lovely citrus flavor. After Jer took a bite, his eyes opened wide and he said he wished he had ordered that instead of his homemade goodness.
Jer bear had the green tea ice cream sandwich. The ice cream tasted like green tea just the right amount and the homemade cookie was really freaking good and crunchy. But this had nothin' on my cheesecake. Nothin'!

Service was great throughout: water refill, quick service, smiles all around. Extra points for carrying the cutest little baby whilst doing it!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9 overall, 11 THOUSAND for the beef
Service: 9

What a great new discovery this was. Jer bear kept on saying he'll be going back and I'm for SURE going back too. OH, and it was cheap too! Excellent when you're on a budget!

Café Neko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Il Cortile

My dad eats lunch at nice restaurants about four times a year with his cousin and uncle. The last place had been Il Cortile and let's just say they had a bad service experience. My dad is difficult but for him to get three free meals because of this was something else! So, my dad decided to bring my step-mom and I. And we all know how much I like free food. A lot. I like it a lot.
I waited for my step-mom and dad right outside, from where the restaurant looked like, well, a cave! And then you enter somewhat of a basement type place and then BOOM, one of the best kept terrasse secrets in Montreal. This little courtyard was beautiful, with flowers hanging from balconies and paintings on the brick walls. Uber cute! I kind of felt like I was back in Europe. Ah, Europe, my first love! But enough about me and my lovers, apart from the cuteness, this place seemed to be hosting quite the richest in Montreal. Plastic surgery, fancy scarves and Louis Vuitton purses were everywhere I looked. It was almost like a secret society. Fo serious yo. So I was basically hiding under the table. But a girl's gotta eat...
The waiter brought us antipasto that consisted of prosciutto, grilled veggies, and parmesan. Basically, some of the best things on earth. I'd have more of that right about NOW. Those portobello mushrooms were literally to dsie for. DSIE. FOR. Stuff that is cooked in butter is ALWAYS good. The prosciutto melted in my damn mouth. A bite with mushroom, parmesan and prosciutto was like a little piece of heaven in my mouth.
Mushroom risotto. The risotto was cooked for just the right amount of time. Still a tad crunchy and not mushy. Texture was on par. They had cooked it in mushroom stock and they were very abondant in there as well. Again, who doesn't like mushrooms cooked in butta? The waiter shaved some parm on there and BAM, you got yourself a winner. That dish was so filling, it felt like I had gained 10 pounds in one sitting.

Service was probably one of the best I've had so far. In ma life. We got sparkling water very quickly, wine was served the proper way, and our waiter was more than present the whole time. He checked on us, refilled our glasses and asked us if we needed anything else.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9.5

I can say that I won't go back because, hello, I ain't no millionaire. But I did appreciate the wonderful service!

Il Cortile Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, August 25, 2017

Les Street Monkeys

This restaurant JUST opened up on Wellington. And you KNOW I needed to go! Hello, a new Asian resto, a 6 minute bike ride from my place? Uh, YES! I was QUITE excited to try this gem. See, I knew it was going to be a gem because my fave boy from CEGEP, Mike, told me it was THE best Cambodian in town. Oh, did I mention he is Cambodian? Mmmya. So off I went with ma girl Margo!
This place is nothing like the other places on Wellington in Verdun: it's hip, it's cool, it's happenin'! It has roughly about 60 seats, with cement floors and a long bar. They serve up tapas style dishes. I loves me some good tapas because I like tasting every damn thing on the menu. OK, I MAY be exaggerating! Sheesh, I ain't THAT rich (I wish!).
We had to start with a drink, duh. They have a very nice, very original cocktail list so that pleased us right away. I likes me a good cocktail! I had the Mango Monkey Mojito. The triple M! OK, no, that's not what they call it. Although it was a tad too much on the sweet side, it was lovely nonetheless. The Thai basil in there was so refreshing and the mango flavor was oh-so present!
Shrimp ceviche with wasabi. Wow oh WOW! Did I say wow? Yes, yes I believe I did. As soon as we took the first bite, our eyes started watering, and Margo's cold went straight out the window. I believe I actually wrote this in my notes: "Margo is dying". F*ck that was HOT!!! Just thinking about it now, my eyes are watering. I SWEAR! The shrimp were perfect (y'all know I loves my shrimp!) and the wasabi was a perfect match.
Poisson Amok. Le fish. Oh. My. Bejesus. This was like a gift sent down from heaven. Heaven I say!! It was crunchy, yet soft. It was oh so tasteful with the lemongrass hitting your palate like a ton of bricks. Ya, that much. The fried taro on the side added crunch and even if it was fried, it wasn't oily at all. Just the way I like eating fried stuff! I HATE it, nay, I LOATHE it when it's oily. Ew.
Chicken skewers with Khmer spices. You know when you eat peeeerfectly cooked chicken? Do you even know how good that is? OH, iz good! Perfectly grilled, perfectly cooked, perfectly chickened! The spices were perfect too. Oh, did you notice I wrote 'perfect' more than once? That's because it was damn PERFECT! Juicy, tasty chicken that literally melts in your mouth!
Beef laab. Yes AND yes! A little lime vinaigrette, thai basil, rice powder, galanga, dried peppers and fish sauce. Mmmmmmmm! That's what I'm talking about! All those flavours together definitely equaled a big win in ma mouth. So fresh. The lime brought out all the flavours, the rice powder gave another texture to the dish and the galanga was just a great surprise that my taste buds appreciated to the fullest. Everything went well together. Ah man, I want to eat more. NOW!
Beef skewers with Khmer spices. Super tender and super well seasoned. Oh, those Khmer spices, how I love thee.

Portions were a bit small, we thought. Yes, they are tapas, but the shrimp and the beef laab were way too small. And when it is SO good, you always want more!

Service was very good at first: we were seated in a moment, quickly got water and our waitress was uber nice and had a huge smile on her face. And then it got later and later and the restaurant got fuller and fuller and the service got slower and slower. That's the big challenge: how to maintain the same quality of service throughout the evening.

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 7

Duh, I'm going back fo shizzle! AND I'm telling all my friends.

Les Street Monkeys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Montreal Pool Room

It was time for lunch with ma Jer bear again and he suggested Montreal Pool Room, 'Montreal's classy greasy goodness'. I am not a HUGE fan of the whole pataterie craze, but as he said, they were the FIRST one in Montreal, opened since 1912! Dang! It was definitely worth the go then! I was convinced in 2.5 minutes.

Montreal Pool Room has how many pool tables, you ask? Zero. None. Nil. Apparently they used to have some in the good ol' days but those days are long gone and they kept the name. As soon as you enter, you KNOW they've been there for a while. And you KNOW you'll get a good dog. Yes, I'm so cool that I call a 'hot dog', a 'dog' now.
This place looks uber popular amongst everyone, of every age. Old guys that used to go there with their parents in 1945, teens that are hanging out near that corner, middle-aged adults, and I'm sure you'll see some prostitutes and strippers at some point during the day/night! It has lovely pastel walls with frames that have been there for a long while, maybe since forever even. Maybe since the dawn of time, who knows.
I think the coolest thing there was THE CLAW!!! You know, like in Toy Story! What? I like a good kids' movie, ok?
I had one hot dog steamé because I damn had to, and also because when I told Jer I was gonna have two grilled and he judged me with his eyes first and then he judged me verbally. SO, I had one grilled, one steamé and some French fries. Well, they were the best hot dogs I've had in a long time. The grilled one was nice and crunchy and the steamé one, dare I say it, was nice and steamy. The fries were really perfect, especially when we added paprika (didn't know that was a thing!) and a bit of vinegar! The onion rings that Jer bear had were crunchy and onion-ring-perfection but there weren't enough, I found. We saw some men that were obviously regulars that would put a fry or two right ON their hot dog. Hum. Obviously, we had to try it. And I think this should be on the menu. Or, you know, you can just take a fry, add a fry :p

Service was grumpy, but I expected nothing less. Just crack a little smile, will ya? No? Oh, okay.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8
Service: 5.5

I've tried it and now we can move on to another restaurant :)

Montréal Pool Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dirty Dogs

Another day, another lunch date with Jer bear. This time, we decided to go non-Asian. I know, I know, it's suuuuper surprising! We wanted to go to the Just For Laughs restaurant on St-Laurent BUT it was closed. We have such luck with restaurants: some are closed for private events, some... are just closed.
Dirty dogs is a new-ish sort of cantine/pataterie. It has vibrant red chairs, a chill ambiance and Bob Marley playing. My kind of place. The only thing missing was the wacky tobacky (yes, I can call it that because I'm OLD).
One of the best thing was a wall filled with celebrities eating hotdogs and hamburgers, including our beloved little Canadian megastar (I think it's safe to call him that), Justin Bieber. We obviously had to take a pic.
The menu is quite extensive, offering up lots of burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, etc. Staples with a twist. I had Le Boss: Dr Pepper chili, chopped onions, orange cheddar, coleslaw, sausage, and Dirty Dogs mustard. Because what good pataterie doesn't make their own condiment? The fries were nearly perfect: hot and crunchy!! The coleslaw was a tad too sweet for me (and for Jer bear) and the mustard was great and not too hot, although I do appreciate a hot mustard from time to time. Yes, I like it HOT. The chili was on the awesome side of things: the Dr Pepper made it a bit sweet and the meat was very well seasoned. The pork sausage was very moist and not dry at all (hello, opposites!). I just hate a dry sausage. Wait, this sh*t just got sexual. I retrieve my last comment. I thought that the bread could have been grilled; it would've made the whole thing much better. I mean, who likes eating soggy bread? WHO? I demand to know! With all the juices in there, it started falling apart quite quickly.

Service was meh. We were seated right away, but let's face it... not too hard to do when there's only one occupied table. We didn't get our water refilled and the service was quite slow when it came to getting our food. Did I mention only 2 tables (including ours) were occupied? Yes, yes I did.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 6.5


Dirty Dogs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Otto Yakitori

My Asian boy (yes, he's ALL mine) Jer and I were continuing our Asian persuasion restaurant visits because, let's face it, we live for that (well, I know I do!). We had been meaning to go to Otto Yakitori Isakaya and had actually tried but it was closed for a private event. DAMN IT!
Anyhoot, I've been to this address before, when it was another Asian resto that served up a LOT of body parts. Jer bear used to have these evenings called Strange Meats where we'd eat kidneys, ears, hearts, the whole shabang. Ugh. As a food blogger, I would LOVE to be able to eat, like, chicken feet, or eyeballs (ugh, I just puked in my mouth a little bit), but I just cannot. I CANNOT.
The place itself is a bit on the dark side, with some very vibrant drawings on the walls, and lots of reggae music. Yes. Reggae. Basically, songs that have been reggae-ed. Not an uber fan of this genre. Especially not in a Japanese restaurant. I mean, what???
We started with a salad and miso soup. The salad was... meh, mesclun. But you know what, it was fancy mesclun. Don't ask me what that means but it wasn't as bad as usual. Maybe because it was uber fresh, I don't know. There was yuzu vinaigrette which was just very pleasant and not overpowering because they put just the right amount.
The soup was very.. fishy. They had obviously put bonito flakes in there. I like fishy but this was a tad too much. A nice surprise was that they make their own tofu which was really soft and tasty.
Chicken skewers, skin skewers and chicken BUTT. Hahaha, butt. The chicken was marinated and grilled and it was just perfect. You know, that perfect chicken? Ya, this was it. The skin: let's just say we're getting a bit too close to strange meats here, but I actually really enjoyed it. Obviously I only had a couple bites and left the rest to Jer bear because he can handle it more than me. Ya, he can handle SKIN. The butt. As Sir Mix A Lot once said: I like big butts and I cannot lie. I just had to put that in there. The butt was, wait for it, PACKED with flavor! Hahaha! Mmmmmm!!! SO good!
Pork tonkatsu and chicken curry. I've never had curry with more than one meat, so at first, I must admit, I found it whhheird. Jer was like 'meh, just put in all the meat. ALL the meat!'. The tonkatsu tasted great and was surprisingly not that fried. There wasn't that much chicken, but the pollo (yes, I'm goin' international, baby!) that was in there was full of chickeny flava! The rice was on par and the sauce was very tasty, on the thick side-o-things. Put a bit of nanami (Asian chili flakes) on top and you got yourself a winner! I have to say though that it was a big portion and it was quite heavy. Quite.
Service was great, quite unlike any other Asian resto, I must admit. We got water quickly and she even asked how we liked our meal. Dang!
 
And now, the scores!
 
Food: 8
Service: 9
 
My goal is to try every isakaya in town so I doubt I'll be going back, but certainly not because I didn't enjoy ma meal!


Otto Yakitori Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, August 11, 2017

Chocolat, le comptoir

Ah, Griffintown. A place where there's a new restaurant every effin week. Every. Damn. Week. With those kinds of stats, I don't even know where they put them all. I mean, Griffintown is the size of, like, my hand. I'm exaggerating,: a box of Kleenex. Or a computer. All related things, as you can see (#mentalcase). Point is, it's small. Last year, this new chocolaterie opened up right at the corner of Guy and Ottawa, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. BTW, I had no idea how many people visited the middle of nowhere.
Chocolat is this cute little boutique, all dressed in white, that sells lots of different chocolate and, in the summer time, iiiiiiiice cream!!! They sell soft serve, sundays, even a tiny cone à la chicken for doggies! How awesome is that? They also sell a bunch of chocolate products. Kind of like being in heaven. Mmmmyes, chocolate heaven. Judging from outside, you would never think it'd be THIS cute.
I had the vanilla soft serve with chocolate and fleur de sel coulis. Wait. Did anyone say fleur de sel? Holy f*ck I love fleur de sel. Yes, I feel that strongly about it. The ice cream was nice and thick and soft and all that jazz. The chocolate and the fleur de sel on top were right on but I, as a glutton, would have liked more. MORE!!!

And now, the score!

Food: 8.5

Yep, I'll totes be going back. Hello, fleur de heaven.

Le comptoir chocolat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato