Tuesday, February 28, 2017


My bro Olive lives in the East End in Toronto at Greenwood. I love that hood. All the war time houses, all the bars, the nice little bakeries, and then, there's Maha's.
Maha's is an Egyptian resto that is always busy. ALWAYS. We went on a week day at 8h30am so we got to sit as soon as we got in. Yay! My bro and his wifey swear by it; pretty much any time they can go, they go. With reason. The place itself is very quaint (ya, I can use fancy words), with knick knacks placed here and there. I loved the eye of the pharaoh right when you walk in. Guys, they are WATCHING US. There's about 20 seats in this very cozy and comfy place. It was a tad on the cold side for me, but hey, that's f*ckin' winter for ya!
I started with what I thought was tea with cardamome. Well, it was actually COFFEE with cardamome. Yep, this marked the first time I actually ordered coffee. Ever. Even if it was by mistake. I looked at it, I told my bro 'hey that looks/smells like coffee'. He replied: 'mmmyya, that's cause it IS'. I actually had 4 or 5 sips not disliking it simply because the cardamome was very present and I just love that spice! And then I started kind of feeling sick-ish (and felt like this all day!) because of all that caffeine. Totes my fault. Damn you, coffee! Damn you to hell!!! The first sips were great tho, I must admit.
The date scramble. Yes. AND yes. That scramble was buttery goodness. The dates were oozing taste (ya, it's a thing) and the whole dish was just packed with flavour. I said 'wow' at least 5 times. If not more. The herbs in there made it that much better. There was a little salad that was very fresh and went very well with it. In all seriousness, one of the best scrambled eggs I've had. Ever. Yes, there are a lot of firsts here. It was served with charred balady bread which was just heavenly: so soft and buttery and fresh. Mmmmm. Whenever I eat a dish in a restaurant that includes a bread-y thang, I tell myself I won't eat the whole thing (you know, dem carbs. There's a reason I gave my toaster away) but in this case I couldn't NOT.
My bro had the Cairo Classic. Holy sh*t. Goodness on a motha f*ckin plate, I tells you. Let's falafel first. Hello. Best damn falafel I've had in ma life. Not dry at all, like a lot of falafel out there (you, know, OUT there!) and packed with flavor. The eggs were cooked to damn perfection and don't even get me started on those fava beans! Mmmmmm! Not overly cooked and still a tad crunchy! I am a beans-at-breakfast fan and this was right up my alley. That creamy feta fit oh so well in there and tasted, wait for it, perfect! It had just the right level of saltiness. Mmmm, that bread dipped in everything with an egg on top was just so lovely and just the most perfect bite! I think we can say that the key word here is 'PERFECT'.

Service was on par the whole time we were there. A nice and warm welcome and a great big smile. Always important! Staff was very smily and very friendly. Seems like a nice environment to work in! Imma gonna send em my cv. For, you know, a part time when-in-Toronto job! Oh, and we had a pitcher of water on the table with a bunch of fresh mint in there! Supa fresh!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9

Hopefully, I'll be going back soon! I need to try everything on the menu! Oh, and, note to self, do NOT order the coffee!

Maha's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sammi and soup dumpling

As you know, I'm half Asian (it's basically a fact) and so, being half Asian, I like to hit up some Asian restos. Makes sense. My Asian connection, Jer, told me to go to Sammi soup and dumpling when I asked him where I should go eat near Concordia. And so, I went!
 Sammi is a small spot on Ste-Catherine right in the middle of le second Chinatown. Ya, it's a thing alright. They have lots of tables in a small space and have benches that hurt yo ass. Kinda like the old McDonald's. Meaning, DON'T take your time to eat, we want more money. OK, McDo was like that but I'm sure Sammi just took the benches from the resto that was there before. There were a couple people sitting at the back, a couple at the window and a man, that looked quite miserable if you asked me (until the buns arrived) sitting on the ass-hurtin' bench. It felt a bit weird to have absolutely no music and no ambiance. Just not used to it.
Obviously, I was there for the buns. According to Jer, they are some (if not THE) best in Montreal. Well hello there! I like big buns and I cannot lie! Or something less weird.
 Hot and sour cucumber. This did NOT look awesome. But as the rule goes, it WAS awesome! First of all, this was like 3 bucks. 3 bucks for awesome? Yes please! Huge pieces of cucumber marinated in vinegar and lord knows what but packed with flavor. On top, it was spicy and lovely with some chilies, chili oil and a bit of vinegar. And then, as I was digging, I found more awesomeness in the shape of ginger. WOW!!! Intense and oh-so-good! I'd like some more now please!
Los buns. Or xiaolongbao (check it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao ). OR tiny little heavenly thangs. I asked which ones I should have and she said that if I had never been there, I should have the pork buns. Done!

So, ten buns. TEN! Let's calm down here, people! I obviously brought some home for a friend. Who can eat ten buns? They were just perfect. Totes serious. Perfect size, and perfect level of juiciness, as in they didn't actually explode in my face when I took a bite. The meat was very tasty and very moist (ugh!). The dough to meat ratio was perfect! The sauces that were on the table were also uber awesome (do you even have any idea what 'uber awesome' looks like?). There was this sauce with chilies in it that was just like DSAMN GIIIIRL. Let's just say I was satisfied.

Service was mmmkay. It took my waitress all her might to crack a smile. Come on, is it that hard? I didn't have any sauces on my table so I had to go get em' from another table, which is just fine, but I'm thinking it's part of her job description (yes, I'm harsh). Water was served quickly and refilled not so quickly. Service was fast though, which was great because I needed time to digest before le gym.

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 6

I'd totes go back for a bun or TEN!
Sammi & Soupe Dumpling Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Viet Express

I was walking along Wellington Street in Verdun the other day, you know, shoppin'. And by shoppin', y'all KNOW I mean looking for restaurants. I don't necessarily want/need to go to the most popular/talked about restaurants. Actually, most of the times, I just want to do they opposite! Hey, I became the number TWO blogger by going to random restaurants and not by going to the newest places or the ones with celebrity chefs. That's just the way I dso shiz.
Viet Express is one of the new babies on Wellington, a very bustling and ever-developing street in Verdun (ps: Verdun rocks). It's almost like Notre-Dame West where there's a new restaurant every freaking week (ya, that's a fact). Anyhoot, I found this tiny place and, being half-Asian and all, I was automatically drawn to it. Tiny: 4 seats and very narrow. They have a tiny altar for Buddha and his friends on the ground, that is actually embedded in the counter. Wow, Buddha be special. They sell other things like Pocky (yes!) and Pringles (what?).
I knew exactly what I was having: something I had many times before at marché Hung Phat (oh how I love thee): grilled chicken with vermicelli + veggies with some nuoc mâm (a fermented fish based sauce). YES. For me this is some kind of heaven. I gotta say it was not nearly as good here. Don't get me wrong, it was aight, but the meat, although nicely grilled and tender, lacked in flavor and seemed a couple hours too old. The vermicelli, a tad on the overcooked side. The veggies were nice and crunchy and slightly marinated which was AWESOME in ma mouth. The green onions, like the chicken, seemed a bit on the old side. I loved all the different textures though. I just love putting everything together and mixin' it up. THAT is what I like. And then, drizzling that lovely sauce on top. YES!

Service was good. I had it as take out because of 2 reasons: a: I was in a hurry and b: I think I would've taken up the whole sitting space with my gym stuff. Took about 10 minutes to get my food. I just kept on looking at the girl preparing it, with her long black hair dangling over my food. Ugh. Trust me when I say I looked for hair while I was eating.

And now, le score!

Food: 6.5

Lots of places to try. Yep.

Viet Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Baguette Cali

I would eat banh mi every freaking day if it weren't for the massive (yes, I'm going there) amount of carbs in that bread. DAMN that bread! Baguette Cali is strangely located: in a Thai Express. Except for the fact that both are Asian (I should write 'ish' for Thai Express), they have absolutely nada in common. NADA! I would NEVER eat at Thai Express (Disclosure 1: I've eaten there once, never again. Disclosure 2: also why I didn't want a pic of the resto!).
I spotted this place when walking to and fro the gym. Located on Wellington, it's about 2 blocks from my gym. Ever notice how I always describe restos in Verdun with how many blocks from the Énergie Cardio they are located? Yes, I'm that obsessed. So, you enter the restaurant and you look to the back, far far away. And then you see a little Asian woman and she has the cutest, most welcoming smile. Go to her. Oh, you go to her.

They have other stuff but I was there for dem banh mi. They do have quite the selection so I asked the woman what I should have. She said they are all good. I refused. She then suggested the Spécial Cali.
Pâté, ham and pork. Double pig; I love it. Obviously, there was the usual coriander, daikon, carrots and some mayo type sauce. Let's just say that for a girl that watches her carb intake, I did NOT watch my banh mi intake. I pretty much inhaled it. As in 'breathe in, breathe out'. Apart from the fact that there was a tad too much sauce in there, it was amazeballs. That's correct. She had asked if I wanted it spicy. How is that a real question? But seriously. She put some hot peppers in there and as I was eating my way through the sandwich, I found that the couple peppers were few and far between. And then, I hit the motherload. Tears came a-flowin'. But apart from the tears, all the other ingredients were perfect. The slightly marinated carrots and daikon were pretty much out of this world (yes, I'll go that far) and the meat was awesome. I can't say for sure which meat was what but I do know it tasted good. The meat that was most likely pork (I need a meat class) was a tad too fatty for me but added a sh*t load of flavor in there. Oh and there was cucumber that added a nice crunch and some freshness to it all. We DO like it fresh!

Service was fast AND happy! Not much more to say... I had it as take-out.

And now, le score!

Food: 8.5

Knowing myself, I'll try other banh mi places but this place was too good for me not to go back!

Baguette Cali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Palais d'Ajit

NOT my best pic
Every time I went to an Indian resto, I always went back to the same one: Bombay Mahal on Jean-Talon. Every.Time. And I call myself a restaurant blogger! Pfff! I've been eating lots of Korean food, Japanase food, Chinese food, but Indian food? Scarcely. Yes. I used the word 'scarcely'. And I LOVE Indian food. On top of it, it's really like I'm doing it on purpose to not eat at Indian restaurants, because I have two perfectly good ones about a two minute walk from my place. I really do try.

Alex from work has visited le Palais d'Ajit a couple times and suggested we went there so I was totes in. I had a MAJOR butter chicken craving. And that ain't a craving you shake off. As soon as you enter, you notice that A: there are too many tables and that B: they are understaffed. OH, they are staffed good (I can say that!) for now, but in 10 minutes, when it'll get busy, they'll be in sh*t. And I'm all for 'the more tables we have, the more money we'll make but there's a limit to the madness. It was so tight that I had no room to get out from behind the table at the end of my meal. It was either go under the table and play peekaboo with Alex (which, in hindsight, could've been fun :p), or put my ass in someone's plate. Let's face it, neither my ass nor the people eating would have appreciated that. Thank goodness our neighbours were nice enough to get up and let me pass on their side!
The place itself looks like a lot of the Indian restaurants out there: kind of run down, yellow and brown with some more yellow-ish tones on the walls, a tv or two and some quick and rather bad service. Elephants, and lots of Hindu type-o-things (let's face it, not sure what those things are) hung out on the counter at the far end of the restaurant where you pay. Oh, but this place. This place had somethin' else. This place had Bollywood. Oh yes it did! Alex was right in front of the tv and pretty much had her mouth opened in awe the whole time. Because of this, I almost had my head permanently turned, which is probably how I got this crick in my neck :p But seriously, dem peeps are skilled fo shizzle! That choreography! Those 150 backup dancers!
I had what I've had many times: the non-vegetarian tali. Which, I must point out, was about 9 bucks or something ridiculously cheap like that. Basically, a mix of Indian goodness. You've got le butter chicken (for me, the pièce de résistance), the tandoori chicken, potatoes in a yummy stock, rice, salad (oh-so not necessary), nan bread (hello!) AND papadum, my favourite new thing. Let's start from the lower left and make our way clock wise! They were heavy, but that's how I always feel 'bout potatoes. They were bathing in some kind of stock which made them quite tasty. The perfect level of seasoning was used. Tandoori chicken was tasty but was slightly dry. The butter chicken didn't really meet my expectations, sadly. I mean, I LIVE for butta chicken when I go to Indian restos. The chicken wasn't... buttery enough. Not rich enough. Not good enough, damn it! The nan was heavenly. OK, so there's heaven, right? And then, well, there's the nan bread. And THEN, you put em' together! I had to stop myself #carboverload. It was just so fluffy and soft and, well, absorbant! Hahaha! What's better than nan bread? Dipped nan bread! Oh, and there was papadum. It is crisp, very thin, made of flour and chickpeas. This one had fennel seeds in there. It was quite lovely. Especially dipped in shtuff like the butta sauce! The rice was a tad dry and since I was apparently going cray cray on nan, I wasn't gonna eat that much rice #supercarboverload. That salad was there for no reason, like most small, tasteless salads made of iceberg and cabbage. USELESS. OK, I'm OK.

Service was meh. So meh that Alex gave it a 2 but I thought that was a tad exaggerated. First of all they shifted us twice because they had bigger groups coming. Second of all, the waiter gave me my thali while the plate was f*cking burning hot. Thanks for that second degree burn. The wait staff was not  looking very happy. Understandably... they were two for, at some point, about 60 people. I would not be smiling either. As Alex put it: the experience could be summed up like this: awesome Bollywood, very precious water. Hahaha!!! We had to run after the waiter with our hands up to get more. I hate asking for water, and you know it!

And now, the scores!

Food: 6
Service: 5

I really enjoy Indian food. Not sure if I'll go back because as much as I enjoy it, I do NOT enjoy bad service.

Palais D'Ajit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I'm a sucka for good Korean food. A sucka I say! Of course I was going to Kantapia with ma main Asian boy, Jer. You know, the one from the Asian persuasion. This lunch was planned about 2.5 minutes before going, so it was that much more exciting. What? I get excited about food. Especially when I don't think I'm going to the restaurant and then BAM, I am. An Asian resto on top of it. That's a score in my book.
Relax, and enjoy your life :) Kantapia is a small and very busy (especially at lunch time) resto right on the corner of Sherbrooke and Parc. It's that kind of place that when the door opens, a wave of cold hits you. There's also no hooks for jackets. And we were sitting on stools at the bar. A bit awkward and a tad annoying to have a bump under yo butt while you eat. Silver lining is that whilst annoying, it was the only thang warming up my butt. Twas a bit weird that you must go through the kitchen area to go pee but hey. Oh and speaking of the washroom....Let's just not...talk...about it. Point made.
Before they brought us our dishes, they brought us little amounts of kimchi (let me make this clear, I will ALWAYS want a BIG amount of kimchi. ALWAYS). According to Jer, some of the best kimchi he's had. What! Props Kantapia. Props. It was just fermented heaven. Mmmmm. So fermented that I still smelled like it at the gym that night. Hahaha! They also brought  us gamjajorim: boiled potatoes in soya sauce and, surely, somethin' sweet. Seriously, it tasted like maple syrup, but I doubt they would include this in their weekly food order. Let's just say we got another order of both. Way too delicious.
Pajeon! This, ma boy Jer and I had at Haru Hana and it was a tad undercooked. Not the best according to Jer. This, on the other side, again according to Jer Bear (there should be a show called 'Jer knows Asian' OR 'Asia according to Jer), was right on. I felt the same way. There was more seafood and it was less doughy than the other pajeon. It was browned and hot and with that soya sauce mix on it, dsayum. That's right: dsayum. The green onion in there added just the tang I needed and went very well (duh) with the seafood.
Galbi. Jer told me (forced me) to order this when I was thinking of sumthin' else. This is how it happened:
Jer: Don't have the bibimbap, take sumthin' else!
Me: I think I'm going to have this then.
Jer: No, have that!
Me: But...
Jer: Have that!!!
Me: Ok.
Don't even get me started about that salad. Apart from the miso vinaigrette, there was nothin' goin for it. The ribs, on the other side, were an explosion of flavor in my mouth! They obviously had been marinated for a while in soya sauce and had absorbed all that wonderful flavor. I quit trying to use my chop sticks and just went for it with my bare hands. Went back to my cave woman days, you know.  That meat was tender and oh-so-tasty! The wild rice was perfectly cooked but could have been a bit hotter. Not super fond of cold rice.

Service was good. Simple. They sat us down, they brought us food in a timely manner, they checked up on us. They put water on our table. Good.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8
Service: 7
Cleanliness: 2

Jer told me that in order to become an honorary Asian, which I thought I already was, I'll have to properly learn how to A: use chopsticks (I really do suck at it and always end up using my hands), B: eat the sinew off the bones (he ate mine...ya, we share stuff) and C: accept and eat (I added the 'accept' part) strange meats. Lots of work to be done here. Lots more Asian restos to visit!

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bagel St-Lo

I love trying new places when I have my bi-weekly (ish) breakfast with ma dad. I looked up breakfast spots in Verdun and found Bagel St-Lo. I loves me a good bagel. Let's dooo it!!!
Bagel St-Lo is a small restaurant with lots and lots and LOTS of knick knacks. Everywhere. I absolutely loved it. Looked really nifty: Tintin, cartoons, old kitchen apparati (you know, the plural of apparatus, geez!), old signs, old sporting equipment. Some nice dream catchers completed the eclectic décor. Chill music (hello, Bob Marley, master of chill!) was playing and the place was empty when we got there at 8 am. Duh. There are about 26 places with mix matched chairs. Apart from a bit of cold that was seeping through the door, it was a very comfortable place. I could've imagined just reuniting with some friends there. You know, let's have a reunion n' bagel kinda thang. Maybe this is why they seem to have many regulars!
So, everything that you get there is served with/on a bagel. I rarely eat bagels, or any kind of bread for that matter, so this was an exception. I was happy to make the exception at St-Lo, where they make their own.
First, I gots to warm myself up! Mmmmm. This was surprisingly good! Although the foam on top could've been hotter, the hot chocolate was uber tasty, with the undertone of hazelnut. I just love me some hazelnut in ma hot choco! Let's face it, it just makes the best kind of hot chocolate!
The bacon benedict. Listen, if there's bacon on the menu, it's bound to get in my mouth. It's almost a prerequisite. Bacon directly in ma mouth. I must say, 2 years ago, I would've been happy to see all this fruit on my plate. Healthy, right? WRONG! Full of sugar. Thanks to my nutritionist, Lucie, I now eat 2 portions of fruit a day. I used to eat 12. Roughly.

The sesame bagel was very fresh, as if they had just baked it. Wait. Are bagels baked? OK, there's was a heat reaction and those things were cooked. Yes. The beans were right on. Almost on par with the ones at La Binerie on Mont-Royal. And, for you who know La Binerie, it's sayin' somethin'! The amount of bacon was very disappointing. It was gone in 2 seconds. I can say I would've easily wanted 5 times the bacon. FIVE. The cheese was also disappointing. It was a piece of Kraft Singles. No. Just no. First of all, that can barely be called 'cheese'. Second of all, what is it doing in a restaurant? I will never know. The hollandaise was so thick, one could have argued the fact that it was liquid  (it was solid). You know when it sticks to your teeth? Ya. I gots to give em' props for the egg: it was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

My dad, who, usually, would totes eat somethin' cheesy and bacony like this, chose, for some unknown reason, their 'healthy plate' with a plain bagel and fruits and cottage cheese. Kinda wish I would have chosen that!

Service was... comme ci comme ça :) When we entered the resto, it looked like the waiter was somewhat ignoring us so we just sat down on our own. Ya, were savvy like that. The waiter ended up being super friendly and even reheated my dad's coffee (if my dad could/would describe love, this would be it). We did not get a water refill. You KNOW how I feel about that, boy.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6
Service: 6.5

So many breakfast spots, so little time.

Bagel St-Lo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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