Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Canal Lounge

I've had my eye (ok, both eyes) on Canal Lounge since last summer, when they opened. I'm a member of H2O Adventures where I get ma kayak on every couple days and ride the canal from lock to lock and I was like hey wattaf*ck is that. My friend Margo from work told me she knew the guys that started this wonderful, first restaurant on water in Montreal. We HAD to go. Oh, and we did. Clo joined too.
The two owners renovated a bateau-mouche (or pleasure boat) and moored it to the Atwater dock. Prime spot. Prime. A floating lounge if you will. It's full of beautiful flowers and they have two outdoor spaces for clients. Inside, it's actually quite spacious and nicely decorated. They did an awesome job.

Basically, it's a bar with some bites to eat. I'd say they could have more to offer, snack wise. I understand that they have limited space to store goods, but I do know they have more stuff in an outdoor area, close to the boat. We saw one of the owners run back there for alcohol a couple times. They serve up olives, profiteroles, chips and a plate for two with cheese, tapenade, bread, crackers, what have you.
Sangria Tinto de Verano. I loves me a good sangria. Summer=sangria. Especially since Saturday was a pretty effin decent summer day, FINALLY! Man, it was like drinking water! Like, the best water ever. Tinto de Verano, created in Cordoba (one of my fave spots in Spain), unlike sangria, has no fruits. It's actually very simple: wine, soda, and some lemon fiz. It's known as summer water. Aw! Apart from a couple strawberries in our drink, there were none in the actual bottle. Although it was a tad on the sweet side, we really liked it. Hey, it's the summer drink d'excellence!

It was cute how they brought us a little bowl of popcorn. Who doesn't like popcorn? Plus, their cost on this is probably next to nil. Bravo. BRA-VO. We all like free stuff, am I right?

We got some olives on the side, because, let's face it, olives are yummy. And these hit the spot. Nothing like a little salt to counter sugar.
We also ordered the tapenade for two: hummus, tsatziki, guacamole, ciabatta, brie, charcuterie, pumpernickel bread, and some crackers. Very cute presentation! What was oh-so-cute were the little jars with all the dips but they were oh-so not practical. It would've been fun (yes, FUN) to dip but we had to take a spoon and put. Yes: spoon and put. As Chandler in Friends said: 'Baaaah, you licked. You licked and you put!'. I must admit this has NOTHING to do with this situation (except for the presence of a spoon) but I love talking about Friends too much, that's my problem. And what a big problem it is! Anyhoot, the charcuterie was just salty enough and went really well with some hummus and the brie. Or with the tsatziki, on a baguette. OR... You get the point. Everything was good with everything.  
We finished off the evening with their Aperol Spritz! Aperol is this liqueur made of bitter orange, rhubarb and some plants. This, mixed with bubbly Henkell, was A: really f*cking good and B: really f*cking good. Wait. Did I say that twice? Yes, yes I did. Needless to say it finished us off REAL well. Alcohol, hello! We certainly felt drunkered after this.

Service was. That's it: it was. It wasn't very quick and it wasn't very good. She only checked on us at the end of the soirée so that became somewhat of a moot point. It was long before she came to take our order and it took a while to get our food.

I *have* to mention that, by the end of the night, it had started to smell like boat washroom. You know, THAT smell? Mmmmya. We were leaving so it didn't bother us as much as the peeps that were still eating and drinking. It was NOT a very pleasant smell.

And now, the scores!

Food + drinks: 8
Service: a generous 6

I'm going back fo shizzle but I'm going to wish that service is quicker and that, maybe, they have more to offer, food wise.

Canal Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 21, 2017


Life is hard and Daiz and I were heading to Brussels to see our home girl Ju on my passes. Yes, I'm THAT person now. We used to be so annoyed at my bro for working for Air Canada and travelling around the world left and right. Well, baby, now it's my turn!
We had quite a while before our flight and Daiz was starving (and I can always eat), so we decided to hit up Archibald because it looked so damn charming from the outside. It was like entering a nice middle-of-the-woods cottage. It was borderline Christmasy for me but I ignored that fact. There were (hopefully fake) moose heads, some tartan placed here and there, big comfy sofa chairs and wooden walls. You know, like a real cottage. Very warm. Very cozy. It was a very big restaurant. Huge, really.
We started with a deer tataki. Fitting, right? See a deer, eat a deer. It was very fresh (which is usually what you want in a tataki) but pepper was a bit too present and I had a hard time breaking down the bigger pieces because of too much sinew in the meat. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't le best. Good thing about this dish was that mesclun (argh) was nowhere to be found, it was arugula. YES! I win! The peppery taste of the arugula went very well with the peppery sauce on the deer. Deeeeeeeeeeer. I just love me some good game meat, you know? OK, I'm sorry, vegetarians. I feel some comments coming my way.
I had the frites cochonnes or dirty fries. Diiiiirty. Between you and I (and everyone that reads this blog), nothing about this dish screamed 'dirty'. The fries were, for a lack of a better word, mushy, the peppers were too big, even for a giant, the lardons were good but few and far between, and there was a pool of grease under all this shtuff. There were two different mayos: regular and spicy. But the fries were so on the opposite realm of crunchy that dipping them just made them even more unpleasant. Oh and they put sage in there. Who puts sage in anything but meat? Who puts sage in anything, for that matter?  Daiz said that it would be the thing you'd eat if you were dying of hunger. Yish.
Fondant au fromage. This was good: crunchy on the outside, uber soft and cheesy on the inside. It reminded me of when I was in love with parmesan fondue. Ah, the good ol' days.

Service was good. We were quickly seated at the first table by the entrance which was just perfect. He checked on us, gave us water and was a good little boy. Hahaha! Sorry, but I felt like we were being served by an adolescent.

And now, the scores!!

Food: 6.5
Service: 8

Well, I'll be at the airport more and more since I get to go on reaaaaaaaaaaally cheap trips with my new job BUT I'll pick another resto next time.

Archibald Microbrasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Kem Coba

I've been wanting to try this place ever since it opened...or so I thought! They opened in 2011 but they've only been on my radar since 2016! So whhheird!!! I need to get back into the ice cream game. Anyhoot, last week, I had a little soirée at ma man Chris' house with some lovely girls from work and we had some Kem CoBa ice cream for dessert. Lemme tell you, it was the cherry on top of a great night! Not many things better than eating awesome ribs for dinner and ice cream for dessert. Well, except for lobster

There are two chefs at Kem CoBa: Ngoc is a Vietnamese pastry chef that graduated from ITHQ, and her husband Vincent, a pastry chef from France. They make both sorbet and ice cream. They have about 5 or 6 of each and every week they have a special soft serve, half sorbet, half ice cream. Like raspberry sorbet and chocolate ice cream. Ya. Just imagine how awesome that could taste in yo mouth!
Chris went for the 72% dark chocolate ice cream. Yes AND yes. It was so chocolaty and thick and soft. Mmmmmmmm! The kind of good that when you take a bite, your eyes pop out of your head. Ya, that's right. I wanted more but I have to set myself some limits at SOME point! Of course, Chris added some langues de chat and some sweet raspberries to match the chocolate. Obviously one of the best food matches on earth.

And now, le score!

Food: 9

You don't even need to ask me... I'll fosho be back for their soft serve!!!

Kem CoBa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 14, 2017

Little Pink Fish 2008

Another lunch date with Jer Bear came along and we were to go try Otto Yakitori in downtown Montreal buuuuut they were closed for an event. DAMN IT. We then had a couple options: do a repeat and go  back to Maison du Nord, go to Ganadara once more (you can never go there enough) OR try a new place in this second Chinatown. Maison du Nord was a no. Ganadara, we actually checked and it was way too busy as usual, so it was going to be Little Pink Fish 2008. I love how Asian restos always be like 'we need to put a number in there'.
The restaurant is on two stories, with lots of decorations of only one thing: Chairman Mao. Cups on the walls and paintings of different colors are everywhere you look. Can you say 'obsession' much? Asian Christmas music is playing and, wait, what? Yep... Christmas music. CHRISTMAS. MUSIC. Ugh. Thank goodness there was only one Christmas tune. I would have lost my shit.
In good Marie and Jer fashion, we ordered too much food. That's what happens when everything looks too good and when your Asian connection wants you to try 'everything'.
Beef shank with hot chili sauce. This was niiiiiice. The beef was very tender and literally melted in ma mouth, the peanuts added a nice crunch, , the coriander does NOT need any introduction, the garlic either (hello!). Schezuan peppers made our lips turn from cold-ish to ON FIRE. Wow! It was weird because the inside of my mouth was just fine and dandy, but my lips had turned red and were all tingly.  
(With all this good food, I forgot to take a pic of this dish :/ ) Fried green beans with ground pork. I had this before at Hongmère in Verdun and had loved it. I gots to say though, it's VERY fried. As in, fried FRIED. As in wooooow that's fried. And I'm done. Obviously, as we ALL know, all fried things are awesome so this was no exception. They were very flavourful and the dish had just the right proportion of meat vs veggies.
Chinese fish in a hot broth. The fish was catfish and it was uber deliciousful. Yes guys, another new word, invented by moi! The fish had absorbed the beautiful flavours of the spicy broth, and it was so buttery and melt-in-your-mouth good. The bean sprouts were fresh and crispy and it was garlic city. Hello. Hello garlic, old friend. Lots of pepper corns gave some more spiciness to this soup. Yummy!!

Service was OK. He answered all our questions but did not check on us at any point during the meal. We got water quickly but even with all the spice, we did not get a refill fast enough.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8
Service: 7

I don't think I'll go back, you know, on account of the Christmas music.

Little Pink Fish 2008 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Maison du Nord

Ma boy Jer wanted to bring me to sumthin' uber authentic so we headed to La Maison du Nord on St-Mathieu where they serve up genuine Chinese food.
What to say about the place? Nothing, really. To say it's run down would be an understatement. The place is tiny with 30 seats and from the outside it looks even tinier. It kind of looks dirty when you walk in and it seems like they wanted to save $ on electricity because all the lights were off. There were cool holograms on the walls... as in they would've been cool back in 1992. The ambiance was next to nil. Oh and the man that most likely owns it did not speak a word of English (or French), so I thanked my lucky stars that I was there with someone that could actually communicate with him.
Zhajiangmian OU spaghetti à la chinoise. The noodles were way overcooked and although I did like the cucumbers in there, the whole thing tasted watery and was a bit blah. That's a technical term by the way. Yep.
Roujiamo. Is it a sandwich, is it a pancake, who knows! The bread was hard. Very hard. A good hard. You know, like.... I won't even go there :) The bread itself didn't taste much but the stewed pork inside uber flavourful and had a great texture.
Pork and cabbage dumplings. Oh, how I love dumplings. Marie and dumplings: a love story. They were very tasty, although a tad on the doughy side. The chili sauce went really well with the dish and made me want to eat 8. Hello, carbs.
Pork yuxiang. Yuxiang is a mix of spices that originated in Sichuan, which has, since then, spread all over China. You know, like the plague. The basic sauce contains pickled chili, ginger, garlic, sugar and vinegar, with a starch. All that to say it was YUM-MY! It was a bit spicy but not tooo much to make me cry. There were some woodear mushrooms, which I rarely get to eat (like, ever), that tasted almost smoky. Their name suits them very well because it did feel like I was eating wood. But in a good way, you know? Yes, there IS a good way. The bamboo shoots had absorbed the sauce which was just AWESOME. Ya, that much.

Don't even get me started about the service. I can only hear Jer bear in ma head: NEVER rate Asian service. Well, I gots to. First off, well, as I mentioned, I was lucky Jer was with me because I would have had a LOT of trouble, communication wise. It took really long for us to get our food which made us wonder if the dude was working in the kitchen as well as the dining room.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 6

It was good. It was authentic (especially the service :p) . But I don't see myself goin back, especially not without my Asian connection.

Maison du Nord Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, July 2, 2017

D Liche Cupcakes

I was invited for a second time to Simplement D Liche. Dson't mind if I do! Desserts and me are a match made in heaven. GOOD desserts and me? OUT of this world!

I went there with ma work mate Vick, because she's also cray about desserts. I was meeting one of the owners, Robert. I've already talked about their awesome, clean lookin', pure white decor so I won't go into details here. It's very inviting and when you walk in, you see all their creations and, suddenly, you're drooling. Like, a lot.

D Liche's philosophy is, to put it in Robert's terms, 'faire du vrai' (make real stuff). They use fresh ingredients, nothing packaged. And if it costs maybe a bit more than other bakeries, it's totally worth it to not eat synthetic crap. They even have exclusivity on the purest form of cacao powder on the market, straight from Colombia. They make delicious cupcakes with that marvellous powder. OK, you got me, 'delicious' is a huge understatement. They are awesome. No, wait, they are amazing. NO... they are fantastic! That's more like it! But we weren't there to try cupcakes (although we did and...drool), we were there to taste their new cookie dough recipe.
I'm just gonna start by saying they are the first ones in MTL to do this. Just like the cronut, they are the Montrealeers OR pionalers! OK they are the pioneers in Montreal, damn it! We're not talking I'm-stoned-so-I'll-just-eat-the-cookie-dough-that-my-mom-just-bought-to-bake-cookies. The nice pastry chefs at D Liche elaborated a recipe that could be eatable for their clients. No eggs, no raw flour AND reduced sugar! By the by, apparently, the version of this originating in NYC, is much, much sweeter. OK, so, basically, they heat the flour before putting it in the recipe and without replacing that sweet sweet suga, they just simply put less. That's right, they just put less sugar. I don't know how many times I've eaten overly sweet desserts so this was right up my alley. On top of it, I love eating dessert a TAD (a lot) too much so this is WHAY better for my figure. Let's get back to that cookie dough. It was sweet but not too sweet and it was smooth, not grainy like a lot of cookie dough out there (yes, I've eaten my share...). Basically, it was perfect. And if Robert would have turned around, he would've seen our dirty looks directed at him for not serving us a bigger portion.
Both Vick and I bought some to go and by the time we got to our respective appartments, both cookie doughs were half eaten. I got the red velvet and it reaaally tasted like I was eating a red velvet cake, minus the icing, of course. Mmmmmm!!!! With those white chocolate chips, I'd even go as far as saying it was divine. Yep, dsoin it!

Just a ps, you can also have your cookie dough in cones. Just sayin'. OH, and they have two other flavas: m & m's and triple chocolate. TRIPLE. That's like, choco on choco on choco. That's the best kind of threesome I've heard of. Wait...

And now, the scores!

Service: 10, duh.
Food: 9.5

I feel like it's not a real question to ask if I'll go back. Of COURSE I will. Wait, I... I just did! Yep, I'm that quick.

Simplement D Liche Cupcakes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato