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

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tri Express AND Wizrd

There are more and more food delivery services in Montreal: Uber, Foodora, Just Eat, À la Carte Express, and the new kid on the block, Wizrd. I was contacted by email because I'm, like, a super freaking great and popular blogger. Hahaha, just kiiiidding! But seriously, I guess I do have some kind of reputation, being one of the number ones in Montreal. Ugh, I wish I could say THE number one (I'm tied with Montreal Food Divas).
Anyhoot, I had to choose a restaurant to get food delivered from. This was hard. Why? Because I have about 100 restaurants on my go-to list. I decided on Tri Express, having heard that it was one of the best sushi in Montreal (I still maintain that it's Furusato on Parc).
The way it works is that you text 1-855-659-4973 with what chou want from where you want (seriously) and when you want it. They answer you in less than 1 minute, I swear. They ask you what they can bring you, and then you say I would like 1 miiiiillion dollars. OK, that's what I thought about saying. But I'm special. You send them items from the menu and then they ask you to sign up online with your name, address, and credit card number. It was just not working but the Wizrd dude totes got on it and fixed it within 5 minutes. I felt like this was awesome service (and no, they didn't pay me to say this 😊). I asked for a delivery at 7h30pm. They text you when they pick it up so you know it's on the way. The -pretty freaking hot- dude arrived at 7h25pm. Great timing. He gave me the food and said ok thanks bebye. They charged my credit card and so no need for tip or what have you (trust me, I tried). The delivery and the food goes straight to yo card. BAM. BOOYA. All in all, a great delivery experience. I'm not one to get delivery, like ever, but if I feel the need for it, I'll totally be calling Wizrd.
The resto: Tri Express is located in Le Plateau, right at the limit (or a bit passed) the delivery territory for my apartment. As afore mentioned, I had been meaning to try this place for a whhhile. I ordered Omakase I, a combo that includes 4 nigiri and 10 maki, the syake maki (salmon--and YES, I'm fluent in Japanese) and the scallop and grapefruit salad.
Let's begin with the Omakase. The nigiri were all super fresh, as if the chef had just gone on a boat and fished them out of the ocean. They literally melted in my mouth. My mouth appreciates the melting. Mmmm, melting. OK, no more melting talk. The maki were also very fresh tasting but I found that salmon was a bit too present. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some salmon in ma sushi, but this was salmon + salmon + salmon. One the rolls had asparagus in there which was bang on what I like but it was so small, we couldn't even taste it. I also found that there was a bit too much tempura in there. There was another roll with apple, which is another LOVE for me, but it was not that well rolled, and so the pieces were comin' right out. Not a fan of super tight rolls but definitely not a fan of super loose rolls either.
The syake roll was very flavourful: there was just the right amount of green onions. And just the right amount of fish. This was a YES!!!!
The scallop and grapefruit salad. I ordered this because a: I loves me a good scallop, b: I loves me a good grapefruit and c: hello, what a combo! The grapefruit was very nice in this green salad. It was very fresh! The enoki were perfect and the wakame was... wakame. Ugh. I always ALWAYS forget to say NO WAKAME when I order Japanese food. I just do NOT like that texture. Just can't dso it. The scallops were very good but few and far between and they were cut in half but not totally. How weird. The salad was on the bitter side o things but putting the Tri Express sauce on it saved it a bit.
Gravlax with apple and kumquat. The salmon was perfectly gravlaxed (new word alert!) and the kumquat gave such a nice punch of flavor! The apple, I could've done without. This was sent as an extra! I love not paying for food!

Since I got this delivered, I can only say good things about Wizrd. On top of it, they are Montreal based, open from 5pm to 2am (hello, students!) AND they deliver from ANYWHERE. Literally. Check them out here: Oh, and by the by, they also deliver advil for your headache, maxi pads for that time of the month, shampoo because you forgot to buy some and, well, EVERYTHING.

And now, the scores!

Wizrd: 10
Food: 8

I had heard AMAZING things about Tri Sushi. It was good, yes, but not nearly as amazing as I've heard.
Tri Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Marché La Pantry

Obviously, I've been on an ice cream bender recently. Next up was Marché la Pantry in St-Henri, right smack in front of my friends Chris and Leannah's apartment. There was a sh*t load of construction right in front which basically just reminded me that I was in Montreal. Ugh.
I didn't go in, although it does look super cute and charming, because there's an actual old school window to get yo fix. They sell soft serve ice cream, dipped or not, sundays and other goodness. They always have a special soft serve like green tea or banana or vanilla or vegan lemon. I had the lemon one.
I have neva eva tasted lemon ice cream! Whaaaaat!!! I've tasted sorbet before but that stuff had nothin' on this. Yes, it was vegan but it was so creamy and soft. The taste of lemon wasn't too strong, just present enough. One would even say there was the perfect amount of lemon flavour. On top of it, it was only 4 bucks. I'll take 8 please.
I must say that I had been wondering what replaced the dairy products since it was vegan. They obviously put way more sugar in there. My subsequent dehydration and pooping session made me realize that. But you know what, pfff, it was worth it.
This little cuteness of a place is uber popular: even with all that stoopid construction, people kept on comin'! Perhaps because it's a new gem in the neighbourhood (they opened last year).
And now, the score!
Food: 9
I'm going back fo shizzle. Dizzle. Drizzle. 

Marché La Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato