Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pandan Crèmerie

Crèmerie Pandan has been on my list for a very short time. My friend Nantha, who is this uber popular Pop-Up chef in Montreal (and across the world for that matter) wrote something about his daughter opening up a crèmerie on Notre-Dame. Not any kind of crèmerie... one that makes thai rolled ice cream. Excuuuuuse me! I totes had to hit that.
Crèmerie Pandan is the little baby on Notre-Dame West, just in front of Rasoi, close to Nozy. VERY well located, normally. I say 'normally' because right now, there's so much DAMN construction on Notre-Dame, that no one has access to it. That's not true...but you have to be very motivated. Cars mostly cannot drive on that street and there's dust galore for the pedestrians and cyclists. All in all, a really freaking fun situation.
The place itself is tiny. Tiny, tiny, tiny! And so cute! Cute, cute, cute! It's all white with hints of light green and little plants. Very pure and simple: no fuss, no muss. I understand that it's too tiny to have chairs or stools in the actual crèmerie, but I would have loved to have at least a couple benches outside. I was stuck eating on the curb at the corner of Notre-Dame and rue Doré, lookin' somewhat like a homeless person. But enough about me being homeless, let's talk about ice cream. They use the freshest ingredients and buy their cream from Laiterie Chagnon, located in Waterloo, Québec. On top of it, all flavours and toppings are made in-house with fresh, local, and natural ingredients. Well, except the Asian ingredients. Duh. We love dem Asian ingredients.
Mango rolled ice cream with coconut on top. I asked the girlie working there what she suggested and without even thinking about it, she almost screamed 'mango'. Well, mango it was going to be! Just looking at her make the rolls of ice cream was fascinating. I was in a trance, fo sho! They pour the mixture of mango and a mix of 40% cream and 3.8% milk on a very VERY cold plate where they do a mix of spreading and chopping, and spreading and chopping. I was mesmerized. Mesmerized, I say!
How effin beautiful is this? On a scale of 1 to 10, the answer would be 8000. No doubt. Wow!!! I went outside and as I was sitting down, I took my first bite and...almost fell. O-M-G! I can tell you that I've NEVER had this good of an ice cream in ma mouth. I'm not even kidding! And I've had awesome ice cream over the years! And with that lovely coconut on top? Holy hell!!! It was like seeing God. I know what you're thinking: I'm exaggerating. Well, YOU try it and try NOT seeing the big man. It was like a splash of mango in my mouth! And we all know how well coconut goes with this awesome fruit. It had such a nice, smooth texture too. When I finished, I wondered, for literally a good 2 minutes, if I should just get more. I voted against it, because, well, let's face it, it won't make me any thinner.

I've looked online to see what peeps think about this heavenly place and I was flabbergasted ( yes, that much) by the bad press on this. Mainly, it was people bad mouthing the place because it took so long to get their ice cream.  People, this is not a normal scoop-and-go kind of establishment. It takes a moment for them to give you your dessert. There's a process. Don't think it'll take 30 seconds. It's written on a board right in front of you: it will take 3 to 5 minutes. It's worth it. Oh so worth it.

And now, the scores!

Food: 10.1 miiiiiiillion
Service: 9

Hell ya, I'll go back: I must bring all my friends!


When a restaurant has a lunch special, you go. When a fancy restaurant has a lunch special, y'all have no choice, you freaking go! Actually, Jer bear, Lea and I were totes excited to eat at this Korean resto not far from Milos, but it was closed! Grrr. I hate it when that happens. We started walking towards St-Viateur and noticed Milos. Jer said 'hey, they have a lunch special. And so, Greek food it was!
The place itself is a bit, what's the word I'm looking for, fancy. Yep, it's totes fancy. Someone takes your jacket at the door, waiters wear long white aprons, the lunch table d'hôte is, yikes, 25$. Plus tip, plus taxes. OK, I guess I should've known; it's Milos after all! The place itself seems very grandiose once you get in. I felt a bit out of place (read: a lot). We were all wearing sweatshirts and I was thanking my lucky stars (yes, sometimes I do that) that I had decided against wearing my jogging pants!
They brought us some warm bread to start off with some very good olive oil. I loves dippin' my bread in olive oil.
My entrée was the salmon tartar. So good. So fresh! Perfect cut. Hallelujah! I've had a couple tartars that were cut way too big recently and it is just NOT the same. There was a tiny bit of spice in there; just enough to give it a nice kick. LOVED it. I love me some good kicks, you know? The sesame flat bread was an excellent vessel for the tartar eating. Mmmmmm. I might even go as far as saying that this one might just be one of the best I've had. Eva. Ya. I'm dsoin it.
The main. Now, this was my bad. MA. BAD. My friends laughed at my choice and I think they will, until I dsie. Who eats chicken in a restaurant? Well, in my defense, I hadn't eaten chicken in a whiiiile and I felt like eating just that! In hindsight, I should've chosen either the freaking lamb or the fish, but nooooo, I chose the damn chicken. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but it was still chicken. It was really moist and well charred. The grilled tomato, although a good idea (ish), was meh and left me really wondering why it was on my plate. The fries were a big disappointment: too soft and, well, old. The pita was good and fluffy, although it was a bit too charred. Basically, Jer bear compared this to when I ordered chicken pho: just not the good choice.
The dessert: baklava ice cream. This was very good. Little chuncks of baklava in there with a slight hint of cherry. Yum!
Service was right on the whole time. It was actually wow. Water: refilled. Crumbs on table: cleaned up with a ramasse-miettes (a little piece of metal that high end restaurants use to clean the crumbs off of the tables). Dishes: always in a timely manner. I actually wrote in my notes that the service was 'quick-ass'. Yep, that quick.
And now, the scores!
Service: 9
Food: 7 damn you chicken!
I think I'll go back, perhaps for dinner. Try a whole other level of fanciness :)  

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pandan Snack Bar

I had tried Crèmerie Pandan this summer and fell in love with their Thai rolled ice cream. Like, legit fell in love. Like, I looked at it longingly while I ate it at an incredible speed. But enough about my love story with ice cream. Madhuri, the owner AND daughter of one of my friends, Nantha (who does wonderful cooking things in Montreal) invited me to try her new menu that comprises of Malaysian treats. Malaysian you say? Treats you say? Oh, I am IN!
She added a little counter in the tiny TINY restaurant, which makes for a way better eating spot than the curb, haha! Last summer, I had gone to try that loverly ice cream and they didn't have a counter nor a bench outside so I sat on a curb, looking homeless. Ah, the good ol' days! Now, it's pimped with a nice counter with seats that are not high enough for me, hahaha. Damn it! I hate being short in these situations!! I ate half on, half off. At least I was able to put my food on an actual surface.
She put up a very small menu on a big board. Hey, I prefer smaller menus any day of the week! Those menus with 86 choices are the bane of my existence!
I had the all-dressed Popiah wrap. Basically, it is THIS: pandan (plant used to heighten flavours in many dishes) infused wrap, lettuce, house sauce, house sambal, braised jimaca+carrot, blanched green beans, bean sprouts, fried shallots, toasted peanut dust and omelette strips. Since I had the all-dressed one, I also had some grilled prawns, Chinese sausage and crispy fried tofu. I think that's it, hahaha! It was full, but well wrapped. It was also accompanied by marinated veggies: cucumber, cabbage and garlic shoots! I loves me a good garlic shoot! These were quite intense tho. Whoa!!! Madhuri said that next time she'll most likely cook them before to take a bit of that, what's the word?, garlic-ness out. The wrap was not heavy, as a lot can be with all that bread. The good thing about THIS wrap was that it was ubs thin and ubs UN-heavy. Or light as one would say. It's actually called a skin. THAT's how thin it is! It's made out of wheat flour and made into somewhat of a crepe, if you will. You can read all about it HERE: When everything is homemade, it makes a hell of a difference. A HELL of a difference! On top of it, she was using recipes from her mom AND grand-mother. It felt so personal, which was lovely! As soon as I had my first bite, I was hooked. Like, you know, on a drug. A drug called Popiah! That was a bad joke and I am very, VERY sorry. An explosion of flavours hit my taste buds. The ONLY not 100% good thing (does that even make sense?) was the sausage. I found it a tad on the hard side. But that'll be all!
The Pok Pok! OR pandan ice cream, milk bread bun, peanuts and condensed milk. That little homemade (yes, I told you that EVERYTHING was homemade) bread was great! Albeit a tiny bit on the hard side, it was a great alternative to the usual cookie. The ice cream was ubs fresh and supes tasty! The peanuts added a nice little crunch that countered the ice cream and, hello, condensed milk. I was pretty much drooling as she was pouring it all over the dessert. Rrrrrrraaaaa. This was quite the winner.

Service was great. Duh. It was one-on-one as no one else was in there. We talked about how she came to open the resto, about her recipes and about her family. Water was in a pitcher on the counter, so that was perf. She made the food in front of me whilst telling me what she was doing, so that was amazeballs.

And now, the scores!!!

Food: 9
Service: 10

Can't wait to go back! Either for a great wrap OR for that out-of-this-world rolled ice cream!

Pandan Creamery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

La Petite École

Last week, I was invited to try La Petite École in Ste-Julie. That's correct, Ste-freaking-Julie. Argh. I looked on Google maps and it would've taken me 1 hour and a half by bus. WHAAAAT? No. it's a good thing I was going with Clo, who actually owns a car. And so, we chose last Wednesday. Yep, we chose the day when Montreal was awaiting 15 cm of snow. Bravo Marie. Bravo.
The place itself is located in an old OLD school, with a lot of it having been kept as it was in the old days. You know, those old days? Ya, those. It was very cozy! The only thing missing was a nice fire! The waiter told us that they get a lot of local products made by local businesses: Boucherie Auclair for meat, Pâtisserie B & G for desserts, etc. Now, THAT is cool and right up my alley! We should always encourage our local businesses before goin' international!

We decided on two entrées and two mains. Obviously, sharing was going to be involved!
The kangaroo tartar. Who sees kangaroo on menus anymore? No one, that's who. It has a stronger and more present flavor than, let's say, beef, and it was ubs pleasant in a tartar form. The meat was supes tender and with those cranberries and almonds in there, WOW!! Perfect combo. There was also a nice little salad made out of my enemy (you know, mesclun). In its defense (yes, I speak for lettuce now), it was ubs fresh and unwilted (I'm making it a word) and it was great with a bit of kangaroo in there. 'Yes I'd like some roo in ma lettuce please'.
The escargots. I loves me some good escargots! They were literally swimming in a cream sauce with some basil and sun dried tomatoes. YUM-MY! There was also a piece of puff pastry in the middle of the plate that absorbed all that goodness! Just imagine: a little dip of bread (and the waiter warned us we were going to ask for more!) in the cream sauce AND in the balsamic reduction, with an escargot on top! DAMN! I was in heaven. In snail heaven, that is. I must note that Clo wasn't too cray cray about dem snails; she found that it was too creamy. I gotta say that my lactose intolerance flared up in the hours following that meal but, when it's worth it, it's worth it damn it!
The veal spareribs. Ah, meat! I'm basically full-on vegetarian now, eating lots of chick peas, lentils, tofu and veggies. All that healthy crap. Hahaha! It can get boring. This is why I always get totes excited to eat a good piece o' meat :) Mmmmmmm meat! You know what I like more than meat? Supes tender meat. Oh yeah! The meat legit fell off the bone only by looking at it. There was also a purée of carrot and parsnip that was supes tasty and seasoned just right. The sauce was made out of Griffon Rousse so it was obviously a good one! 'You don't like beer', you'll say. No I do NOT. But beer dson't taste like beer when it's in sauce form. And this one was very good and paired very well with the meat! This was a big ass portion (technical term), that Clo nor I could finish. The chef mentioned that he tried doing the small Montreal-like portions and peeps did not appreciate. I guess the south shore-rers like their big portions. I mean, they must work on farms and need more energy, yes? Haha!
Steak, aged 40 days, with shallot butter and a red wine sauce. Clo was hesitant at the thought of eating (and me ordering) this dish because she had tasted aged meat before and did not like it. I obviously had asked for my steak to be rare because, let's face it, when it comes to steak, it is the ONLY way to eat it. I've legit unfriended people for ordering a well cooked steak. Shame on you! Shame on aaaaall of you!. OK, imma calm down. The meat was nothing like Clo remembered it: not tough at all and quite juicy. It was perfectly rare and the shallot butter completed the flavors. The parsnip puree was very tasty but I would've liked it to be smoother. The veggies were well charred. I just LOVE that taste! It's the best way to eat veggies, fo serious.
Le dessert. Crème brûlée trio: chocolate, vanilla, and Cointreau. To be honest, we were quite full by then, but we HAD to taste what they had to offer! Our fave was the Cointreau one, with its notes of citrus. It didn't seem as heavy. The vanilla and chocolate were good, don't get me wrong, but the Cointreau one was right smackedi smack on da ball! They made this in house while they get the other yummy looking dessert from a local Pâtisserie.

Service was greatness throughout the evening. The waiter explained everything that was on the ardoise and our water glasses were refilled. He explained to us the story of the actual building and how the restaurant came to be. At some point, between our entrée and main, we both felt like it was taking a tad too long and that someone could maybe perhaps clear our table, but that was the only "bad" part of the evening.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9

I would looove to say I'd go back, but damn iz so far!!! My south shore friends should DEF go though!!! Go. NOW!

Restaurant La Petite École Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 8, 2018


The first night Boo and I were in Samanà, Dominican Republic, we walked down from our bed and breakfast to Punta Popy, a picturesque beach. Can I go back now please? Mmmmthanks! There's a line up of restos right on the other side of the beach, overlooking it, and it is just SO UGLY to look at. Or, you know, the opposite. We were looking for a drink at first so we headed to Alegria. And then we beached it up and came back for dinner!
The place is the cutest thang ever: all white with some red and light blue, and palm tree leaves as a roof. A very waterproof roof. We were actually sitting in the common area of our bed and breakfast while it was pouring and we were in awe. Imagine two girls looking up at the roof, with our mouths wide open. We sat at a counter facing the water. Argh, that view SUCKED. Or, you know, was the best thing ever.
We both had what we could only describe as "the blue drink". Actually, it was called "Aquarium". It was quite intense! And it was such a huge drink. Oh, I ain't complaining :p It was fuuuull of alcohol too. Again, not complaining! Blue Curacaô, rhum, tequila, Martini and sugar. Having a drink in front of the beach and the palm trees is pretty much THE dream. That sh*t never gets old.
We were tipsy and ready to hit the beach! So we walked about 20 steps hahaha!!! Had a little swim, played with a stray dog, and went back to Alegria for dinner!
We shared dishes, of course. I had the parsley and garlic shrimp (duh!). The shrimp were cooked just perf and were so freaking tasty!!! Mmmm... gaaaarlic shrimp :) :) If you want to make me happy, gimme some garlic shrimp. Enter Homer Simpson drooling sound. The fries were OK, really not the best. I obviously did not order this for the fries.
Boo had the octopus in a creole sauce with some veggies. The veggies were perfectly cooked: not too soft nor too hard, but quite salty. There was plenty of octopus in there. It was perf and ubs taste! Those creole spices went really well in there. For a dish that cost a bit less than the equivalent of 20 $CAD, it was oh so worth it. It was on the salty side of things though. Like a lot. Like so much that we wondered why we had salt on the table. We also wondered if they simply had taken the water from the sea and cooked with it. Seriously. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but whhhaaayyyy too salty!

Service was awesome throughout the meal. Actually, pretty much everywhere we went to eat in Samanà had damn good service. They were attentive, they asked us if we liked it, they refilled our water. Kidding. We did NOT drink the water. Actually, I must have swallowed some whilst brushing my teeth, because I got the, well, let's just say I was ubs sick for a good week after returning to Montreal.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7 ALL that salt!
Service: 8.5

I'd like to say I'll go back but it IS kind of far!!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Isshin Ramen

I hadn't seen my bestie Tes and her main man Marky in over a year and, damn it, I missed them. We did what we did best: ramen! Isshin ramen is on many of Toronto's best ramen lists. Hello. AND hello. The ramen quest Toronto!!! Hey, a ramen quest is a ramen quest!
We went there during prime lunch time, last Saturday, at around 1PM. It was FUUULL. Fortunately for us, the turn over is very high. I loves me a good turnover. That sounds weird, but I'm sticking to it. That's actually what I put on my Tinder account to get all the ladies: 'I likes me a good turnover'. And I get them ALL. I'm totes kidding, unfortunately. Or fortunately?
Moving on. The place is cute, with small tables, very close to one another. An open kitchen at the front made for a nice welcome: all those smells and kitchen hustle and bustle. Just what I like! A big painting of a dragon on the long wall completed the décor of the place.
We were there for the ramen, but we wanted a little somethin' somehtin' extra, too! We started with Takoyaki. Or deep fried octopus balls. Hehe, octopus balls. Balls. I shall stop being 12. It was supes hot. The way every hot dish is supposed to be. Not cold, not luke warm, hot. Hot god damn it! Can you tell I have a thing with my dishes' temperature? I dso. I HATE it when the actual plate is cold and I LOATHE it when something that is supposed to be a certain temp, is not that temp. Aaaaaanyway, moving on! Those were little balls of heaven. Heaven in a ball. Mmmm! They were meaty and moist and all that good shtuff (the h ain't a mistake, people).

Pork gyoza. I loves me a good gyoza. Or dumpling if you prefer. They were marvelously crispy and juicy. OK, juicy enough. No one likes a dumpling burn. Dipped in a nice little sauce that screamed umami, they were even bets (better... no I will not stop abbreviating words)!
And now, la pièce de résistance: el ramen! They have a bunch of different types of ramen and they ALL look so awesome! It looked soooo good!!! I had the miso ramen. As soon as it hit the table, I felt my mouth watering. The broth was on the thicker side, which is what I love in my ramen. I had ordered extras like a marinated egg and nori: the nori is, well, nori (always good), and the egg was right on par. I gots to try making my own marinated eggs. Yaassss!!! The noodles were a bit meh. I mean, they were not not good, but I found them way too large and there were too many in my bowl. They serve up different types of noodles (which, by the way, are made specifically for Isshin Ramen by a Japanese noodle manufacturer, and delivered every other day) in different ramen. I just felt like my noodles, since they were larger, were heavier and I got full way quicker than I should've. The meat was supes taste and just fatty enough. I just wish there would've been more of it. I want more of everything, god damn it! Oh, except noodles. Less noodles please.

Service was quick and efficient. You know what I'm gonna say: Asian restos have the quickest and the most efficient service. ALL. The. Damn. Time. They checked up on us and they refilled our water. No fuss no muss.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 8.5

I really enjoyed this ramexperience (change approved!), but there are SO many ramen restos in Toronto!! I think it's safe to say I'll go to another one before I go back to this one.

Ramen Isshin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato