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KT MTL's Profile

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Banh mi in the plateau area?

I doubt there are any bahn mi places in that particular area. But why bother? Jean-Talon is only 3 minutes by metro from Laurier. You could get there more quickly than most places on the Plateau.

May 03, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

It's been more than a year since I last visited. I vaguely remember bad service at one brunch, but on the previous two or three times I visited it was fine, but that was shortly after it opened.

Apr 19, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

That's a great suggestion, but I was thinking in particular of something that feels like a getaway without being more than ~45 minutes from downtown. Out-of-town-but-in-town, you know?

Anywhere in the Montreal area is good: Lachine, the West Island lakeshore, Ste. Anne, anything along the back river, Laval, North Shore. I'd be willing to go as far as, say, Chambly to the south, Repentigny to the east, Terrebonne to the north and Ste. Anne to the west.

Apr 16, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

Now I have a question: can anyone recommend a good restaurant, café or bar with a nice *waterfront* terrace somewhere in the Montreal area?

Apr 15, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

Here are a few suggestions for nice terraces in the greater Mile End area:

Le Dépanneur Café, Bernard/Esplanade: You wouldn't know it from the street, but there's a gorgeous garden tucked away behind this place. It's quiet, cool in the summer and perfect if you're looking for a bit of tranquility. It's like having coffee in a particularly nice backyard.

Social Club, St. Viateur/Esplanade: I prefer this terrace over the one at Olimpico because it's more comfortable (movable seats and chairs rather than benches) and it has a nice tree for shade. Unlike Olimpico, Social Club also has beer and some great sandwiches.

Café Local, St. Viateur/Esplanade: Right across from Social Club, a pleasant terrace with lots of flowers and great people-watching. The food (vaguely West Coast in inspiration) has been satisfying each time I've visited.

Caffè in Gamba, Park/Fairmount: Montreal's newest third-wave coffee house with a fine attention to detail. The terrace is sidewalk-level with ample space. Like all of the terraces on the east side of Park, it's sunny all afternoon, which means it is too hot during the day in mid-summer but perfect in the spring and on summer evenings.

La Croissanterie Figaro, Hutchison/Fairmount: Pretty much a classic. It's the ambiance of the streetcorner that gives this terrace such appeal. It's also open pretty late, until 1am.

Vices et Versa, St. Laurent/St. Zotique: Nice bar with a great (if slightly expensive) selection of beers from La Barberie, plus some passable things to munch on. The rear terrace is pretty conventional --- but that just means it's perfectly pleasant.

Apr 15, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

Reservoir does have a great terrace. The only problem is that it seems to be closed more often than not!

Apr 15, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Terraces; the good, the bad, the food, the drinks...

La Presse reported that the Gaz Métro construction should be finished by May, so hopefully there will still be three or four months of terrace season left on the Main...

Apr 11, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Look at this crazy Ice Cream product! Not bad!

Yes! I first had this last summer and it's amazing. Corn is such a perfect flavour for ice cream.

I'm in Hong Kong at the moment but strangely I haven't seen anything similar. Of course, I haven't been looking very closely.

Melona (honeydew-flavoured ice cream) is pretty good too. They're a standard corner store treat at depanneurs in Toronto but Jangte seems to be the only place that sells them in Montreal.

Mar 09, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Taiwanese

The only decent Taiwanese places I've encountered in Montreal are both near Concordia: Wonton King on St. Marc near de Maisonneuve (on the ground floor of a big apartment tower) and Tea Stop in the Faubourg.

Feb 23, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Chowish neigbourhoods for living in Montreal?

If you're looking to buy, the Little Italy/Petite Patrie/lower Villeray area is going to be your best bet, especially in terms of food. I can't think of any other neighbourhood with such variety that still has such reasonable housing prices.

Feb 19, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pâtisserie Harmonie 麵包蜜語

A word of advice to anyone who wants to check out Harmonie... go early! I've gone a few times around 6pm and they hardly have anything left. It's been extremely popular and everything has sold very quickly.

Also, milk tea and the other drinks are great value compared to other places in Chinatown.

Feb 17, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Goya Ginger Beer?

I'm not sure about 2L bottles, but you can find Goya ginger beer at pretty much any Latino supermarket and maybe even some of the north end Asian grocery stores. In other words, head to St. Denis/Jean Talon and check out some of the shops in that area, starting with Supermarché Andes on Bélanger.

Feb 17, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pâtisserie Harmonie 麵包蜜語

The place is open... I haven't had the chance to go yet (I'm out of town), but I have an inside source who has so far been very impressed with the quality -- and she has very high standards for Chinese bakeries. The bread, cakes, buns and egg tarts are apparently very good. They also serve milk tea (lai cha) and an assortment of bubble tea drinks made with Tea Shop 168 recipes.

It's also a true Hong Kong-style bakery, which means it's the same sort of thing you would find in Markham, ON or Richmond, BC. It's apparently quite similar to the bakeries in T&T supermarkets.

Feb 09, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Hakka Restaurants in Montreal?

It sounds like you're looking for Calcutta Chinese restaurants, not Hakka restos.

Calcutta has a somewhat sizable community of Hakka that dates back to the 18th century. Since the 1980s, though, many of those Hakka have immigrated to Toronto.

The Toronto area is the only place in the world outside India with a large number of Calcutta Chinese, so you're not going to find these restaurants anywhere else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_...

Actual Hakka cuisine is similar to Cantonese cuisine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_cu...

Feb 08, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Coffee Shop near Bell Centre?

There's an "upscale cafeteria" type place (think Prêt à Manger in London or Quattro D here in Montreal) called Anton & James on Stanley just above Ste. Catherine. I've been inside and it looks very nice, with a cozy seating area in the mezzanine, but I can't vouch for the coffee since I didn't try any.

Jan 29, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Congee

Was the guy who served you young, maybe late 20s? He's been there every other time I've visited. Either he's the owner or he's always working.

Jan 29, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Best hot chocolate in Montreal?

I think the sign on the door says that it will reopen Jan. 31st. I was there a week ago, hoping to buy a cake for my girlfriend's birthday... what a disappointment.

Jan 25, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

soup dumplings in MTL?

Right, which means they'll give you the (unlisted) pre-tax price.

Jan 22, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

The Great Montreal Bakery Hunt 2007

I don't know if it will offer milk tea, but you can get real milk tea from two places in Chinatown: Dobe & Andy in the mall just below Kam Fung and M.M. Legende on the main pedestrian strip.

As far as I know, Harmonie is currently hiring staff (they'll be open daily from 8am-10pm, so they'll need a lot of people) and is supposed to start training this week. I would imagine they'd be open by the end of January.

Jan 21, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

The Great Montreal Bakery Hunt 2007

Em Café at Park/Bernard also stocks treats from La Cornetteria, along with some homemade pastries.

Just so everyone knows, there's a new bakery about to open in Chinatown called Pâtisserie Harmonie, right at the corner of La Gauchetière and St. Urbain. Inside sources tell me that it will be authentic Hong Kong-style with buns, cakes and Chinese versions of Western pastries. We'll see how it turns out...

Jan 20, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Finding good espresso in Montreal

I'm still waiting to hear from Carswell on the new café with good pedigree opening up in the McGill Ghetto. I've pass through the neighbourhood frequently, and while there are some recently-vacated spaces, I haven't noticed anything that might become a café.

And what about those two big names looking for space downtown?

Jan 20, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

soup dumplings in MTL?

Some Chinese restaurants don't charge tax if you pay cash, which translates into a 10 or 15 percent discount.

I wouldn't be surprised if English or French-speaking parties didn't get this special treatment. It happens often enough to me and my girlfriend, even though our dinner parties are usually ethnically mixed, but that might be because there's usually someone ordering for the group in Chinese.

Jan 20, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Noodle bar - are there any?

There's Dobe and Andy, which is a small "tea restaurant" (cha chaan teng) on St. Urbain right below Kam Fung. Their lunch specials are good by Montreal standards: $3.95 for a noodle soup and drink (lemon tea, milk tea, yuen yeung). They also have noodles, though it's been awhile since I've tried them.

Prêt à Manger is decent, too. It's in the Concordia ghetto but it's in a completely different league from the bad places nearby.

Jan 16, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Congee: Chinese dessert soup and congee!

I'm glad you visited, if only to confirm that I don't have terrible taste!

I've never tried their tea. Maybe next time.

Jan 16, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Fresh Tofu Market

I'll vouch for T&S too. The owners are very friendly, they know their stuff, the tofu is good and the prices are low.

Jan 12, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Congee: Chinese dessert soup and congee!

I think it opened sometime in the fall. I only heard about it in November, which is when I first visited.

Jan 11, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Congee: Chinese dessert soup and congee!

RESTAURANT CONGEE, 1200 Rome Blvd., Brossard
Open until midnight

For island-dwellers, there isn't much in Brossard that is worth a trip across the Champlain Bridge, but Restaurant Congee is an exception. As far as I know, this is the only place in Montreal that specializes exclusively in congee and tong shui (sweet Chinese dessert soup).

I've been here on two occasions and haven't been disappointed. Located in a nondescript strip mall at the end of Rome Blvd., just a few blocks from the river, the restaurant occupies a small but cozy space. On both my visits, all of the customers seemed to be Chinese, but the menu is completely trilingual, with detailed descriptions of each dish in Chinese, English and French.

Congee is a rice porridge popular both as breakfast and a late-night snack. Here it costs between $5-6 per bowl and the selection is vast. On my last visit, I had congee with pork kidneys. Unlike most restaurant congee, it was mellow and not too salty; in fact, it was almost as good as my mother-in-law's homemade congee. I had the same reaction to the other congees I sampled, including the ground beef and egg and the preserved duck eggs and minced pork.

Other snacks on the menu include Chinese doughnuts, which are used for dipping into your congee. On my first visit, which was around 9pm, they were very disappointing, tasting like they had been sitting around all day before being re-fried. On my second visit, early in the afternoon, they were very fresh, crispy and tasty.

Also worth trying is the ho faan, or folded rice noodles served with hoisin and peanut sauce. It's sweet and savoury and almost as good as what I had in Hong Kong.

Now, the dessert: yum. Tong shui is easy to find in Toronto and Vancouver but, until this restaurant opened, virtually impossible to get in Montreal. Upon request, Prêt à Manger serves red bean soup instead of fortune cookies; Sai Gwan in Chinatown has a small selection of desserts on their Chinese menu. But no restaurant has ever specialized in tong shui.

As with the congee, the selection of tong shui is large and varied. On my first visit, I tried the seasonal special, a hot pumpkin soup that was very good. On my second visit, I had cold coconut milk with tapioca, which was light, very subtly sweet and extremely refreshing. I also sampled the sago, a cassava root-based soup with pieces of grapefruit and mango, which was less impressive.

The menu also includes "ginger cooked milk" (geung jup dun nai), a custard-like dessert that I've had elsewhere and very much enjoyed. Here, it requires at least 15 minutes of preparation because it's actually made fresh from scratch. This will definitely be something to try on my next visit.

For reference, here are some Wikipedia entries you might want to check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tong_shui
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congee

My friend Cedric wrote a review of our first visit to Restaurant Congee on his blog:

http://smurfmatic.net/blog/archives/2...

Jan 09, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Em Café: new resto-café at Park/Bernard

EM CAFÉ, 5718 Park Ave., Mile End (near Bernard)
Open until 8pm weekdays, 5pm weekends

This place opened last summer in a former delicatessen that had been abandoned for two decades (Mile Enders will know it as the place in between Nouveau Falero and the Épicerie Mile End, near the Jean Coutu). The space is gorgeously designed.

Food consists of café standbys like sandwiches, salads, wraps, which sounds totally boring except that the attention to quality ingredients is remarkable. This is especially evident in the main courses. The other day I had a pork roast with mashed potatoes and a ratatouille and it was fantastic. It came with a soup (also excellent, and the accompanying bread was baked on the premises) and it set me back just $9.95.

The prices here are appealing: there is nothing on the menu above $12. It's nice to have a meal that is both affordable and delicious.

The coffee is above average and, again, not too expensive ($2.75, tax included, for a café au lait that is better than what you'd get at Starbucks/Second Cup/Presse Café et al). There's a selection of pastries, some of them homemade, others from a bakery in Little Italy, but I haven't tried enough of them to comment.

The service can be a bit disorganized, but always very friendly. The owners all seem to live in the neighbourhood; one of them told me that they buy all of their food on Park, too.

Em Café still doesn't have a liquor licence but the owners assure me that they will extend their hours once they get one.

They have a website with photos and their menu. Amazingly enough, it appears to be updated every day with the daily specials.

Daily specials:
http://emcafe.ca/Em_board_specials_en...

Regular menu:
http://pages.videotron.com/matsuri/em...

Jan 09, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Japanese grocery?

That's a different McDonald's. The one bomobob is referring to closed when Pharmaprix expanded sometime in the 90s.

Jan 04, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Where's the best burger in Montreal

I think they start serving them at 11 or 11:30am, so if that's breakfast for you, then yeah!

Jan 04, 2008
KT MTL in Quebec (inc. Montreal)