Here is a short video we did on our trip to Japan in September 2015. We just came around to edit it now and we hope you guys enjoy it!!!
Don’t forget to subscribe and like the video if you liked it. We might be traveling soon so stay tuned!!!
We’ve been dreaming to go to Hawaii for a very long time because their culture seems so relax and calming, and their food looks amazing! If you didn’t know, a lot of their dish is influenced by the asian culture. One of our favourite Hawaiian dish is Poke! Poke is a dish consisting of marinated raw fish on top of Japanese rice. So you better believe us that we were SO excited when our friend told us that Le Poké Bar was going to open on Crescent Street in Downtown Montreal.
They had a soft opening on May 4th, and we decided to give it a try the day after. Right when you enter the restaurant, you can see they tried to go with an “Modern Ocean” kind of vibe which was nice and refreshing. We ordered 2 Maui bowl from the pre-set menu. You can chose the fish and other ingredients to put in your bowl too (similar to subway service) but we opted for the Maui since it looked pretty appetizing.
The Maui bowl had salmon, mangoes, cucumbers, lettuce and avocado. They let you chose your type of rice you want, and we opted for white rice. You can also chose the sauce, which Alvin chose the house one (Kind of a Teriyaki sauce) and I chose spicy mayo. We immediately regretted our choice as it did not go very well together, we would recommend the shoyu sauce which is the traditional sauce that usually goes with Poke (but at that time, we forgot, oops!).
The portion were really generous and the staff is very friendly. We love the concept of the restaurant and the Maui bowl was good, although it wasn’t what you would expect from a traditional Poke. Our only complaint was the rice – it either wasn’t Japanese rice or it wasn’t cooked right as it was a bit dry.
Last week we reviewed this High Tea place and we had to include it in this post too. This is the perfect restaurant to bring your Mom and catch up with her! We fell in love with the scones and charming vibe, and we’re sure your mother will love it too.
2. Jardin Nelson
I brought my Mom to Jardin Nelson last year and she loved it. If you want to be out on a sunny day, this is the place to be. Their terrace is beautiful, and they even have musicians performing sometimes. Plus, they have delicious salad and sangria. Moms love those, don’t they?!
3. Café Parvis
Café Parvis is not the first place you would think of to bring your mom, however I know my mom would love it. You and your mother could enjoy one of their succulent pizza or salad while enjoying their cozy decor. We recommend the seat by the window to thoroughly take advantage of the sun!
4. Maison Boulud
If you really want to spoil your Mom, bring her to Maison Boulud where she could have a 3 course brunch for 49$. It’s a pretty good deal when you know that a single dish on their diner menu can run up to 52$. Cherry on top? They have a beautiful garden!
For a more traditional Mother’s Day brunch we recommend Fabergé. They have everything you would love from a brunch: eggs benedicts, french toasts, and waffles. They even have fried chicken with waffles which is surprisingly one of my Mom’s favourite combination!
Last time I, Veronique, ate Szechuan food was the last time I was in China 10 years ago, and it was Alvin’s first time trying it. As you may already know, Chinese food in general is not spicy. My parents rarely ever cook spicy and they can’t really handle it either. However, Szechuan food is very spicy as they uses a lot of hot peppers.
We went for Dinner at KanBai in their downtown location with 3 of our friends which one of them recommended the lamb served on a sizzling iron plate. It was slightly spicy and served with garlic scape. The lamb was very taste and you could really taste its distinguished flavour. I know a lot of people are sensitive to the taste of lamb, so if you are I would avoid from ordering this dish although I found it was good!
One of my favourite thing to eat is eggplant and I do love how Chinese people cook it so I had to order the eggplant served on a sizzling plate. It was topped with bonito flakes (fish flakes), the same that you can find on Takoyakis or Okonomiyakis. It added a nice added flavour, I would come back to this restaurant just for this dish! But then again… I love anything with eggplants.
All my friends eat very spicy so we decided to give the hot pepper crispy chicken a try even though it had the 3 chilli peppers sign beside it in the menu. The fried chicken was basically drenched in spicy oil so if you can’t handle hot peppers I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, the chicken was a bit dry. This dish wasn’t my favourite.
Lately Alvin has been obsessed with “Soondubu Jjigae” which is a Korean spicy soup with tofu. So naturally when we read on the menu that there was a spicy tofu soup with egg we had to order it. Alvin and I loved this soup! It was not very spicy, had a subtle taste of chicken broth and tons of fresh tofu. It would be the perfect soup to eat on a cold day. However, our friends didn’t like this soup as much as us as they thought it was a bit blend.
And last, but not least, we ordered the fried pork spare ribs with garlic. Let me tell you… They were AH-MA-ZING. The skin was so crispy and delicious. The ribs were juicy and tender, topped with garlic, onions and a bit of hot peppers. I strongly recommend this dish!
Overall, our experience at KanBai was delightful. The service was prompt. We would recommend this place to anyone who likes spicy and Chinese food!
One of my, Veronique, favourite things to do with my girl friends is to catch up while having high tea. I just love the small canapés and pastries they serve. Also, it’s always a plus when half of your meal are sweets!
I’ve only tried 2 others High Tea places in Montreal, and Le Parloir was honestly the best one I’ve been so far! From the sandwiches, to the scones, to the sweets, everything was decadent and fresh. The choices of tea was quite extensive, but they were all traditional teas. All the canapés were the traditional flavours: duck confit, cucumbers, ham, foie gras and smoked salmon, which in this case was gravlax.
The scone was one of the best I’ve ate for a very long time. It was very moist and was perfectly accompanied by soften butter, raspberry jam and orange jam.
The dessert in the jar changes quite often I believe, but this week I had the chance to taste their passion fruit panna cotta. Very soft and creamy, it’s richness was well balanced by the acidity of the passion fruit.
The restaurant was quite small but very charming. It had that small family bakery feeling. We made a reservation beforehand, which I recommend to do. Service was a bit slow since I don’t think they have a lot of personnel.
Have you every walk hundreds of time past a street but never bothered to try out that cute restaurant on the basement floor? Well… It happened to us and we decided to give it a go! The other day we came across this small little place going home. Little did we know… we discovered our 2 new favourite desserts!
On their Facebook page, Chicha restaurant owners claim themselves to be a “Cozy tea house with delicious food”.
They serve the kind of food you can expect from a bubble tea restaurant which is usually a combination of Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese food. First things first, we ordered 2 iced bubble teas, one mango rooibos flavoured and the other one was longan honey. Both were very good and not too sweet.
For our main course, we opted for a chicken katsu with Japanese curry and a cheese-stuffed chicken katsu. “Katsu” is basically a meat cutlet that has been breaded and fried. Both dishes were good, and the chicken katsu stuffed with cheese was a very nice combination.
But the stars of this little tea house is not the savoury dishes, but rather the desserts, which is my (Veronique) favourite part! The first time we tried this restaurant we ordered 2 mille crepes and 1 cream puff. Mille crepes are very thin layered crepes with cream custard in between them and they are DELICIOUS! It was our first time trying it out as we believe Chicha is the only restaurant that serves it in Montreal. We weren’t disappointed at all. The thinness of the crepes mix with the whipped cream kind of custard made it so creamy and dreamy! They have different kind of flavours such as chocolate, green tea, original and durian (which we have yet to try, but they are always sold out when we come in! If you didn’t know, it’s one of Alvin’s favourite fruits.). A little thing we would like to point out is that the green tea one, although good, was our least favourite. It had a bit too much matcha powder on top and was filled with red bean paste which was a touch that we found unnecessary. On the other hand, maybe we’re just not the biggest fan of matcha and red bean to begin with. The very nice waitress told us that we can call to reserve a flavour before coming in, which is probably what we’re going to do next time. The cream puff was good, but nothing spectacular.
Another great discovery we made the second time we went is the honey toasts they have on their menu. Curious as we are, we always wanted to try it out and it was amazing! It’s a dessert made out of sweet bread, topped with ice cream. It sounds really simple, but it was oh-so-good! The bread was crunchy but fluffy at the same time, and the ice cream was soft and melted to perfection.
Conclusion: We kind of want to keep this place secret so we can have all the mille crepes to ourselves…
Toqué! have recently been awarded best restaurant in Canada, so my family and I decided to give it a try to celebrate a birthday.
For people that are not familiar with this restaurant (which we weren’t at all!), it claims to use local ingredients and tries to keep as much as their natural flavour as possible, while combining them to create a unique experience.
Something else important to note, Toqué! detain the five diamonds rating, which means the service is more than impeccable. As we do, we ordered the tasting menu. It consists of 7 surprises courses – Yes! Surprise, which means you have no idea what is coming for you. Be prepared, this post is going to be a long one.
Ready or not, here we go!
The price for the tasting menu is 122$ per person, not including taxes, tips and alcohol. You can opt for the 5 or 7 wine pairing but we decided to order a bottle of red wine that our waiter kindly suggested. I unfortunately do not remember the name and I’m definitely no expert, but it was excellent!
First thing first: the bread. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE bread. Needless to say, I was expecting warm, fresh and delicious bread from the best restaurant in Canada. However, I was very disappointed as our first batch was served cold. They give you two kinds of bread: Ciabatta and country sliced bread. Both were cold and the Ciabatta was so hard, I had to use my hand to open it in order to put some butter on it. The few other batches were warmer, but still, we were expecting more.
Pre-course: Stripped bass mousse
Before starting our 7 courses meal, they brought us a small stripped bass mousse to start the dinner. It was light in texture and had a strong taste of bass. I personally do not enjoy strong fishy taste, so for me, it was just OK.
First Course: Raw Flounder with radish, cucumber, shallot, lemon juice and grapefruit mousse and sweet clover
Our first meal was a sashimi course of flounder. I’ve never tasted this fish before but it had no particular taste in my opinion. It was accompanied by fresh ingredients which made the dish very refreshing and a good way to start our dinner. However, I thought it was just missing a little more of something to make it more tasty.
Second course: Razor clams with artichoke, mashed potatoes, camelina and razor clams juice emulsion
This dish must have been one of my favourite! I love razor clams and I find it rare to find them in restaurants in Montreal. The mashed potatoes were excellent and the artichoke gave it a small kick of acidity. The emulsion made the dish all come together, giving it a smooth texture. Definitely a 10/10!
For the third course, we had a choice between fish and Foie Gras.
Third course Option 1: Halibut served with fennel puree, carrots, mushrooms and dandelions
I personally didn’t get the chance to taste the fish because I chose the Foie Gras option, and also because this dish was so good my mom ate it so fast i couldn’t get my hands on it! If you love fish, this is a must try apparently!
Third course Option 2: Foie Gras served with gel and gallet buckwheat, sesame tuile, apple syrup Maple, shiitake mushroom and nasturtium .
Another thing I love in life is Foie Gras. Foie Gras au torchon? Heck yeah! I love it even more than poêlé (pan-fried). However, this plate was served without any kind of grilled baguette, but rather a very tiny small amount of buckwheat gallet. Altough very good, we had to ask for some more bread in order to eat our two big chunks of Foie Gras, which none of us finished because the portions were really generous!
Fourth course: Lamb with mashed rose hips, pied-de-mouton mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, water chestnut gnocchi and gravy
The lamb was cook in a very particular way, which ended up taking away a lot of the meat flavour. It seems like it was boiled or steamed. It was served with water chestnut gnocchi, delicious mushrooms and a gravy sauce which tasted a bit like fancy ketchup. In my opinion, this dish was very unique and it resembled nothing that I’ve ever eaten. However, I think I would have enjoy the dish better if the lamb was grilled, the gnocchi were just potato based, and the gravy was traditional. Sometimes, when you try to hard, it just doesn’t work.
Fifth and Main course: Venison served with mashed black trumpets, mashed parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, chanterelle tube and pepper sauce
The venison was cooked to perfection and was perfectly accompanied. Before this dish, I’ve never ate a Jerusalem Artichokes, which taste a lot like a crunchy potato. Very yummy! I love discovering new dishes and ingredients, so this was a big plus for me. This dish also included a sausage made out of deer. Never mind the razor clams, this was my favourite dish and it was the main dish so the portion was bigger – win for me!
For the sixth course, we had a choice between a pre-dessert or a cheese platter.
Sixth course Option 1: Bercail and Royogourt served with pistachio, camelina seeds and vinegar reduction
This option consisted of two cheeses. One was yogurt based, which made it very light and creamy, and it was sprinkled with pistachio. It was delicious and very unique. The second one was a hard and very strong cheese. Just by cutting it, you could smell the very strong flavours, kind of like a blue cheese. However, when in the mouth paired with a cracker and the sweet vinegar reduction, it is actually very tasty!
Sixth course Option 2: Fried Rice ball pudding with fennel seeds, white chocolate ganache and lemon, lemon cream, gel pastis and coffee crumble
With the sweet tooth that I have, I obviously took the pre-dessert. It was basically an arancini (fried bread crumb rice balls) and the rice was cooked in coconut milk. Personally, It wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think the flavours came out well together. I didn’t really care for the coffee crumble either. The white chocolate with lemon was good. This dish was my least favourite.
Seventh course: Rhubarb mousse, Bavarian cream cheese, thyme meringue, lemongrass gel, and strawberry and lemongrass sorbet
We ended our 7 course meal with a sorbet and mousse dessert. I really enjoyed the meringue, which melted in my mouth. The cream cheese balanced the sourness from the rhubarb, lemongrass and strawberry. However, I would have enjoyed having more of it since it was quite a sour mix.
After dinner candies: Maple fudge and whiskey chocolate
Our waiter surprised us with some whiskey chocolate and maple fudge. They were excellent, I have never eaten a maple fudge that was so creamy and rich.
Four hours later and a much lighter wallet in hand, we had a wonderful experience at Toque!. The service was great as they warmly welcomed us in their restaurant. Throughout the dinner, we received an impeccable service filled with small attentions such as pulling out the chair for the ladies, serving the ladies first, folding back our towels when in the washrooms, etc. The list goes on!
However, (yes, nothing is perfect!) the food left us hanging as it was less than what we were expecting. All the ingredients were great and fresh, but the combinations of flavours were not our favourite. Additionally, we made a reservation for 7pm and ended our meal at 11pm, so take into consideration the time it will take to go through all your meal when booking a reservation.
Conclusion: It was a great experience, but for that price, not sure we would come back.
(only because we had to wait quite a bit between some of the dishes)
On Sunday we went for brunch with some of our friends. We already had been to Holder’s but never for brunch and since we heard good reviews we decided to give it a try.
I (Veronique) ordered eggs benedict with salmon gravlax which came with fingerling potatoes and a small cup of fruits. Everything on my plate was fresh and I enjoyed very much the Gravlax. However, I do feel like my eggs were a bit overcook since they were not runny, but it didn’t bother me. I also ordered a side of fries (couldn’t resist!) but I found them overly fried which made them on the oily side.
Our friend ordered the French toasts. They were pan fried and dipped in a caramel rum sauce. It was really good although really sweet which reminded me more of a dessert than a brunch. I would recommend this only to people who have a really sweet tooth.
Our other friend ordered a typical breakfast from Montreal: Smoked salmon with a bagel and cream cheese. Nothing fancy but ut satisfied her craving!
Overall, it was a good experience and we enjoyed the ambience in the restaurant. If you enjoy a romantic decor with good food and good service, we recommend you this restaurant!