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A journey into the many ethnic cuisines my city and the world ...

Find great articles and reviews in Montreal…even better join us on dinner with my dinner group http://www.meetup.com/CheapEthnicEatz or visit my blog at http://www.cheapethniceatz.com

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Juliette & Chocolat

 1615 Rue St-Denis
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Chocolate drinks to die for

And so we headed to our last stop. This walk took an interesting turn, as we realized we had to walk right into the heart of the Just for Laugh Festival along St-Denis street. All I and most members could think was : Uh oh! How will we find a table to accommodate everyone with a festival around?

The dessert gods were on our side, we did not wait very long. We were promptly enough shown to our table for 13 at Juliette et Chocolat. The courageous trudged along in ordering their hot chocolates, chocolate shooters, chocolate martinis, chocolate crepes and chocolate fondue! This place is addictive. So, so, so good. Everyone was on a cocoa rush and buzz.

Savory crepes are great to…try the goat cheese and pesto.

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Crêmerie Meu-Meu

 4458 Rue St-Denis
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Homemade Ice Cream

Then we were off to Crêmerie Meu-Meu, my favorite ice-cream joint in town. Again everyone relished in the delicious homemade ice creams, gelatos, frozen yogurt, or soy based treats. My preferred flavor was unfortunately not available that night: Lavender. So I happily settled for a zingy ginger flavor with a black tea one. Gosh this place is heavenly. Imagine 12 adults on a street corner for 40 min eating their cone and cups. It was a funny sight.

At this point sugar rushes were becoming obvious and I thought for a moment the emergency insulin shots would be required. One of my members had a distinctive bobble-head thing going on.

ice cream

 

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Maison Du Macaron (La)

 4479 Rue de la Roche
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

French sweet treat

This is going to be a fun blog to write….because it was a great topic to research. My boss told me about this delectable place called La Maison du Macaron. He insisted I go there and write about them. Did I mention my job is totally unrelated to this blog! So I got in touch with the owners and set a meeting time. Off I went during a lunch time with my pen, my writing pad and a clean taste bud slate. I felt like a reporter!

I was greeted by Mme Crop, co-owner of the store. She graciously spoke to me and answered all my nosy questions and then offered my a little complimentary tasting. So let me share with you now my first investigative report ever!

La Maison du Macaron is co-owned by M and Mme Crop, a married couple from France. Yes, there is a love story here…a sweet one. They met while both working for Gérard Mulot, a famous bakery, in Paris. Both mastered their baking skills over the next years and then they decided to move to Montreal and see what our city could offer. They agreed on giving it 2 years, if nothing big happened they would return home. At first the prospect of returning was a strong possibility as both were shocked at how pastries were not considered an art form here as it is in France.

Eventually Mme. Crop quit her job to complete a 6 month business plan program and the couple opened their present store on September 13th, 2008. Armed with delicious macarons they waited anxiously to see how their goodies would be received by Montrealers. Within 3 weeks the couple was flooded by media interest. Business has boomed ever since and they now try their best to keep up with the high demand.

So what is a macarons exactly? Macarons are little treats made of floured almonds, sugar, icing sugar, egg whites and ganache. They come in an array of colors and flavors. Only the finest quality ingredients are used. For example the pistachio paste used to make one of their most popular flavors is purchased at 100$ per kilo. Two domed meringues are glued together with a tasty ganache. The ganache is the part that is infused with a flavor such as: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, lemon, strawberry, pistachios, blueberry, cinnamon, fleur de sel caramel, grand marnier, pear…and the list goes on. Macarons are best consumed within 5 days and can be kept in the fridge. Make sure to take them out 30 min before serving them if cold. In their shop you will find:

16 various flavors at all times
the flavor of the month
a seasonal collect of 6 special flavors. Hurry to try the Spring/Summer collection before the Fall/Winter collection arrives.
Large maracons with fruits that can be served and cut like a cake
Iced macarons
Seasonal for now: salty macarons and a Christmas macaron log.

What does the future hold for M and Mme Crop? Well they assured me that macarons are not a passing fad and they will become more and more popular. Right now M and Mme Crop are looking to expand with more locations in Montreal and possibly Quebec City. They are also in discussions with 1 big buyer. And of course new flavors and products will be developed. They are incredibly busy during the holidays and get many requests from companies for corporate gifts or wedding receptions. A Christmas seasonal hit will hopefully soon become a regular year round: the salty macarons. The meringue remains sweet but the filling is a salty flavor. A popular one is foie gras and figs.

This is where I get to talk about my tasting he he. All I can say is….yummmmm! I tried the fleur de sel caramel (their most popular flavor), raspberry (my favorite), peppered mango and strawberry rhubarb. Biting into a macaron is a delightful mixture of sensations: crunchy, moist, a little crunchy, sweet, and overwhelmingly good. Let me tell you though by the end I was on a major sugar high and could not wait to get back to work and eat a vegetable. But I did taste more then one would in a serving. After all I had to sacrifice myself for you, my readers.

I asked Mme Crop what her favorite flavors were. She likes vanilla, apple cinnamon and peach a lot. And of course I asked what were her favorite cheap restaurants were so far. She is a fan of M sur Masson, Khyber Pass and Fondue Mental.

Of course I ended up leaving with a little 6-pack for me to take home and enjoy at a slower pace. I want to extend again a big thank you to Mme Crop for having me at her store. I also want to wish them a happy 1st year anniversary coming soon. Members of the dinner group will soon also have a chance to try some macarons as I am including this store on our annual all-dessert event coming up shortly.

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Lab

 1351 Rue Rachel E
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Best cocktail and absynthe

This one was a discovery suggested by Johanne. WOW is all I have to say. Talk about really original cocktails. And the waiter spent a lot of time explaining things to us. Ok it was not crowded but still he was passionate. They offer everything a bar can need, consultations, classes for groups. Its a great place for events. They are specialized (in secret) in Absinthe as well with a large selection and the right tools to serve it properly. No food is served. Two draw backs: its a bit far from the metro without frequent bus service and its mostly stool seating without back support.

But still worth the outing. Here is one of my cocktails I sampled:

LE PROVENÇAL
Une coupe de soleil à la française qui se compose à votre choix de Citadelle gin ou de Grey Goose vodka avec du vermouth blanc, du sirop de lavande et du jus de canneberge blanc. Grey Goose vodka, white vermouth, lavender syrup and white cranberry juice

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Typhoon Lounge

 5752 Avenue de Monkland
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Great martinis

Located in the Monkland village this place is frequented mostly by the cool Loyola campus and Dawson students who want to stay locel. They have really nice maritnis…a short list but a good one. one of the best Cosmos in town. The place recently underwent a more then needed renovation. There is a short menu of salads, wraps and burgers. Simple dishes but really good. I had a burger with goat cheese and avocado. the dumplings in the appetizers are excellent too and there are 12….enough for a meal for one person.

So I was there last night with Aurora and the other Evelyne and Thursday at 9pm are at $7 for the ladies, instead of $10. It also comes with a fortune cookie. Here is the fun part: the fortunes were written by Typhoon and custom made in San Francisco. The cookies are nothing to rave about but I had too share the 2 fortunes i got:

Confucius says use more eye contact & slow lip movement if you really wann flirt effectively
Stop talking about how good you are in bed and prove it
Ok, so I expect to get lais that night…but did not haha

One friend got:

Tell your waitress “Do you ahve a bun in the oven?” and you will receive a free baked cheese dish. Well…we did and it was so good!

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Le Fou d’Épice

 300 Avenue du Mont-Royal E
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Fried ice-cream

Sharon, one of my co-organizers, did the last dinner event. She chose Le Fou d’Épice located on Mont-Royal.

Its a great little BYOB Asian fare place in a very nice Plateau decor. I have to say the food was good but nothing out of the ordinary. But then dessert came. Actually another member ordered way before this dessert and when my table saw it…6 out of 8 ordered it. Fried ice-cream. Imagine a sweet dough filled with ice-cream, closed like a love bundle and then fried and covered with a thin delicious sweet sauce…DEVINE!

I do have to say though that the service was excellent and quick considering we were a big group.

And we had a blast at my table. Ridiculous talk and laughing all night. So nothing WOW food wise…except for dessert…but go there with good friends and you own wine and you’ll have a great time.

Hugs and Biscuits
Evelyne

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Nonya

 151 Rue Bernard W
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Our Nonya dinner

It seemed the day would never arrive over a month ago…but finally the set date of the sponsored Menuism dinner was on the calendar of the week. The 10 lucky members who took the challenge to write 10 reviews on Menuism earned a spot on the reservation for 10 at an Indonisian restautant at Nonya and each got $22 towards their bill. I had selected a traditional Rijsttafel menu at $36 per person. This menu must be reserved ahead of time and you have to be at least 10 people to reserve it.

This is a FANTASTIC restaurant which will definitely take your taste buds on an exotic journey. This is also definitely not a cheap place. For 2 drinks, the special menu, tx and tip my total was $65…so even with the $22 its a lot of money. For a special occasion it is totally worth it. Oh if you are fond of coconut milk you will be in heaven.

We all had a fantastic time and we had wonderful attentive service. There was a long silence when we started our meals…everyone was so concentrated on tasting the various flavors no one was talking. An odd moment but quite a compliment to the food too.

Again a wonderful place to go for a special occasion or a special treat since it would not be classified as a cheap eatz place.

BUBUR KETAN HITAM black sticky rice with coconut milk - Risjttafels at Nonya

Risjttafels

Here was our menu:

SOP LAKSA AYAM – yellow curry soup with rice vermicelli and chicken
LUMPIA GORENG – crispy roll with bamboo shoots, shrimps and chicken
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PEPES IKAN – tilapia wrapped in banana leaves seasoned with yellow curry, lemongrass and basil leaves
UDANG BAKAR – grilled shrimps marinated in red curry and lime leaf
BAKMI GORENG SAYUR – stir fry egg noodles with vegetables
RENDANG – traditional Sumatra beef simmered in coconut milk and spices
SAYUR LODEH – braised vegetables in red curry
GULE TAHU – tofu simmered in yellow curry
KERUPUK UDANG – shrimp crackers
SAMBAL TERASI – home made chili sauce cooked with shrimp paste
NASI PUTIH – white jasmine rice
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BUBUR KETAN HITAM – black sticky rice with coconut milk
TEH JAWA – hot Javanese tea enhanced with jasmine flowers

Dishes are served in small platters on the table and every serves themselves. Its a bit hard to hold yourself back and not take a bigger portion since you kind of have to make sure everyone gets their share lol. My favorite dishes of the meal were: the crispy rolls were really unusual, especially the sauce to dip. I have not idea what was the taste but it was unlike anything I knew; the grilled shrimp, the beef cury and braised veggies were all to die for. The rest was wonderful as well but those stood out for me. The black sticky rice for dessert is a very different and delicious dessert – no to sweet – to finish off this amazing meal. The Javanese tea is a smooth finish as well.

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La Chilenita

 5439 Boulevard St-Laurent
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Seafood Empanadas

Last Saturday I have my biggest meeting yet with 53 members present. We were fortunate enough to have a whole restaurant all to ourselves on a Saturday night. It was an amazing evening seeing so many people present at one time. Truly I was just touched by seeing all of you there. Thank you for coming and thank you for supporting and participating in my group.

I also want to thank Michel, the owner of La Chilenita, for being so helpful and accommodating. He worked hard to prepare a great menu under a limited budget as well.

La Chilenita first started of as a empanada take-out place and were a big success. Within a few years they now have 3 addresses. We went to the one located at 5439 St-Laurent (c. St-Viateur). The decor is simple and a bit fancy cafeteria style tables. They still have a take-out counter for the old and new hardcore fans. I have been here at lunch and had the seafood empanada…AMAZING.

But this evening we had worked out a 4 serving meal. The first one up was their signature empanada…a meat one. Second plate was another entre of either grilled zucchinis, calamari, or what I had a perfectly ripe half avocado filled with shrimp in a great sauce. It was delish and a hit with everyone who had it. We had 7 main dishes to choose form. The selection was a simple assortment of basic Chilian dishes. I heard the salmon was incredible, I forget the name but a Chilian type shepard’s pie (which I tasted of my neighbors plate…yumm), the chicken brochette perfect, and I have a steak covered with caramelized onions and an egg. Everything was simple but good. They also serve with every dish the house’s home made salsas. Finally the last dish was a perfect flan dessert. Oh and how can I forget the Pisco Sour cocktail.

Considering the size of the group the service was excellent, long a times for the main meal but with 50 people its to be expected. I highly recommend this place: you’ll get great service and great food for a more then reasonable price.

Seafood Empanadas

Like the best ever, refined tasting with the cilantro…amazing

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La Croissanterie Figaro

 5200 Rue Hutchison
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Pastries and croissants!

Want to experience a true typical French little Bistro? Try Le Figaro. Its not far from where I work and I had lunch there with a friend. We had the lunch table d’hôte:

A soup with lovely warm bread
Bavette de boeuf with nice rice, fresh veggies (broccoli, spinach, orange bell pepper)
Coffee

All for 33$ for both of us. And that includes the tax and tip.

I have been there many times to for a simple café and pastry. The decor is totally authentic and its a very posh place to see and be seen in Outremont, without being too pretentious (almost). I still have the lovely flavors of the bavette in my mouth.

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La Maison de Séoul dinner

 5030 Rue Sherbrooke
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Very Ethnic

Well last week the Cheap Ethnic Eatz group had an outing at a Korean restaurant. I had wanted to do one for quite sometime and it finally happened. And we were in for a treat. First of all the food did not stop coming. Everyone had a lovely light salad followed by a miso soup. I had a appetizer which consisted of two meat fried dumplings with a delish dipping sauce.

Korean is know also for serving marinated veggies before hand, the most famous being Kimchi, a traditional fermented dish made of seasoned vegetables.

Everyone seemed very happy with there meal, don’t ask me what the names where. I personally had the eel. It was served in a massive granite like bowl that was super hot and sizzling. The rice on the bottom was nice as it formed a crust from the heat. What I did not like was the one type of seaweed I cannot stand served on the side. Its bright green and fibrous and weird tasting.

Some had the Korean BBQ, raw fish meals, black bean drowsed meats, seafood platers. We were stuffed.

It is BYOB. I have to say, and I have been to many ethnic restos, that Korean still remains very exotic and very different from what we normally eat. This is for the adventurous..but you will be highly rewarde

Kimchi

A traditional fermented dish made of seasoned vegetables. it was good.

Korean BBQ

Very good too, raw fish meals, black bean drowsed meats, seafood platers that you cook yourself on the Korean BBQ

Showing entries 1 - 10 of 21
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