Helena – MTL à TABLE visit

I went back to Helena during MTL à TABLE and this time was even better than the lunch special! The presentation of the food is just so beautiful. The taste is delicious and the food is just the right portion for us.

Helena

Helena

Appetizers

The grilled octopus is very tender and reminded me of Greek grilled octopus. Super good! That’s my favorite appetizer.

Helena - Grilled Octopus Grilled Octopus, tomatoes & peppers

Helena – Grilled Octopus
Grilled Octopus, tomatoes & peppers

Helena - Red Tuna Pave Red tuna pave, green pea cream, mint & chourico

Helena – Red Tuna Pave
Red tuna pave, green pea cream, mint & chourico

Main dish

The olive puree on the black cod is the highlight of the dish. It complements the fish perfectly.

Helena - Seared black cod Seared black cod, virgin chick peas and olives puree

Helena – Seared black cod
Seared black cod, virgin chick peas and olives puree

Helena - Rack of lamb Rack of lamb, maple roasted grelot potatoes, bacon and vegetables

Helena – Rack of lamb
Rack of lamb, maple roasted grelot potatoes, bacon and vegetables

Helena - Calamari rice Calamari rice, giant grilled shrimps

Helena – Calamari rice
Calamari rice, giant grilled shrimps

Dessert

Speaking of Portuguese dessert, most people will think of natas. Helena’s version is cute and sweet. And the chocolate crumbs are surprisingly delicious too! Not just a useless decoration. 🙂

Helena - Pasteis de nata

Helena – Pasteis de nata

Helena

438 McGill, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2G1

514-878-1555
Restaurant Helena on Urbanspoon

Osteria Venti – Fine Italian Cuisine in Old Montreal

Venti Osteria is a fine Italian restaurant located in Old Montreal. It serves up delicious and slightly pricy food. But the overall atmosphere is warm and welcome. And the food is amazing! I’ve always been skeptical about expensive Italian food because I don’t think they are that much different from each other. But Venti Osteria truly blew my mind!

We went during Montreal a Table event and tried their $39 table d’hôte menu.

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria - Bread

Venti Osteria – Bread

Antipasto

The tuna is super delicious! All the ingredients added to the flavor of the tuna and the acidity of the olives is perfect with the fish. This is probably my favorite dish of the night.

Venti Osteria - Crostone di tonno Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley

Venti Osteria – Crostone di tonno
Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley

Veal tail is a bit exotic for me. I feel it’s lacking a little bit of flavor. But the tail is cooked very well and melt in the mouth.

Venti Osteria - Coda alla vacinara Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram

Venti Osteria – Coda alla vacinara
Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram

Intermezzo

This is surprisingly spicy. But very good.

Venti Osteria - Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni

Venti Osteria – Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico
Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni

Piatti

All of the main dishes are well prepared and very flavorful (and filling!) My favorite would be the shrimp on the trout!

Venti Osteria - Trotta allacqua pazza Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps

Venti Osteria – Trotta allacqua pazza
Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps

Venti Osteria - Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula

Venti Osteria – Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese
Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula

Venti Osteria - Fettucine ai funghi Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck

Venti Osteria – Fettucine ai funghi
Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck

Dolci

At this stage we were already so full that we thought we couldn’t eat another bite. But the tiramisu was light, moist and fluffy, we finished it all… Such piglets we are…

Venti Osteria - Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano

Venti Osteria – Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano
Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria

Overall, this is a great spot to try some delicious Italian food! Not another tourist trap in old Montreal. 🙂

Osteria Venti

372 St-Paul Ouest
Montreal, QC H2Y2A6
(514) 284-0445
http://www.osteriaventi.com/

Osteria Venti on Urbanspoon

MTL à Table – That’s a wrap for 2014!

How many restaurants did you visit in the past week? I went to the following and every single place was excellent! Blog posts will be coming soon. 🙂

  • Venti Osteria
  • Helena
  • Communion
  • Barbounya

On another note, I have launched a new instagram account @abiteofmtl. Follow me for some food porn! So far it’s off to a great start. One of my photos was featured in Tourisme Montreal’s blog post (along with my foodie partner in crime Chenchew‘s shot):

19 MTL À TABLE PHOTOS THAT WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS & HUNGRY

Imadake - Tuna tataki

Imadake – Tuna tataki

The photo was taken before this year’s MTL à Table, but hey, that was a great looking tuna tataki! 😛

That’s all for now. Can’t wait for the next edition! 🙂

La Petite Mangue – Exotic Cambodian Cuisine

La Petite Mangue is a cute Cambodian restaurant located in Plateau. Have you ever tried Cambodian food before? Well I never did until I visited La Petite Mangue. 🙂

At first glance, the menu seems to be a blend of Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. However, the owner Dylida was very helpful and explained to us a bit about the difference. Cambodian cuisine uses a lot of similar ingredients as Vietnamese or Thai food, most likely due to the geographical proximity, but the spice made a big difference. Cambodian cuisine had Indian influence and therefore introduced a lot of Indian spices in additional to the traditional Kroeung and lemongrass in their cuisine. It also uses less coconut milk than Thai food.

La Petite Mangue

La Petite Mangue

Siem Reap is a traditional Cambodian soup. Very distinct flavor!

La Petite Mangue - Siem Reap A curry soup with vermicelli, iceberg lettuce, onion and lemon wedge

La Petite Mangue – Siem Reap
A curry soup with vermicelli, iceberg lettuce, onion and lemon wedge

La Petite Mangue - Tom Yum shrimp Tom Yum soup with pineapple, mushroom, tomato and coriander

La Petite Mangue – Tom Yum shrimp
Tom Yum soup with pineapple, mushroom, tomato and coriander

The sauce that comes with the spring rolls is very good. It’s similar to peanut butter, but served hot, with a bit of sweetness in it.

La Petite Mangue - Spring rolls with mango and shrimp

La Petite Mangue – Spring rolls with mango and shrimp

Even though the dish has “spicy” in its name, but it’s not actually that spicy. I’m used to Szechuan food and this is quite mild. The potatoes in the dish soaked up all the flavor and I probably liked it better than the chicken itself. 🙂

La Petite Mangue - Spicy Green Curry Chicken Leg Tender chicken leg in creamy green curry sauce with potato, onion and fresh basil

La Petite Mangue – Spicy Green Curry Chicken Leg
Tender chicken leg in creamy green curry sauce with potato, onion and fresh basil

Amok is a very typical Cambodian dish. The fish filets are coated in spices and piled up together. Very tasty!

La Petite Mangue - Amok Famous Cambodian fish dish bathed in coconut milk and infused with a lemongrass blend

La Petite Mangue – Amok
Famous Cambodian fish dish bathed in coconut milk and infused with a lemongrass blend

Cambodian desserts combine both sweet and savory and are served hot. It may be a bit surprising to many people as they are not the North American sense of dessert.

La Petite Mangue - Mont-Royal Cake Butter pecan and pandan leaf cake served warm with creamy palm sugar and ginger sauce

La Petite Mangue – Mont-Royal Cake
Butter pecan and pandan leaf cake served warm with creamy palm sugar and ginger sauce

La Petite Mangue - Pumpkin and Corn Pudding Pumpkin and corn cooked in creamy coconut milk and tapioca pearls

La Petite Mangue – Pumpkin and Corn Pudding
Pumpkin and corn cooked in creamy coconut milk and tapioca pearls

Overall, I would recommend La Petite Mangue as a spot for culinary adventure. Cambodian dish is similar to other Southeastern Asian but has its own signature dishes and flavors. Try it out with an open mind and experience the exotic culture!

La Petite Mangue
300 Avenue du Mont Royal Est, Montréal, Québec H2T 1P7
(514) 288-8390

La Petite Mangue on Urbanspoon

Vivino Wine App – Never pick another bad wine

This is not my usual type of post. But I think as a foodie, it’s important to appreciate the wine you sip while enjoying good food. Therefore I’d suggest this great app to everyone – Vivino!

The main function of the app is quite simple. Take a photo of the wine label, and the app will be able to determine which wine it is and pull up info and reviews. Sounds easy, right? Even if the app was not able to identify the wine right away, you can still search, or let Vivino team find out later which one it is.

The app comes in handy especially when you are in SAQ browsing thousands of bottles, or when in a restaurant trying to determine which wine to order. The social function will also remember the location of the wine, and let you review each bottle you scan.

I’ve really enjoyed using it and find it an excellent way to discover new wines. Majority of the wines are available in the database and you can find info on price, description, ratings, food paring, and even vintage comparison.

Vivino is available on iOS, Android, and windows phone. Sorry blackberry users!

Vivino Wine App

Vivino Wine App

Cheers everyone!

Labarake – Beautiful location in Rosemont

Labarake is a restaurant in Vieux-Rosemont located in the old Angus Shops firehouse. I was a bit skeptical driving through seemingly endless streets in residential zones, but when I finally arrived, it was a pleasant surprise! Labarake is right next to a Loblaws and there was plenty of parking around. The restaurant itself was beautiful with exposed brick walls and high ceilings. The weather was too cold for sitting outside, but there is a spacious terrasse that could be a perfect spot to sip on some cocktails during summer.

Surprisingly, Labarake have $1 oysters from 5pm on Sunday – Wednesday at the bar (this means you’ll have to sit at the bar to eat their oysters). Of course we ordered some! Malpeque oysters are quite common in the supermarkets but they are very delicious!

The cocktails are superb and quite strong actually. They are tasty at first and then the alcohol kicks in. My friend ordered Emmielle which is fruity and refreshing. And I picked Bloody Marin from the caesar section because it comes with an oyster. 🙂 There is a bloody caesar served with bacon called Bloody Carnivore. Hmmm maybe I’ll try that next time!

For the main dish, we ordered braised beef and duck. I personally prefer the braised beef because it’s tender and melts in the mouth. However, both dishes are a little bit plain and could use a bit more complexity in the taste.

Thanks to Labarake for a great tasting experience. It’s a beautiful location in a quiet neighborhood and could be great for special events or parties. I’d head back during the summer to try out their terrasse. 🙂

Labarake

Labarake

Labarake

Labarake

Labarake - Oysters

Labarake – Oysters

Labarake - Duck

Labarake – Duck

Labarake - Braised beef

Labarake – Braised beef

Labarake

3165 Rue Rachel Est, Montréal, Québec H1W 1A3

(514) 521-0777

Labarake - Caserne à Manger on Urbanspoon

Kuu Bistro – Amazing Japanese Izakaya

Kuu Bistro is a new Japanese Izakaya in downtown Montreal. They have the Japanese tapas style dishes, sushi rolls, and oysters.

A bit different from Imadake, the decor is very airy and bright with floor to ceiling windows looking out into Square Philippe. There’s also a second floor that can be a great private party venue.

The food is absolutely fresh and delicious. My favorite dishes would be the white fish carpaccio, and grilled miso black cod. The white fish carpaccio is lightly grilled on the outside and dipped in a rich sauce with different spices. I’ve always loved black cod. It’s a slightly fattier fish and the miso complement the taste very well.

For people who like sushi rolls ,they also have a fairly large selection of makis to choose from. Kuu lollipop is wrapped with cucumbers, very refreshing with tasty sauce to go with it.

They have different types of oysters on the menu as well, which is pretty rare for Japanese restaurants in Montreal.

I’ll definitely go back to sample the other half of the menu!

Kuu Bistro - Oysters

Kuu Bistro – Oysters

Kuu Bistro - Tacoyaki Squid balls

Kuu Bistro – Tacoyaki
Squid balls

Kuu Bistro - White Fish carpaccio

Kuu Bistro – White Fish carpaccio

Kuu Bistro - Kuu Lollipop

Kuu Bistro – Kuu Lollipop

Kuu Bistro - Grilled Squid

Kuu Bistro – Grilled Squid

Kuu Bistro - Ramen

Kuu Bistro – Ramen

Kuu Bistro - Assorted Sashimi

Kuu Bistro – Assorted Sashimi

Kuu Bistro - Grilled Miso Black Cod

Kuu Bistro – Grilled Miso Black Cod

Kuu Bistro - Kuu Roll

Kuu Bistro – Kuu Roll

Kuu Bistro - Miso Soup

Kuu Bistro – Miso Soup

Kuu Bistro - Ice cream

Kuu Bistro – Ice cream

Kuu Bistro

1219 Rue Philippe Square Montreal, QC

(514) 866-6800
Kuu Bistro on Urbanspoon