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lundi, 18 novembre, 2013
My husband and I had a romantic and absolutely delectable 5-course Valentine's day supper here. Chuchai is my favourite Montreal restaurant. The food is exquisitely seasoned, beautifully presented and very creative. We shared our dishes selected from the Valentine's menu, which included: cocktails, mango salad, coconut base soup, rice, ''beef'' and ''chicken'' dishes, and dessert, to which we added wine. Service is pleasant, formal and attentive. I liked the art on the walls and the hip ambiance of St-Denis St. The only imperfection to an otherwise perfect meal was the front door, which allowed in a draft of cold air as people came and went--hopefully, in future the restaurant will have the entrance sealed-off from the winter air.
This restaurant has evolved from a tiny hole-in-the-wall with no liquor license (but tasty food) to a spacious and casually elegant eatery with a wine list. We have lived in NDG since 2008 and have been there many times over the years for a tasty and inexpensive Thai meal-delicious! They now even have a terrasse.
I am vegan and I like to eat out, so I am always on the lookout for suitable restaurants in Montreal. I had noticed this restaurant, right across from Villa Maria metro station, for many months before I actually tried it, because from the outside it is quite unassuming. I finally got around to trying it one evening when my husband and I were looking for a change from our usual tried-and-true restaurants. What a wonderful surprise! Although the menu offers a modest number of choices, the mostly soy-based dishes are creative, visually appealing and absolutely delicious. Personally I don't seek out meat look-a-like dishes but if you are someone who eats meat and wants to take a walk on the wild side of veganism, these dishes will make the adventure very comfortable. The wine list is acceptable and the service is friendly. It seems that this place has not yet been discovered by the vegetarian, vegan and flexatarian crowds, which is too bad.
As a vegan, I was initially pleased when I noticed this vegan restaurant as I walked by one day. I came back with my husband a couple of weeks later to try it out, in hopes of enjoying a romantic meal.
While the food was ok, I have very bad memories of that place, for reasons that I will explain. . . The waiter brought us a wine list, and given the rather forbidding prices, we ordered the least expensive wine. We would have ordered a half bottle had we known that was an option, but there were only full bottles or single glasses (at around $7 each) on the list so we opted for a bottle. When the waiter brought the wine, we tasted it, and I thought it tasted a bit off--sort of sulphuric overtones and too acidic--but my husband didn't notice anything, and having never been served a bad wine in a restaurant, I really didn't have any precedent for rejecting wine so I accepted it. (After the waiter brought us our meal, we noticed that there was a blackboard which posted a list of demi-litre wines, but the waiter had never pointed that out to us.) We ate our meal and left. . .
The next day I awoke with a huge migraine and although I have had migraines before in my life, this one was a doozy, that lasted for days. Also, in retrospect, I thought the label on the wine looked inauthentic I have been eating out in Montreal restaurants for years and never had such an experience. I resent that (A) the waiter did not point out the list of demo-litre wines, and (B) that the restaurant would serve spoiled wine. I would not go back to this restaurant, which is a pity since I am vegan and there are not yet a lot of vegan restaurants in Montreal.
28 oct., 2019