Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chez Bong

I had been meaning to go back to Chez Bong for a while--I went about 5 or 6 years ago mostly because it was in the book 'Cheap Thrills' (they tell you where you can eat for cheap in MTL). Obviously I had loved it AND I love Korean food AND it's in Chinatown (because here, if it's anythin' Asian, it's in Chinatown...which we will henceforth call Asiatown).
Anyhoot, went a couple weeks back with my homie Lea with a sole purpose: to eat a good bibimbap! Oh how I love thee!If you don't like bibimbap (for shaaaaaaaaame!), you have about 27 choices on the menu. Dem Asians don't do shiz half assed I tells you.

Aight, so when you get into this resto, there is, you didn't guess it, techno music! What the what? The place looks nice and out of the ordinary with wood everywhere including the walls. The ceiling though is made of panels... with some mold. I tried not to concentrate on that.
We started off with some pork dumplings. The looked great but turned out to be a bit on the doughy side and even though there was a nice, vinegary sauce to go with, it couldn't save the dish. They were still alright though, por favor don't get me wrong (that's right, I use Spanish only when I'm serious about somethin').

They also brought us some boiled potato cubes and my fave by 8000 units (it's a thing!---remind me to tell you about that time in the tent when my friend Jadster said I was taking up 8000 units, just do it!), the BEST thing ever to come out of Korea, kimchi. Ps: I tried my hand at making kimchi last summer and it was quite good indeed (if you don't know what kimchi is, for the love of little baby Jesus, look it up! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi).

The potatoes were a tad overcooked and although they weren't necessarily bad per se, they didn't taste like much. Obviously the kimchi was wonderful. Oh God, I want some now! That fermented cabbage, in my mouth, RIGHT NOW. OK, I shall calm down.
Bibimbap actually means mixed rice, did you know that? Well, I didn't either until about 3 seconds ago :) The egg is kind of supposed to be raw but I was happy with this one; raw egg is a thing I not-so-much appreciate. Traditionally the rice is served with veggies, some meat and chili paste. I had all sorts of goodness in my bowl (which is scalding by the way---which is why I had to blow on my food throughout the meal!). There were some pickled veggies that had just a hint of vinegar and went well with the rice, the meat and the egg and well, everything. There were even some fiddleheads which was quite surprising! A damn nice surprise! They were cooked to perfection. And I ain't used to eating warm cucumber but you know what, it's pretty damn darn tootin' good!

Service was alright: we got water quickly and he came to take our order in a timely fashion. He didn't come check once if we liked our meal or to serve us water so that's -23 points right there. He did, however, bring us hot sauce 3 seconds after asking.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 6.5

If I ever get the bibimbap craving again, I'm going back! Oh, wait, ya, it's here :) You know where to find me!

Chez Bong on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Canh

After our not-so-good experience at Pho Bang one week prior, we were really hoping that My Canh was going to be oh-so-worth-it. Val and I even started this joke at work: I can, you can, MY can! Ha...haha! Ya? Alright, fine.
The place is less than inviting. I'd say UNinviting, yes. And a bit ghetto. You don't go there for the ambiance, that's fosho! Basically, you enter and there are about 40 to 50 seats around picnic style tables, so you share it as we did at Pho Bang NY. Well, except that evening it was -1000 so we were about 6 in the resto so no table sharin'.

We didn't want to have any more pho so we both decided on a stir fry. But that was after looking at the huge menu. I swear, there were at least 100 items on there. How can one choose? We both had the table d'hôte which included a soup and a main.
The soup. Smelled wonderful. Simple. Not great. The noodles were cooked to perfection and the green onions and coriander gave it a nice fresh taste. But dude, I don't want 'fancy' pre PRE cut carrots or freaking brocoli in there. No!
I had them crispy noodles! I hadn't had those in years! Verdict: they were crispy, yes, but the taste wasn't there. They were quite bland. This was quite the let down :/ The veggies were nice and crispy and seasoned just right. The mushrooms though were a bit on the overcooked, mushy side. The chicken had a nice char on it and was quite juicy which was appreciated. There was this massive coriander branch right on top which served absolutely no purpose. No purpose at all I say! I'm just gonna go ahead and say no to branches.

Service was alright or 'aight' as I often say, cause I'm THAT cool. Ya you know it. Ok, getting sidetracked here. We got water as soon as we sat down and some tea. The one thing that was a bit off-putting was that it was jasmine tea; we both found that it was way too floral for a meal. Our waiter was nice but not as present as we would have liked, especially considering the fact that that was practically no one in there.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6
Service: 7

We were disappointed for a second time in a row at [I can, you can] My Canh and I don't see us going back there.
My Canh on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hoang Oanh

I don't know why but I had been craving a banh mi (uber vietnamese treat) for about a month. Well, that craving was satisfied at Hoang Oanh last Sunday! Called up Lea, told her about my banh mi dreams and set to meet up in Chinatown (I just want to mention how much I appreciate the fact that when I go to Chinatown, I can eat chinese food, korean food, vietnamese food, japanese food etc! Now if it could only be a tad bigger!). Half an hour later, we were there baby!
The place is tiny and has no room to sit, which kind of sucks for people like us who had not planned on eating this loveliness at home. Iz ok, don't cry for me Argentina, we hopped over to the Palais des Congrès and found a comfy sofa to drop our crumbs on :)

Anyhoot, we practically were in and out in 3 minutes! These banh mi girls are fast I tells ya! We didn't want to eat the same sandwich so Lea got the veggie one and I got the beef one. Oh and a big ass ps here, it only cost 4$. Yes I say.
This is the veggie one (and the only good picture---the other ones, they just look like 'well I see some ingredients but it doesn't look like anythin'). Lea had the choice between tofu marinated in curry or marinated in soya sauce. Great choice with the curry; I hardly ever tasted tofu that tasted this good. Ok, rarely. Alright, never. My beef was really tasty too; they apparently really got their proteins right :) Seriously, it was kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic (thanks Rachel) but in a good way. The bread in both sandwiches was a tad stale though which was not that super. Plus, you know, all the crumbs. When we got up, we actually saw a reverse body-shaped crumb infested area on the couch. The veggies were so darn good: just a tad pickled and oh-so-fresh! Carrots, daikon, coriander and a hint of hot peppers; so basically all the right stuff. Oh and there was a little bit of yummy yummy sauce that just made everything better. I's gotta say that the veggies were cut a bit too big but in the end, who gives a crap when it tastes this good? Precisely no one! Oh and the hint of really hot peppers was a good choice on our part; it just gave it a nice little kick.

Although I won't be grading the service because of the super duper short time we were in there, it was great! Fast, efficient, nice. 

And now, the score!
Food: 8

I'll be back every day I can. Now THAT is a promise!

Hoang Oanh Sandwich Vietnamien on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pho Bang New York

My friend Val and I LOVE restauranting (oh ya... btw I invent verbs now) together: she doesn't care that I spend a third of the time taking notes and pictures and I don't mind if she talks on the phone. Anyhoot, Val and I decided that, since we are uber poor right now, Chinatown will be our new hang out spot. Many restaurants, some of them good, most of them cheap!

That evening, we decided on a place that had gotten mostly great reviews; Pho Bang New York. Well, for me, any place with 'Bang' in its name is a done deal. So we're about to walk in and notice that it's full, overly lit and cafeteria style, meaning there are long tables and many dining groups sitting beside one another. I know it's not going to be a long dinner so cafeteria style sitting is ok by me.

We were seated quite quickly and as soon as we hit the chair, some tea was on our table. Thank the little baby Jesus (or as I like to call him, Heysus) for that hot tea 'cause I believe it was nearing the minus 8000 Celsius outside. Not cool man, not cool. We looked at the menu but knew what we were going to have, we were there for some Pho (more on pho: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pho). I really needed something hot to thaw my insides (insert picture here).

We decided to share a spring roll entree and both ordered the grilled chicken pho.
The spring roll. I LOVE spring rolls. This one, unfortunately, did not live up to our expectations.  I was dry and quite hard. Plus, I did not even taste the shrimp. And y'all know how much I loves me some shrimp.
Grilled chicken pho. Not the best decision ever made by either of us. The broth didn't taste like much; let's just say we added a lot of sriracha and hoisin to make it taste like somethin'. The chicken was good, thank Heysus, and the charred taste really came through. The choice of veggies... I mean, who wants what I call 'carottes d'avion' (you know, those tiny stooopid carrots) or cauliflower in pho? It smelled amazing when it was placed in front of us but even the yummy thai basil, the lime, nor the sprouts could save it.

Service was lacking, as it is in a lot of Asian restaurants that serve a shiz load of people per meal. Water was on the table quickly and we got the food really fast too but our waiter was looking around while taking our order and that just pisses me off. 

And now, the scores!

Food: 6
Service: 6

I'm not sure I'd go back, even for another kind of pho. Pho sho (hahaha, get it? mmmmya).

Pho Bang New York on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 23, 2015

Le Smoking Vallée

I have wonderful friends. Two of them (Lea and her main squeeze) decided to invite me out on February 15th for a little Valentine's day dinner. How nice! And to Le Smoking Vallée no less; a BYOW restaurant I'd been meaning to visit for a while.

We got there, on a -8000 evening and were nicely welcomed by the waitress and unfortunately coldly welcomed by the room... the temperature inside does not need to be the same as the temperature outside, people! It was 6 PM so it was quite empty...but it was about to fill up.
The place is very simple, lots of wood, mirrors, industrial type lighting (recurrent theme recently), no music (a tad whhhheird), and a 'menu à l'ardoise', meaning of course that the menu was written on a black board on the wall.

Our cute little waitress came and explained all the specials. She actually needed a piece of paper where she had them written all down and I don't blame her! I think there were about 5 or 6 specials that evening! I stuck to the menu, which I had thoroughly studied on their website. That's right, when I go to school, f*ck studying, but when I go to the restaurant, it is time to learn the menu, learn about the place and know what I should order in advance. OK, that 'f*ck school' isn't true, I mean I did graduate :)
As soon as this plate was in front of me, I started drooling. And then it became a puddle of drool on my table and it was just not classy. Alright, I'm kidding. But it could have happened! Puff pastry with enoki (to be honest, I'm not sure they were enoki because the head was a tad bigger, but I looked it up and I just cannot find a description) and button mushrooms, truffle, watercress and a poached egg. Let me just say that if I'd only be rating this dish, I'd give it a ten. A ten I tells ya! The puff pastry was super flaky, just like it should be, the mushrooms were juicy and full of flavor, the egg...OH the egg. I broke it and the yolk ran over everything and created the best sauce EVA! Holy bejesus. So silky, creamy, soft and unctuous! It was literally one of the best poached eggs I've had in my life (and we all know how old I am ;p ). The watercress added a great texture and another taste level to the dish and the bacon...OH, the bacon. Y'all know how I feel about bacon :) 'Nuff said.
My reaction to this plate was pretty much the opposite to the first one. Aight SO I had asked for the meat to be rare. It was rare alright... nope.... actually it was blue. For y'all who dson't know, blue is a notch above raw. I don't like my meat raw. I like some fish raw. But not freaking beef. (And I'm too shy apparently to tell the waitress...but I've thought about it...and I will next time instead of looking at my plate in disbelief). I used to eat it 'well cooked' until I discovered the beautiful world of rare. Flank steak (bavette) can get chewy if not done well and damn, f*ck, it did get chewy. I pretty much ate around the middle and left the raw part for the waitress. What they describe on the menu as marinated veggies is actually coleslaw. That's fine. With just a touch of vinegar, it was actually quite enjoyable and balanced well with the other elements on the plate. The potatoes were perfect: crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside and well seasoned. The mayo tasted like there was a bit of wasabi in there. The hint of spice was very welcomed. 
Brownies with some caramel whipped cream. Whipped cream you say? You had me at 'whhhh' :) The brownie itself was a bit dry and un-fluffy, the caramel chantilly type cream was wonderful and was like a perfect girlfriend to the chocolate. All in all, it was a bit underwhelming but still OK nonetheless.
The service was.... uneven. Good welcome but then it kind of faded into oblivion. But forget about the service; the people watching was wonderful that evening. Lea and I had the better view... of people fighting, laughing, exhibiting most of their boobs (for me, of course) and then when we started singing the Star Wars song, everyone turned around... duh. Why again were we doing that? OH, because I brought TWO bottles of wine to the party :) Anyway, sad thing is that I believe one of the couples may have broken up during their Valentine's day dinner. Happens every year. 

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 7

I'll go back fosho but y'all know what now? I now speak/write with a Southern accent. Hehehe, no but seriously, I won't have the bavette, oh and if I do, I'll say it if it's blue. Mmmmmthank you.

Le Smoking Vallée on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sandwicherie St-Henri

On Tuesday, I was supposed to go out with my Sushi Taxi girls for lunch at Orange Rouge in Chinatown. That went down the drain. But when I KNOW I'm going to a restaurant, I just cannot NOT go. I just CAN'T. So, I decided to go to this random 'Chinese' spot called, and I'm serious here, 'Jean Guy Épicerie'. But they were closed.... and I think it's a forever thang cause I've been passing by a lot and they are always closed. SOOO, I decided to take the metro to Lionel-Groulx and walk on Notre-Dame (the cheap St-Henri side, not the more expensive Petite Bourgogne side) and find a restaurant. Wow, this story about how I found this restaurant is getting way too long, I'm deeply sorry. Anyhoot, the end of the story is that I went into the St-Henri Torréfacteur and when they said they didn't serve any meal-type food, they suggested I go to la Sandwicherie St-Henri a block away. And THAT, my friends, is how I found this place. Longest explanation of my freaking life.

I almost missed it because it's so tiny. But when I got in, I was welcomed with such warmth by the only guy working there: the cook dude, the recipe dude, the sandwich dude, the soup dude, the waiter dude. It showed that he was proud of this place. He even came up to me and explained all the sandwiches!

He answered all my questions and I ended up choosing the one with beet bread (uh, hello, when do YOU eat a fushia sandwich?). Oh and btw, for people on tight budgets, this is the place for you. It cost me 8$ including taxes.

OK so I instagrammed this picture BUT I swear that's the real bread color. Ps, holy fudge instagram has changed my life, merci Lea for literally FORCING the shiz outta me to open up an account. Alright, so it was goat cheese, sprouts, olive paste, pesto, roasted walnuts and tomatoes. It was so fresh tasting. It was like I was crunching into a garden. The sprouts gave kind of an onion-y flavor (y'all know how much I love onions), the bread was really tasty and very beet-y(?) and just lovely with a nice crunch to it, the nuts gave a great texture to it all (even though, at first, I thought they were going to break my teeth), the tomatoes gave more of a fresh feelin' to the whole thang and the goat cheese rounded it out nicely. And there was a lot of it. And I loved it. The only thing I could have done without was the olive paste. I'm not super fond of olives in other things than just themselves. Basically, lots of flavors in there! The potato salad was great too, thick mustard and mayo dressing and chives. Just in my flavor palate.

Service was great. It showed this guy loved his place and was passionate about what he was making. He made sure everyone liked what they were eating and service was prompt. 

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9.5

I left assuring him that I was going to be back. And I will, for sure!

Sandwicherie Saint-Henri on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


One of my friend's ex just opened this new Mexican restaurant and guess what? I happen to love me some Mexican food. Oh and guess what else...I know some friends who do too. True story. So, this is how, on a very, VERY cold last Sunday, Val, Lea and I decided to head to Laurier Ouest and go to Agave.

We entered and it was completely empty except for one table, but soon enough after that, we were the only ones in there. Duh, it's freaking -30 outside. Sheesh. Anyhoot, we were warmly welcomed by the waitress and chose our table (again, duh). The restaurant itself has high ceilings, about 50 seats and cute hanging lamps. There was something missing though... I don't know...maybe the ceilings were too high? Anyhoot. Music was ok when we got in and then it was happenin'. Maybe it's all the margaritas we drank. Wink wink.

The waitress explained the menu and told us what she liked the most and what was most popular. We shared three entrées (pigs).

But first, ooooobviously we needed drinks.

 I had meself a nice little margarita (oh, and then another...hum...cough...gotta warm up on those cold winter nights :) ). It was perfect. Hit the spot. So good, lime-y and refreshing. Excellent. You want a good margarita, you go to Agave. As Nike says, Just Do It.

Ceviche: good flavors and nice little pieces for my tiny mouth. At first I wasn't too sure but after the first bite, it hit me; this was good. The onions and the tomatoes brought in extra freshness and the lime made everything that much better. All in all, a hit. Oh and it was a huge portion too! Well worth that 10$.

Cocktail de camarones: shrimp, onions, and avocado in tomato and lime juice. This was nice. Very fruity, and well seasoned. Just perfect, really. It actually tasted as if there were strawberries or pineapple in there. Again, huge portion! 

Mango guacamole. Wait. Mango? YES! Guacamole? YES! What do you do? Put 'em together man! The guac was soft and tasty and the mango obviously added some fruitiness but also a nice texture. 

Oh I almost forgot! With our entrées, we also had tortillas (what, were we supposed to eat those with our hands? You crazy!) and salsa roja AND salsa verde! My mouth was pretty much on fire. But damn did it ever bring me back to Mexico (ok, I've never been, but it's pretty much like I have).

For the main course, I chose tacos el pastor: pork marinaded in pepper and pineapple. This was totally me. I love sweet and savory dishes and this didn't disappoint. The rice (on the left...) was on point, and I know my rice, the pork was really tender and oh-so-tasty, the guacamole was amazing, the pico de gallo was refreshing and went perfectly with the pineapple, the frijoles (black bean puree) was even better than the one my Mexican friend makes (do NOT tell him). Let's just say I was pleased. We were all pleased. AND oh so very full by the end. So full that when the waitress came to ask us if we wanted desert, we looked at her with 'oh-please-don't-tell-us-you-have-deserts' faces.

No desert, but a tequila shot? Sure. Ah, I remember my tequila shootin' days. Or... I guess I don't ( I DO remember saying something like 'no more tequila for Marie' many times during parties...while drinking it). But this one was good. I believe it was tequila anejo, which tasted waaaaaaaayyyy better than what I used to drink! Leave it to a restaurant named Agave to have good tequila :)

The service was great throughout the meal. It IS true that we were the only ones in there, but still. Water service was good, she gave us suggestions, she asked if everything was good. I guess if there's one thing I can say it's that at some point it took a tad too long to get food. But a: that's not technically her fault and b: there was only one dude in the kitchen.

And now, the scores!

Service: 8.5
Food: 9

This is certainly one of my new favourite Mexican resto in town, so watch out, I'll be back. Margarita anyone?

ps: and to make things even better... they have a we-are-a-new-restaurant 15% discount. dsamn!

Agave on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 8, 2015


*This is a special post: my ex English teacher (ok, my fave ever English teacher) at ITHQ asked me if I'd be willing to post some of her students' reviews on my blog (this one is by Darquise B.). Here's one. Oh and there are no pics (and, well... it might not be AS funny as my reviews, but you'll survive).

Hotel restaurants are not just for hotel customers. Indeed, in general, people do not necessarily think about going to those restaurants, but, in fact, the food is usually well done and flavourful and service very attentive. Yesterday was my first experience in a hotel restaurant. I went to the Intercontinental restaurant, Brasserie Osco, with my boyfriend, Guillaume (he is not really my boyfriend, but let me dream a little!) and wanted to share my impressions and comments with you.

First good thing about hotel restaurants is the atmosphere and decor which is often comfortable but luxurious. It is the case at Brasserie Osco. In the entrance, they impress their customers with their imposing and gorgeous glazed wine cellar. The dining room is elegantly decorated as well, with a mix between victorian and contemporary. The lovely hostess guided us through the colourful but subdued room to our romantically decorated table.

With a beautiful view on the Palais des congrès and the love of my life, everything was set up for a perfect date! However, we waited a few (read several) minutes for that perfect date to happen. Let’s just mention that this week was Montréal à table week, so that little (long) wait was understandable even if it bothered me slightly inside. So we finally met our courteous waiter, or I should say the manager, who took advantage of the busy evening to experience service customers again. He took control of the situation and the little wait at the start was quickly forgotten. He suggested to us
probably the best bottle of wine someone ever had suggested to me and served us impeccably until the end of our dinner, taking time to discuss with us between the services.

We enjoyed the Montréal à table menu which was an interesting selection of dishes. I chose the foie gras with stewed fruits and a brioche as a starter and braised rabbit with red rice for the main. The two plates were delicious especially the very well prepared foie gras which is one of my favourite meal of all time. The only thing I would say about the menu is the missing vegetarian dishes selection. Guillaume being vegetarian, it made things a little more complicated, but our attentive (and vegetarian) waiter dealt with the situation very well.

I could not say if Guillaume, the waiter or the wine was responsible for my excessive happiness when we got out of the restaurant, but let’s just say that the overall experience deserve a 4-star mark. To be very honest, I was, at a certain point, extremely disappointed by the eternal wait at the start, but as a waiter, I can understand that that kind of thing happens and would definitely go back to appreciate the experience to the fullest.

Osco! Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 1, 2015


 Last week, I was feeling rich. Oh-so-rich! I had booked my Via1 ticket and felt on top of the wooooorld. And then I realized that the reason I felt so rich was that I hadn't been to a restaurant in a while! This had to be fixed: I decided to try Sumac. My super friend Lea had tried it the week prior and oh so wanted to go again so I had my resto partner! Yay!

This middle-eastern restaurant seemed very inviting. OK so I was kind of comparing it to a restaurant that is 100% better than Amir. Don't get me wrong, I love some Amir here and there but this... this! Basically... no comparison! At all!

The place itself is very white and pale wood, loft-ish, open kitchen at the back, lots of movement.  And, on top of it, they were playing Livin' On a Prayer by Bon Jovi! Hellllooooo! 

The thang is that you get in and get in line. Some peeps pass by and give you numbers (for your order) and a table. After you order, you go to your table and wait for the marvellousness to arrive.

Oh and it did (can you tell I like this place?)
The yumminess. I don't care if you fight me on this, 'yumminess' IS a word. I had the Sumac fries and the falafel sandwich and Lea had the baba ghanouj and the chicken shawarma.The bread was fluffy and moist, and there was a perfect mix of textures in there: crunchy, soft, and down right good. The fries were a tad spicy and lemony (sumac is known to be lemony) and oh so good AND totally worth that measly 4$. The baba ghanouj was tasty and smooth. Although it seemed a bit slimy at times, it was still very good. My falafel was wonderful: so many veggies in there, and great falafel balls!  Not dry at all, very tasty, although a bit too crunchy at times, it was nice to have somewhat of a contrast in there.  Plus, as you eat it, because of the bread, the sandwich stays together! The shawarma also had some nice veggies in there and the chicken was so tender and wonderful! You could taste a bit of cinnamon in there which was great! Their sandwiches were so big that when I went to take a bite, my nose dipped in the sauce. Hehehe. 

Service was good. Although our waitress AND what seemed like the maitre-d' sih guy forgot some things we asked for (and later got from the 2nd waitress), everything else was on point. We got our food and drinks fast and our water even faster. All in all, great service. the only thing that's not going to work in the end; getting in line and being assigned a table and then ordering and THEN sitting down. It was quite unpleasant to have a line-up behind us for half of our meal, with some pushing and shoving. This won't last, but this restaurant will.

And now, the scores!!!

Food: 9

I will definitely go back 100% to share this wonderful experience with all my friends (all of em, I swear!)!
ps: it cost me 15$ or so with tip. Uh hello, can you say 'worth it'?

Sumac Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Portus Calle

 This restaurant has been on my to go list for a while, especially since I went to Helena last year and was just amazed by the tasting menu. Sooooo when a benefactor gave me 250$ to 'enjoy good food and have fun' (heeeeeelllls yes!), I called Portus Calle right away.

I was going with my friend Rach, who was here on vacation from them Cayman Islands (lucky bastard), and she was pleased with my choice of resto.

We got a very pleasant welcome by the maitre-d' that showed us to our very lovely table close to the window. The place itself is quite big... lots of room at the bar and even more room in the brick walled dining room. Portuguese music was playing, which was a nice change from let's say a Mexican restaurant playing 95.9 (ok... I'm not aware of the radio stations here.... but let's just say I was happy it wasn't pop music!). It was very cozy and cute.

Since everything on the menu looked great, and we were about to order every damn thing on there, our waiter suggested the tasting menu for 55$ each. OH YES!

 We started out with a glass of Porto, because hey, with that money in my pockets, we could! Ha! It wasn't too strong and went down well. If I had to, I'd have no difficulty drinking that all night! We wanted to have some vinho verde with our meal but the one we wanted was not available so we went with white wine.

 Alrighty, fooooooooooood (enter drooling here). First was chorizo aioli (hello!), olives, olive oil, bread and tuna rillettes with daikon. Hum, yum! Tuna melted in your mouth but tasted a tad like it came out of a can, the aioli was damn wonderfully greatness and had just a touch of spiciness! The olives were great but the bread.... meh... it was a tad too dry for my taste. Ps: wine service was ITHQ worthy and perfectly executed.

 Uh, hello tuna, is it me you're looking for? I really liked the plating on this one. Very modern and Picasso like (what? I dabble!). The crab salad was great and kind of sweet and had somewhat of a rice cracker to add some crunch. Breaded tuna looked like it was going to be a warm offering but alas, it was cold. Still yummy, but cold. The tuna tataki was melt-in-your-mouth good with a nice sesame crust and a wonderful tartar sauce. I could not have asked for more. Totally woke up my taste buds!

Ok, who knew warm tomatoes and goat cheese could be this good? It was a nice take on the bocconcini and tomato salad, but 100 times better. Flavours just popped right in my mouth. Man, this was good, yet so simple!

 Cod cakes. I've had them before and I'll have them again... these were good but a tad too potato-y but I loved the sauce which was quite spicy.

 OK, obviously this picture doesn't do it justice, but this octopus was WOW. Like, wow WOW! Fak! Perfect 'cuisson'. Puuuurrrrrrfect. Plus, the fried kale and the white beans were great with it. It's as if they were born together. Seriously. This was a good one.

Scallop with bacon 'chips' on top and lima bean puree with a cranberry and onion confit. OK, you guys know by now that's I'm a sucker for seafood but this was something else! The mix of flavours was to dssssiiiie for and the bacon chip? Well, I was aware that bacon could taste THAT good (yes, I'm aware it's freakin good!). Oh and that puree was so smooth and so tasty and well seasoned! Nothing bad to say about this at all.

You must also know that apart from lobster, shrimp is at the top of my list. Since the good old summer days in Maine when I was 6 and eating an actual PILE of shrimp, they have been my fave. They were garlicky spicy buttery unctuous goodness. Most importantly, perfectly cooked. 

 Pork cheek with aubergine puree. The veggies were cooked to perfection and the meat was so tender, so soft, melted in your mouth. It was perfection, basically.

 Our desert. Well hello there, how you doin'? First off, the pasteis de nata was exactly like it was when I tasted it in Portugal about 3 years ago. Hoooooolly! The truffles were good and dsamn good: the chocolate one was good but a bit too fruity for my taste and the champagne one... well hello champagne! It was so airy and right on. The panacotta had some sap and herbs in there and made it absolutely delicious. The last desert on the right was such a nice surprise: many stories of fluffy egg whites and caramel. The whole desert plate was just didily damn good!

 We had one last glass of porto to finish off the meal. What??? We were rich that night :) If we had known it was going to be 20$ a glass, I don't think we would have had it but hey, we were on vacation! It was even better than the first one.

Service was wonderful: great wine service as previously mentioned, we always had water in our glasses, plates were taken away and brought to our table in a timely fashion.

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9.5

What a great experience! When I have the cash, I'm going back for sure!

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