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Guest Post with Random Cuisine: Central Chinese Cuisine and Asian Desserts

China is huge. Many non-Asians will generalize Chinese cuisine as one entire cuisine. In fact, Chinese cuisine is very rich and diverse. The ingredients and styles of cooking vary depending on the geography, climate, and religion. As a rule of thumb, Southern China focuses on bringing out the freshness and natural flavours of seafood, meat and vegetables. Central China is famous for its use of spices particularly the numbing and spicy characteristics.  Northern China is known for its wheat abundance so noodles and baos are prominent.

Regional Chinese cuisines. Source: China Highlights

In this food extravaganza, Steve and I explored central Chinese cuisine at Aunt Dai at their new location in downtown on rue St-Mathieu.  One cuisine that many foreigners know and love is the bold and pungent flavours of Sichuan cuisine. This cuisine is best defined for its málà (numbing and spicy) characteristics. To experience true Sichuan flavours, you must order these dishes:

‘Mouthwatering chicken (kou shui ji)‘ – cold poached chicken served with Szechuan chili sauce. Not only the sauce is spicy, it has a balance of salty, sweet, vinegary and numbing flavours

Dry fried green beans – it might look like simple strands of green beans, but once you bite into it. It is packed with umami flavours with the smokiness of wok hei (essence of the wok).

Fish in Chili Oil – Fresh slices of tilapia cooked in an aromatic chili broth. This is a true representative of the numbing and spicy flavour of Sichuan cuisine. It is loaded with chili peppers and Szechuan peppercorns. To add some freshness to this dish, it is loaded with bean sprouts. You only need to eat the fishes and bean sprouts. No need to eat the peppers unless you feel adventurous.

Other dishes that we recommend ordering are the cumin beef, ma po tofu and Sichuan cabbage stir fry.

 

Central Dishes from Aunt Dai. Photo: @randomcuisine

Aunt Dai also serves dishes from other parts of China. Red-cooked pork belly (hong shao rou) is one popular dish throughout mainland China. It is pork belly cooked in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and aromatic spices until it is tender and melts in your mouth. This is served in a claypot with Korean sweet potato noodles.

After eating all this spicy food, dairy is the solution to cool our palate down. We went to Zoe’s Dessert et Thé, a block from Aunt Dai. East Asian desserts are rarely considered as sweet. It is rich in fruits, legumes, spices and tea.

On the left, we order their ‘injelmo bingsoo’ – Korean shaved milk, sweet rice cakes (mini mochi), cornflakes, sweet red bean paste and almonds.

On the right is a popular modern Hong Kong dessert called ‘mango pomelo sago’ – a cold mango soup served with diced mango, pomelo (Asian grapefruit but not sour), and tapioca peebles.

 

Desserts at Zoe’s Desserts and Tea. Photo: @randomcuisine

 

Eat

Je Snack Episode 2 – Chocolate Bars

For this week, my friend Cyusa and I are back on Je Snack to talk about chocolate bars. Peep the video above to see what we have to say about our favorite chocolate bars. In addition, we have 2 special guests!I would like to say that we didn’t know these girls before we started filming and it turned out super great. Let me know what you think and don’t forget to subscribe!

Eat

New Project Alert!!! Je Snack with Cyusa!

Today is a great day (well, no, 2 weeks ago was a great day), my friend Cyusa and I decided that it was time for us to team up on a french show to do something different, something that unites us… something funny. I am happy to present to you the JE SNACK show.

The goal of Je Snack is to try different snacks (obviously!) and share to the public what we think about them. The idea initially came from Cyusa, he called me and said ”Steve! I have an idea, we should do snack testing!”. I will be honest, at first, I was not sure about that idea, when it comes to snacks, I am basic: Chips and Chocolate. But then, I went to see my client Marche Via and I realized right away that they have LOTS of snacks and the place looked good so not only we can start doing our show with their products, we can film it there directly. I called Cyusa and told him to come check it out and that’s it, we have our show.

The first video was released yesterday on our new Youtube page: Je Filme. In the first video, we try different chips and we have a special guest, Danielle! Go check the video above or click here!

Enjoy and do not hesitate to tell us what we should try next in the comments below.

Eat

3 Restaurants Who’s Poke Bowl You Should Try in Montreal

Last week, Richard, Cyusa and I went to Moushi Dollard-des-Ormeaux to make our own poke bowl in a pumpkin. This video is part of our ”not your regular cooking show” and it is our second non-official episode and definitely not the last. (see video above to see what we have put in it!) However, after talking with few friends of mine, it seems that not everyone has had the chance to try the famous Hawaiian Inspired Dish. While Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian, poke bowl usually consists of marinated fish which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces. Here’s my top 3 list of where you can enjoy a great poke bowl!

 

Photo of a Poke Bowl

Photo of the Poke Bowl . Photo Credit @koalua_mtl

Koa Lua

1212 Union Street, Montreal
1446 Ste-Catherine W., Montreal

Koa Lua has two locations in the downtown area of Montreal and I had the chance to try the poke bowl at both of them. Personally, the location on Union Street is the perfect one when you are on the go with limited seating versus the location on Ste-Catherine that has plenty of place to sit. This place is super photogenic and makes your instagram pictures look like you were really in Hawaii! My personal favorite poke bowl is the Hulk (baby greens, avocado, wakame, edamame, wasabi peas, dry pineapple, pickled cucumber, mint, cilantro and wasabi dressing)!

 

Photo of the Poke Bow

Photo of the Poke Bowl . Photo Credit @venicemtl

Venice

1045 Côte du Beaver Hall, Montreal
440 Saint-François-Xavier Street, Montreal

For the longest time, one of my good friend Emerson was telling me to come see him at Venice because he was a bartender there! The first time I got there, I was surprised because it was definitely not what I had in mind. Just like Koa Lua, Venice has 2 locations that offers different vibe and energy. (One restaurant and one takeout). You will definitely not regret your visit at Venice for a poke bowl and to see more about what they offer, head over their website here!

 

 

Poke Bowl from Moushi

Photo of the Poke Bowl . Photo Credit @moushiofficial

Moushi Dollard des Ormeaux

3593 St Johns Blvd, Dollard-Des Ormeaux

Moushi is the new one in the game and I’ve been to this location several times because it is near my house. What I love about Moushi is that they are doing Poke Bowl quite differently from the other restaurants that I mentioned above. The quality of the food is amazing and you can taste the freshness of their ingredients. I give extra points for this one because my Pumpkin Poke Bowl is now part of the menu for a limited time!

 

While these 3 spots are the only places that I ate Poke Bowl, I am curious to know about your recommendations, comment below your favorite poke bowl restaurant in Montreal!

Instagram Links

Koa Lua’s Instagram @koalua_mtl

Venice MTL’s Instagram @venicemtl

Moushi DDO’s Instagram @moushiofficial

 

Photo By Jessica Prudencio at NOREN

Eat Lifestyle

Prosecco e Pizza – La différence est dans le goût

Il y a une semaine, j’ai été invité par VROY Communications à l’événement Prosecco e Pizza. Cet événement était une soirée avec beaucoup de Prosecco ainsi que de Pizza comme vous pouvez le voir dans mon vlog ci-haut.

Qu’est ce le Prosecco DOC?

Avant de commencer à vous parler de ma soirée au restaurant Fiorellino, je tiens à m’assurer que nous sommes tous sur la même page. Le prosecco est un vin blanc effervescent italien principalement issu de la transformation du cépage Glera, produit dans cinq provinces de Vénétie et quatre provinces de Frioul-Vénétie julienne. (Wikipedia)

À propos de l’événement Prosecco e Pizza

L’événement Prosecco e Pizza a été organisé par la Chambre de commerce
italienne au Canada pour le Consorzio di tutela della denominazione di origine
controllata Prosecco et la campagne promotionnelle « La différence est dans le
goût ».  Le but ultime de cette soirée était de servir aux invités de la nourriture authentique d’Italie pour sensibiliser les consommateurs à apprécier ceux-ci! Durant la soirée, j’ai eu droit à plusieurs variétés de Prosecco DOC et de pizzas. En effet, l’auteur, chroniqueur et conférencier, Guénaël Revel nous révèle que le Prosecco et la pizza font la paire car « L’acidité de la sauce tomates encourage des accords qui attisent le fruité du vin. L’onctuosité du fromage à pizza permet une belle union avec la texture et la densité d’un Prosecco. Aussi, le Prosecco étant un vin blanc, donc tirant davantage vers la minéralité, les ingrédients utilisés pour garnir les pizzas favorisent de belles harmonies ».

Jusqu’à ce jour, je n’ai jamais rencontré une personne qui n’aimait pas la pizza. En fait, c’est probablement le mets le plus consommé au monde. Durant la soirée, tous les invités ont eu droit à de la pizza composée de produits italiens et d’un sceau de qualité découlant d’un savoir-faire ancestral unique.

Cette soirée fût une occasion pour célébrer le fait que tout les produits authentique d’Italie sont tous disponibles au Québec, que ce soit dans des commerces spécialisés ou en grandes surfaces. Il s’agit d’être attentif, de s’informer ou de repérer les étiquettes portant le sceau « DOP »!

 

Tout cela pour vous dire que ”La différence est dans le goût”!

Eat

My Top 5 Breakfast Restaurants in Montreal

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and for me, it might be my only meal until later afternoon because I tend to get caught up in my day. With MTLPromos and MTLBreakfast, I was able to try over 100 restaurants in the past year and when it comes to breakfast, I can NEVER say no to one of these 5 restaurants. Here’s my Top 5 restaurants to eat breakfast in Montreal. (please note that the order have no importance) InstagramYou will also notice that I’ve been to most of them with my friend Katrina, go check her ! She co-manages the MTLBreakfast account and she’s takes nice pictures!

Amazing breakfast in Montreal

Breakfast at l’Oeufrier with my friend Katrina

L’Oeufrier (8-20$)

4313 St Johns Blvd, Dollard-Des Ormeaux, QC H9H 2A4 

With 14 restaurants in the Montreal Greater Area, L’Oeufrier is one of my favorite breakfast restaurant in Montreal. I discovered this restaurant because they opened a new location near my house a year ago. From the first time I went there with my friend Katrina, I knew I would be back often. They have everything you can think of, even Nachos for breakfast (on Monday’s at the location in Dollard des Ormeaux) . From the classic egg and toast breakfast to the waffle with nutella and bacon, l’Oeufrier is one of the best breakfast in Montreal. During the week, you can benefit of the early bird special when you go before 8:30!

 

 

Casino de Montreal (30$ on Sunday)

1 Avenue du Casino, Montréal, QC H3C 4W7

Montreal’s Casino is located on the Notre Dame Island and it is the largest casino in Canada. Open 24/7, I’ve never been lucky at the Casino until I went there to try their brunch on Sunday’s between 10AM to 2PM. I remember the first time, I went there after doing a scavenger hunt for my girlfriend and the last activity was the Casino Brunch. Walking into the casino, the brunch is located in the Pavillon 67 and it is a buffet. From having a chef doing your omelette the way you want it to choose from a wide range of cheese, fresh fruits and more, this place won’t let you down AND they even have live music! I wish the Casino had their brunch buffet everyday!

Farine, Breakfast Restaurant in Montreal

Croissant from Farine

Farine (6$-20$ during weekend)

102 Rue Saint Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2T 2L1

I don’t know where to start on why I love Farine so much.. the staff? the chef? the food? the location? the music? Located in the heart of the Mile-End, Farine offers one of the best brunch in the city during the weekend. I went to Farine for the first time with Katrina to try their brunch menu and it was delicious. They have one of the best croissant in Montreal. The only downside of this place is the number of place to sit (so I highly suggest to go there with a friend or 2 max). This place has also an amazing lunch menu with caviar and everything is made by the chef.

 

 

 

 

Festin de Babette, one of the top breakfast restaurants in Montreal

The heavenly breakfast I had at Festin de Babette

Festin de Babette (10$-30$)

4085 St Denis St, Montreal, QC H2W 2M7

At this point, do I need to tell you who I was with when I tried Festin de Babette for the first time? When Katrina and I went there, we were amazed by the way it looked. The restaurant is set up like a house so you are eating in the living room area, dinette area and more. This joint deserve to be in the Top 5 breakfast restaurants in Montreal because of their hot chocolate brought from heaven. The salmon egg benedict was tasty and the staff was really nice, and by staff I mean the mother of the owner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Café Melbourne (10$-20$ available on special days)

I went to the Cafe Melbourne for the first time for a food blogger meet up! My friend Jessica invited me to try this breakfast restaurant and she was meeting up with other bloggers from Montreal and Toronto that are TOP content creators. (You can see some of their tricks in my 4 Tips to Succeed on social media article). If you want to try out their breakfast, keep an eye out on their Instagram Account. Their brunch usually starts at 10AM and goes until it is sold out, and if you show up at 10:30, you will most probably have to wait for 20-30 minutes before getting inside to eat. The brunch often change but it always good when you go there. This restaurant has an electric atmosphere and it is one of the top Instagramable venue!

 

 

That being said, do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to go for breakfast at any of these locations, I am always open to discuss ideas over a nice brunch! What about you, what is your favorite breakfast restaurant in Montreal?

Eat Lifestyle

Oktoberfest Experience at Bier Markt Montreal!

Hey guys, as you may know, last month I went to Europe to discover Munich, Berlin and Paris. My friends and I went there to attend Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival in the world where I probably drank more beer than I ever did in 2015, 2016 and the beginning of 2017… combined. In addition, I got to discover the German cuisine and fell in love with their dishes. I personally never came across a German restaurant in Montreal (other than Bretzel & Compagnie which is the BEST Pretzel shop in Montreal) and thought that I would need to go back to eat it again but I was wrong, it was time to re-live the Oktoberfest at the Bier Markt.

Oktoberfest at the Bier Markt Montreal!

Last week, I was invited to celebrate Oktoberfest at The Bier Markt in Montreal and I couldn’t pass on this opportunity because I really wanted to eat the pretzels, the schnitzel and the good german beer.

Oktoberfest traditional German Pretzel alongside bier-brined beef tacos and the Kartoffel Tower.

The traditional German Pretzel alongside bier-brined beef tacos and the Kartoffel Tower.

For those of you that are not familiar with Oktoberfest, it is the biggest beer festival across the world and every year, millions of people enjoy the festivities you can see more about this festival in my blog post Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival is an Eurotrip Must featuring my Youtube Video I did to cover the event!

On the other hand, The Bier Markt is a restaurant that has over 150 beers from 30 countries. With 4 locations across Canada, the Bier Markt is THE place to grab a beer with your friends. Here’s the beer menu for the location in Montreal, as well as the food menu!

I decided to dress in my lederhosen for this event since I felt it was the most suitable outfit for that night. As soon as I walked in, I was happy to hear classic german music and the waitresses were dressed in their Bavarian Dirndl. However at my press table, none of the other bloggers and influencers were dressed that way which makes me feel like I may have gone a bit too far for this event.

The Bier Markt had different german inspired dishes for us to try and I will tell you my take on some of them.

A Closer Look To The Food

Oktoberfest Kartoffel Tower

The Kartoffel Tower

The Kartoffel Tower is their take on a traditional potato pancake, known as Latkes, a popular item throughout Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. This tower is quite impressive and with an oignon ring, german sausage, potato pancake and ham. This dish is delicious and it is easy to share. It was good and I definitely loved the fact that there’s two latkes. This pancake reminds me alot of arancini but instead of being rice, it is potatos and it is as delicious!

 

Did you know that Germany is the country of sausages? So it was only right for The Bier Market to give us their take on the traditional meal. I may not be an expert but I believe that it took them couple of hours to make it.. but took me a minute to eat it. You guessed it right, it was good!

Waitress in her Oktoberfest Bavarian Dirndl serving the bier-brined beef tacos

Waitress in her Bavarian Dirndl serving the bier-brined beef tacos

Their Bier-brined beef tacos encompass the traditional flavours of German cuisine but in a fun, new way. These small bites were good appetizers and you should definitely try them.

That being said, The Bier Markt definitely reproduced the Oktoberfest Experience at a much lower cost than flying all over to Germany to live it. Feel free to go check them out for their Oktoberfest menu that includes 10$ Liter of beer as well as the different german inspired dishes that I mentioned before! Where should I go next? Leave a comment below!

P.S. if you are a fan of oysters, they have 1$ oysters on Thursdays!

Successful Oktoberfest event at the Bier Market with General Manager, David Bow, his friend and I, rocking the lederhosen.

The Bier Market General Manager, David Bow, his friend and I, rocking the lederhosen.

 

 

Eat Lifestyle

Love At First Sight: Nini Meatball House

Having an office Downtown Montreal has it perks, and one of the main perk is that I can basically discover a new restaurant everyday. My friend Phil from Let There Be and I decided go for lunch and it was his call. He decided to bring me to Nini Meatball House located at 1752 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M3 and at few steps before walking in, I saw the sign that says 5$ on everything! That’s when I fell in love.

You see, eating out can get expensive! I love food and could eat 5-6 times a day and the fact that I haven’t cooked a meal since October 2016 is definitely not helping my wallet so to find a place where I can basically get any plate for 5$ got my attention right away.

 

As soon I walked into Nini Meatball’s House, I felt at home. It’s light and minimalist, everything is pretty much white and mostly wood furnitures. It is a cozy place and a good place to go with friends. You have the choice, you could sit at the bar, high-table of two or also by the large window that gives you the perfect lighting to take pictures for Instagram!

When it comes to what to eat there, it’s quite obvious, the meatballs! You can have Veggie Balls with Coconut and Curry Sauce, Veggie Balls Spinach Basil Pesto, Tuna and Spicy Mayo, Tex Mex Tofu Balls and Jalapeno Cream, Pork Chorizo Chimchuri Sauce, Chicken with Wild Mushroom Sauce and more! Served in 3, Phil and I decided to order 5 plates and shared. The service was fast and the presentation was simple, I mean, it is just meatballs at the end of the day!

The Verdict: It was delicious, OH MY! My expectation were not that high considering that it was only 5$ a plate but the meatballs were tasty. I don’t know if you are like me but when I love a restaurant, I make sure to share my satisfaction to the owner and this is how I met Mylene, one of the new owner of Nini Meatball House. I told her that I loved the place and definitely see myself coming back (and I was not lying, I came back 2 days later with some friends!).

Looking around, I noticed that they were names on the chair and saw that there was a chair that had no name on it, I asked Mylene if she could write my name… (bold move, I know), she said yes!  At this point I was so happy that I told her instead of putting my name she can write MTL Promos and I would promote her for free on MTL Promos! She actually wrote both names and I respect my part of the deal by promoting her on MTL Promos and even did a giveaway, see post here

Overall: This place is definitely a place that worth a visit, fast service, quality food and located downtown. There’s free parking around and doesn’t hurt the wallet AT ALL. Vegan and gluten free option for those that may ask. To see what else the menu has to offer, you can see it here on you can also visit their website.

P.S. This place carries the Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc which is a great white French beer!