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August 13, 2014
by zuuchini
2 Comments

Ceviches: Not the slightest regret

Yes it’s Ceviches again! I really liked it that I had to share with more people! There’s another reason why I had to go again. I totally missed out on their paella!

So, it is no surprise that I made sure to order paella this time!

Before the main course was served, we had a a soup of the day, which I believed it was a chick pea soup.

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The soup was extremely aromatic. It was largely spiced with curry which made it very savory.

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Going to Ceviches, I just cannot skip their ceviches! This time, I chose mango and avocado to go with the fish. It was just as good as my last visit!

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The highlight of the meal – paella. I was so happy when I saw the paella being beautifully deposited on the table. I was even happier when the paella was being digested by my stomach. The flavors were bursting in richness. Every scoop was filled with seafood. Ceviches needs to add paella in their name. Ceviches & Paella.

Let me say: Not the slightest regret to return to Ceviches so soon.

Ceviches on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

August 6, 2014
by zuuchini
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2 visits to Just For Laugh festival equal 2 food trucks

Embarrassingly, this is my first time at the Just For Laugh festival. Shame on me for not knowing how great this event is. It was so fun that I went for a second time.

It became inevitable that my hunger needed to be alleviated. That was when my path ended up to 2 food trucks.

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For the first vist, I had the pulled pork sandwich at Pas D’Cochon Dans Mon Salon. The portion was incredibly generous, to the point where I wished there were less pulled pork and more lettuces. The existence of the lettuce was only known as the end of my consumption, where I saw 2 leaves of lettuce shyly peeking out from the end of the bun. The beginning bites were very satisfying until half-way through, the sandwich became too heavy. I’m good without pulled pork for a few months. So far, I think this is the only food truck where the price is justified by the food.

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In the search of Le Cheese Truck for their grilled cheese I’m much curious about. Without any sight of Le Cheese, I saw a menu filled with grilled cheese offered by P.A. & Gargantua. Why not? At the spur of the moment, a 14$ grilled cheese was simply justified. (I need to clarify, the grilled cheese itself was 8$ but I chose the lunch box option which included a drink and a salad).

The drink was a home made blueberry soda. I am not going to lie. I felt cheated. The blueberry taste was so weak that if they didn’t tell me it was a blueberry soda, I wouldn’t have known. What it tasted like? Perrier blended with like 3 ( or 10 if I’m being very generous) tiny blueberries.

The salad was fine. Nothing more. I felt I was having lettuce salad with some Kraft dressing.

And thankfully the Chilli grilled cheese was delightful, or I would have mourned for my 14$. If I have to describe the specifics of the grilled cheese, I don’t think I can because I don’t remember much other than tasting good.

For someone that has a bigger appetite, they might need to order at least one more grilled cheese.

My heart for Montreal food trucks is still very confused.

Pas D'Cochon Dans Mon Salon on Urbanspoon

P.A. & Gargantua on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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July 23, 2014
by zuuchini
2 Comments

Nonya: A trip to Indonesia

Indonesia cuisine is rare in Montreal. Mr.Butter has been eyeing on Nonya for quite a while. When Nonya appeared in a coupon deal, I immediately jumped in the occasion.

When I arrived, I couldn’t stop but be mesmerized by the decor. Just the ambiance itself is worthwhile. I felt I was transported into a different country.

The coupon that I purchased was for a tasting menu. The quantity dishes we tried were phenomenal, but the portion was rather small. Regardless, I don’t think I would have paid the full price for the tasting menu.

Th service was incredibly slow. We had to wait about 30 minutes for the first appetizer. After the first appetizer, we waited about an hour and more… That really irked us. However, that was rectified once food was served after our polite notice of the long wait to the waiter.

The food was comfortingly good. Curry and coconut milk are my weakness. Each dish was well balanced, yet none really stood out among others. But at the end of the night, I was satisfied with the meal.

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Nonya on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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July 17, 2014
by zuuchini
1 Comment

Ceviches: Restoring my memory of ceviches

My very first ceviche was years ago, but I can still remember the bitter taste it left behind. Mojito and ceviche weren’t my favorate combination. But coming across Montreal Food Pictures blog post and its wonderful pictures of this restaurant that specialises on ceviches, I couldn’t take my mind off. Maybe I had it all wrong? Maybe ceviche is a wonderful dish? I had to try and see…

That’s my story about how I came to know Ceviches.

Disclaimer: my photograph skills were very poor that specific evening…but important part is that I enjoyed the food too much to care.

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Appetizers were:
Tostones – plantain chips: with the sauce, it was like eating salsa with chips
Tequenos – cheese sticks in a shape of a springroll: So cheesey! Reminiscent of Pizza hut cheese stick in a positive way.
Empanadas – dumpling stuffed with fish: As far as I know, best empanadas I have eaten.

 

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Main course, ceviches obviously! The interesting part is that we get to choose the flavor and topping. For me, I had avocado and coconut flavored. The chosen proteins were octopus and fish. Not one single regret. It was beautifully executed. It couldn’t be more fresh. While I was enjoying my dish, I was already thinking who I must bring to try this amazing restaurant.

Ceviches is now a restaurant in my recommend list!

Ceviches on Urbanspoon

 

Zuuchini

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July 16, 2014
by zuuchini
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One thing you need to do before summer ends

One thing I need to do every summer is to go to Kem Coba and have their ice cream. Kem Coba is only open during summer time and usually has a line up of more than 15 minutes. Last time, I waited about a little bit more than 30 minutes. But the waiting time never bothered me because the ice cream is that amazing – actually, the best in Montreal. They love to play around with different flavors so don’t be surprised that your beloved flavor is gone! Don’t worry their other flavors are equally good!

I finally tried their soft served ice cream which is strawberry cheesecake flavor! The texture is like yogurt but a bit more solid. Just delicious!

And we also tried their pandan and viet coffee flavor. I really love the pandan flavor, it tasted like coconut!

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Haven’t tried Kem Coba? You are missing out, my dear friend!

Kem CoBa on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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July 10, 2014
by zuuchini
0 comments

Mai Xiang Yuan: More dumplings!

Looking at the last few years, more and more restaurants specializing in dumplings are popping up in Montreal. And standing among the top tier is Mai Xiang Yuan.

Nothing out of the ordinary, Mai Xiang Yuan offers a menu similar to other dumpling restaurants. I guess the only thing that can set it apart from others is the quality of the dumplings.

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The chosen dumplings were pan fried pork and cabbage and boiled lamb and coriander. Side dish was jellyfish and cucumber.

The dumplings were so much better than OH!Dumplings. How? They tasted more fresh and less greasier. The complaint that I have is that (similar to most dumpling restaurants I visited in Montreal) is their dough – or should I say how it was fried. The pan fried dumplings were a bit too soft for my taste. They weren’t crispy enough. And the dough just lacked texture…the specific amount of “elasticity” and firmness of the dough were not achieved.

As for the side dish, I bet most people would think there are only cucumbers if I didn’t tell you it was a cucumber and jellyfish dish! The cucumbers were soft and wet – I think they were prepared in advance for a while…the crunchiness of fresh cucumber fluttered away. Nonetheless, still very refreshing on a hot summer day.

How do I rank Mai Xiang Yuan? Probably in the middle.

Mai Xiang Yuan on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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June 26, 2014
by zuuchini
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Nars versus Urban Decay eyeshadow primer

After using Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion for a few years, it was time for me to venture out a bit. I was curious about Nars smudge proof eyeshadow base ever since it came out and it was the perfect time to try it myself.

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Nars eyeshadow primer comes in a plastic bottle in the shape of a cylinder while Urban Decay’s comes in a tube. To apply, there’s a dome applicator for the Nars, like a lipgloss applicator. As for UD, by squeezing will push the product out of the tube.

It is obvious which brand has the most hygienic design – in order to use apply Nars primer, I have to put the applicator directly onto my eyelids and then put it back into the bottle in order to get more product out for my second eyelid. These double dips do not appeal to me. Furthermore, when I reach the end of the product, it becomes difficult if not impossible for me to scrape the remaining product of the bottle. These are not problems for UD. I simply need to squeeze the tube for whatever amount I want out of the tube and use my finger to apply on my eyelids and when the tube is running out, I simply use scissors to cut the tube open and I can completely empty the product.

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As for the primer itself, Nars primer texture is much more lightweight and white based while UD is more thick and beige. Because of its lightweight characteristic, Nars primer is easier to spread. Other than these differences, I think both brand deliver great results; I can’t tell the difference between these two. They both make eyeshadows long lasting and vibrant.

If I have to choose between these 2, I would pick UD over Nars because of various factors. For about 5$ less (depending which country you are from), UD primer gives 0.07 oz more product than Nars and has a hygienic packaging all while yielding the same results as Nars. So, this isn’t a tough decision, is it?

Zuuchini

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June 23, 2014
by zuuchini
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Dolce Vita – Villa Armando: Gelato from the garage?

While driving by TMR, Mr.Butter and I have noticed this very cute house in TMR that seemed to be serving cafe and ice cream. But at that time, it was closed for Autumn. We said that we would come back in summer.

And summer arrives and coincidentally, we passed by this location again. And this time, it was opened. Dolce Vita is right beside Villa Armando, the main house which is now converted to an Italian restaurant. Dolce Vita was basically a garage converted to a nice ice cream parlour.

There were many selections of gelato in Dolce Vita, many that are unheard of. Like usual, it was very difficult to choose.

In the end, I had orange and fleur de sel caramel. I’ve been very fond of anything with fleur de sel and caramel.

I chose orange simply because I wanted to know how it was different from orange sorbet. To say the least, it wasn’t much different. I should have gone for a more wild flavour.

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The fleur de sel caramel was good, exactly what I was expecting.

The price at Dolce Vita is fairly comparable to other gelato places. As for the taste, it was satisfying but I would not go out of my way to get my gelato there. It’s perfect for residents living nearby.

La Dolce Vita on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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June 19, 2014
by zuuchini
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Uniburger: Battling for the best burger in town title?

In my last meet-up with food bloggers, while exchanging opinions, Mr.Lew  crowned Uniburger for best burgers. Being a burger lover, Mr.Butter jumped at any chance he had.  And luckily, we were around the corners (ok not really…), Mr.Butter used this occasion to set his own opinion on Uniburger.

I was surprised to see the square footage of the fast food. It was small but efficient. You just go in, order, eat and go. I, of course, had to order the signature Uniburger burger.

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First thing I noticed was how perfect the shape of the bun was! It was super inflated and full. But then I saw the waxed paper starting to overflow with grease. The first thought of this burger was juiciness. Indeed, the patty lacked no juiciness nor texture. But,  I don’t know for what reason, I found the taste was still lacking. Each and every bite, I couldn’t stop myself comparing it with Burger de Ville and how much I preferred Burger de Ville over this burger.

Then for the fries, they were crispy but a bit too crispy for my liking – barely had any content inside deep fried layer.

Overall, I can see the appeal of Uniburger. It is easy access, close to Cegep Vieux Montreal and UQAM. But Uniburger failed to replace Burger de Ville’s best burger in my own books.

 
Uniburger on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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June 7, 2014
by zuuchini
0 comments

Sparrow: Brunch in a vintage setting

Searching for a brunch place that I’ve never tried before with a all time long friend, I found sparrow as one of the highly regarded option. With that title, I wasn’t surprised that there was a bit of a waiting line on a Saturday at 1pm.

While I waited, I noticed quickly how charming Sparrow is. The wallpaper, the tables, the chair, the couch…. Sparrow really has its own personality. And I guess one of its personality trait is giving mediocre service…the service was so slow and it took more time than needed to settle our payments.

Anyway, how was the food though?

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My friend A had Shakshuka. As per the menu, it has 2 poached eggs, in a Morrocan spiced tomato sauce, sourdough toast. Or can be plainly described as 2 eggs put on top of tomato sauce. That was what it tasted like. It was original but not something I was looking for in a brunch menu.

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I had House-smoked Trout, served on spinach and green onion pancake with soft boiled eggs and beet salad. The smoked trout was delicious. But the rest of the dish could be better. It was lacking some oomph. The spinach and green onion pancake needed some additional spice and the texture was a bit dull. The beet salad was really just some marinated beets. It could definitely have a few leafy greens in there with some sort of cheese (Maybe feta?).  I don’t know. I personally think it was missing many ingredients to make it as a substantial dish.

Sparrow, your looks had me. But the rest had me walking away for somewhere else.

The Sparrow (Le Moineau) on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini