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Monkland Village

Hi, I'm new to Monkland Village and am wondering which of the 30 or so restaurants get the thumbs up or thumbs down. So far for lunch I give thumbs up to St Viateur Bagel, Caveau Szechuan, Pizzadelic and Mesquite. My dinner at Al Dente was pretty terrible and was only saved by the BYOW. Soup and noodles is ok in a pinch, but just generic chinese food IMO. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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  1. "“simplygenius" I too am new to Monkland Village and am on a discovery of the neighborhood.

    I agree that “Al Dente’s food is horrific and their service terrible.

    I have tried the “Soup & Noodles” three times and was there this afternoon for lunch with a friend.

    The food gets worst each time I go, today it was simply uneatable, it is now stricken off my list.

    Unfortunately I also don’t get “Monkland Taverne” high prices & low quality.
    It is a see and be seen place that focuses more on getting the soundtrack right than their food.

    Ok enough for the bad & ugly, now for the good.

    The following have been some of my good experiences in the area since July.

    Agora on Somerled: great fresh Greek food in a nice atmosphere with reasonable prices.

    Chop Suey Imperiale on Cote St.Luc RD: the real thing as good as the best places in Chinatown

    Monkland Grill: simple family type place with good meals and a nice terrace

    Malibu Café: Purchase some prepare meals for a party and they were excellent

    Au Bon Pain: Great bread, pastries and decent coffee

    Amour Des Thes: Great place if you like tea. I just bought some Grand Early Grey, it is amazing!

    Have also heard very good things about the butcher and fish store.

    I am still stuck on going downtown etc for meals; I would like to find some good places so I could break that habit.

    Please let us know about your future experiences.

    24 Replies
    1. re: InterFoodie

      i agree completely about soup and noodles, LOUSY!

      1. re: redroses

        ?? Soups & Noodles is our no-food-in-the-house saviour. It's not high end, but my god it's $7/dish. We love it.

        1. re: ldarroch

          No kidding! The first time we ordered form them, I swear, the doorbell rang about 10 minutes later.
          Their food is actually pretty good for a little delivery joint. The yum choi sum is cooked to perfection.

          The place I only recently discovered, and this is hard to believe, is Montrose on Somerled, the place that doesn't look like a Chinese restaurant. I've known about it for years, but never dared order from them on fear of dying from blandness, but a friend recently let on that she'd ordered from them for years. We gave it a try, and so far I can't believe how good their food is.

          1. re: bomobob

            Could you please please tell me what to order at Montrose? I went to eat at Montrose today, & quite honestly it was worst Chinese food at a Chinese restaurant I have ever eaten(I'm not kidding). I was there for lunch, and I ordered their spring rolls & fried rice with seafood & pineapple. The spring rolls tasted like it was a commercial frozen product(some parts of it, was still cold inside, when I bite into it). Their fried rice with seafood & pineapple... what a piece of junk! In the past, I've gone right past Montrose restaurant, as it seemed it catered to caucasians wanting safe Canadian Chinese food(do these Chinese restaurants still very much exist in Montreal?). Sorry for sounding so harsh.

            1. re: BLM

              Well first off, we are talking about an old-style Cantonese delivery place, so I should have qualified it by saying their Canadian-Chinese delivery food is quite good. No miracles here, but certainly not the awful experience you had. Ugh. Beef with ginger and scallions was good, lemon chicken was also good (yes, all olde tyme comfort food), and the very oddly named Spanish seafood rice was also good.
              This is not President or Tapioca The or Hong Kong, but was better than just about any delivery place that I know in NDG, apart from Kum Mon, which is quite far but actually does do NDG.

              1. re: bomobob

                So most of your experiences at Montrose was within the past year? I was told by my friend(who works near-by), that Montrose had new owners about a year ago. I welcome other people on this board to try Montrose, so to get a third, fourth...opinion.

                1. re: BLM

                  The first time we ever ordered from them was about 2 months ago or so.

                2. re: bomobob

                  Better than Tchang Kiang? They do still deliver, don't they? That would be my pick for NDG.

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    Oy. My hub ordered from Tchang Kiang as an experiment once while I was away travelling and said *that* was the absolute worst Chinese food of any type ("surburban" or "real" Chinese) he'd ever had. You've had good experiences there, I take it?

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      I used to really like their food about 20 years ago, but I found it went downhill to the Fay Wong level. Haven't tried them again for at least 5 years.

                      1. re: kpzoo

                        They have two menus - one is Szechuan and Pekinese, and the other is your typical "Cantonese" stuff (chop suey, chicken with pineapple, etc). I've never ordered the Cantonese dishes there, so I have no idea what they're like - but the Szechaun/Pekinese ones are good, if a wee bit pricey, and I've yet to order anything off of that menu that I wasn't happy with.

                    2. re: bomobob

                      Edit - this was meant to be a reply to bomobob on his "This is not President or Tapioca The or Hong Kong" post about Montrose further up the thread. Not sure how it ended up in this spot, so just wanted to qualify what I'm agreeing with below....

                      Agreed. A couple of times a year we get a craving for what I call "suburban" Chinese... that bland, totally Canadianized Chinese stuff of my childhood - pineapple chicken, dry garlic spareribs, chicken-fried rice (the dark soy-sauce kind), etc. etc. All that stuff I'm sure no Chinese person would want to touch with a 10-foot pole. However, once in a while it just hits the spot. Until recently, I had no decent place to order that kind of food from, but after a reccommendation from elsewhere, I tried Montrose and was pleasantly surprised. I've since had a few of their dinner combos several times and it was decent every time. Not Chinatown Chinese, or "real" Chinese by any stretch, but generous quantities of inexpensive suburban Chinese. And once in a while, that's just what the doctor ordered.

                        1. re: kpzoo

                          I totally get this! Every once in a while, I just want what I call "Good-Bad Chinese" - no authenicity, no special ingredients, just good old pseudo-Chinese. It is astonishingly hard to find a place that does this well!

                          So Montrose, huh? Sounds like just the kind of place where you get a bunch of take-out and pig out in front of the tv after a rough day...

                          1. re: moh

                            On a similar note, we went to Yangtse with my cousin a couple of weeks ago. Haven't been there far a good 30 years. It was more of a lark than anything else, reliving our past. The food was quite average, much as I remember it being, but the eggrolls (which I almost never order anywhere, unless I've got a 1960s dinner-for-two craving) were the best I've ever eaten. Obviously homemade, filled to bursting with meat and veggies, and crispy to a tee. I've honestly never tasted eggrolls like that anywhere. But I wouldn't hurry back for much else.

                          2. re: kpzoo

                            My parents weren't all that sophisticated or adventurous eaters (read my dad), and we pretty much only patronized one chinese restaurant during my formative years. House of Wong. We would always order one of the dinners for 4, so we'd get the standard egg rolls (which were far from standard - tube like, with the ends open so the bits of cabbage etc would get crispy - ooohhhh yummmy, won ton soup, dry garlic spareribs, chicken fried rice (that you douse with that sticky sweet sauce from the ribs) and pineapple chicken. It was feast. I sometimes get nostalgic for that place and would love to find somewhere else I could get that food.

                            I tried Montrose once - can't remember what I ordered (I actually thought I was orderning from a new szechuan place) but I know it was the "this is not chinese food say the chinese" variety, and I was quite impressed -quality, quantity and taste.

                            I do miss the House of Wong (on Queen Mary, just East of Decarie).

                            My dad was also a huge Piazza Tomasso guy. He was in heaven there. Magic Tom pulled a coin out of my sister's ear.

                            1. re: maisonbistro

                              We probably grew up next door to each other, because House of Wong was our Friday night ritual, after shopping next door at Steinberg's. And oh, those eggrolls with the cigar ends. Fabulous! Even after all these years, I remember that place like it was yesterday.

                            2. re: kpzoo

                              If you sometimes have cravings for Canadianized Chinese food, have you tried Bistro Mahjongg where they devote one page of their menu to the Ruby Foo's Specialities(prepared like they did at the original Ruby Foo's Montreal)? I've eaten quite a few dishes from Bistro Mahjongg's Ruby Foo's menu(just trying to figure out, what all the fuss was about with the Ruby Foo's dishes). I didn't care for it that much for the most part(I generally despise Canadian Chinese food), but I could see why people would like the Ruby Foo's dishes. While the two things I tried at Montrose friday afternoon, was just plain bad in every aspect.

                            3. re: bomobob

                              If you want good authentic chinese food in NDG, go to FAY WONG (on Cote-St-Luc road across from the Cote-St-Luc shopping center...) I'm chinese, and I used to eat there with my family when we lived in the area. Otherwise, Pavillon Ming on Queen Mary is pretty authentic too. Pret-a-manger downtown (St-Mathieu and Ste-Catherine) is another authentic place (chef used to work in Chinatown). Those are the three I eat at (and I am picky) outside of Chinatown.

                              -----
                              Queen Mary Restaurant
                              5504 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1V6, CA

                              1. re: dragonsrouges

                                Fay Wong - seriously? When was the last time you ate there? Very curious if you've been there recently. ;-)

                                1. re: kpzoo

                                  Seriously.

                                  Fay Wong was always my favourite "joke" restaurant. I ordered from them years ago, and it was the most bland, uninspired, tasteless Chinadian food I'd ever eaten. Horrible. Never ordered again.

                                  A couple of months ago I walked past it - it's 3 minutes from my house - and saw some Chinese people eating inside. I actually stopped to look at the menu in the window, rather than just laughing at the fake Myron Gallaway review they pasted up, and realized the menu in the window was very different from my old takeout menu. How many take-out joints have a whole "Bean Curd" section?

                                  Upon close examination, I realize they have a huge variety, and and many very non-take-out dishes. Well, as it turns out, if you ask the owner for the "real thing", you'll get it. And it's actually pretty good. In fact, it's become the go-to place.
                                  Even things marked as hot are about as spicy as milk, and he explained to me that the local clientèle aren't exactly spice-meisters. Think Agora crowd.
                                  But if you explain what you want and how you want it, they are surprisingly versatile. Last time I was in there, a Chinese couple was devouring a whole duck that looked incredible.

                                  1. re: bomobob

                                    Very interesting, thanks for the info!

                                    > the local clientèle aren't exactly spice-meisters.

                                    Ha - exactly. ;-) But good to know they can be "versatile" on request!

                        2. re: ldarroch

                          Soup and Noodles is basically salt in a broth. I tried it 3 times and every time I needed to down a litre of water aftre the meal. Didn't finish my plate and certainly didn't bring home the leftovers. That place is off my list. I agree that it is cheap, but you also get what you pay for.

                        3. re: redroses

                          Ya we order in at least once a month and it gets delivered in like 20 minutes max, it's dependable we love the house special rice and the peanut butter chicken! Love those guys...

                      1. al dente is also filthy. ugh.

                        Garam Masala is very good, as far as Montreal Indian goes. Superb service too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: C70

                          ya we went once and the whole experience was lousy..pizza is pretty good but everything else was lousy

                        2. Le Messob d'or, corner of Monkland and Harvard. Considered by many to be the city's best Ethiopian restaurant.

                          5 Replies
                            1. re: simplygenius

                              As served in local restaurants, mostly a variety of stewed meats and vegetables, often heavily spiced, spooned into small piles on injera, a huge spongy flatbread made from tef flour. You tear off pieces of the injera and use them to pick up some stew and transfer it to your mouth. See www.africa.upenn.edu/Cookbook/Ethiopi...

                              1. re: ldarroch

                                If you're still interested please read my review of Mekdala, the reincarnation of Messob D'or.
                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/503138

                            2. Had dinner on the little terrasse at Chase last night. It was nothing more than average Lebanese food. The chicken brochettes (shish taouk) were very good, as was the taboule, but the rice, kafta, hummus, & falafel were average at best. I MUCH prefer my local take out joint (Amara in VSL)

                              The falafel was served with a mild yogurt-like sauce rather than the traditional tahini. I found that unappealing and odd.

                              The price, for Monkland, was fair.

                              1. Le Maistre is always a good pick, was never disappointed (ca. 7 visits), the staff is very friendly and know their menu.

                                The new Thai place beside St Viateur is very good for my standards (never been to Thailand) - small and usually crowded, friendly.

                                I like the fish and chips at Ye Olde Orchard - not consistent though (1 out of 8 was not up to standard).

                                Tribeca has - for me - no personality and concept (except for the Martinis).

                                Sushi Star I like, the owner is very friendly and we like the sushi there (never been to any of the top addresses in town, can't compare). She worked at the Sushi Shop chain further down on Monkland and then opened her own shop because she did not feel that the other place was providing good enough quality and service.

                                Taverne only once, long ago, was OK, too loud for my taste.

                                St.Viateur good for breakfasts and salads when the health-obsessed in-laws want to go out ...

                                La Chasse - same impression as above poster.

                                We like as well the Indian place - Garam Masala - compares, for us, to Ganges.

                                If you want to prepare your own dinner - le maitre boucher is a great place to start! Their sausages are great, the meat is great quality and André at the cheese counter REALLY knows his cheeses.

                                Enjoy!

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Leachim

                                  Maybe it has been a while since you have eaten on that strip- but Tribeca has been closed for over 2 years!

                                  1. re: daniellebluma

                                    The post you are replying to is dated August 29, 2006. :-)

                                  2. re: Leachim

                                    Have to disagree on the Thai place, Bangkok, although it seems this may be due to the 3-year passage of time since this and other reviews below. Dropped in last night for dinner based on the recommendations in this thread and it was bad. In fact, I would even describe it as the worst Thai food I've ever had, and one of the worst meals I can remember. I had dumplings in peanut sauce as appetizer, green curry chicken (a standard by which I gauge all new Thai restaurants), and crispy noodles with vegetable sauce. The dumplings were average, the curry was below average, and the noodles were very bad, practically inedible. The sauce was not a Thai sauce but in fact something close to a Chinese white gravy. The service was poor, as others note, but it's all about the food for me, and based on the food alone, I will not be back.

                                    1. re: 1toomany

                                      After vowing not to go back there after a service disaster (~40 minutes to serving of first person's meal, 20 more minutes for the other three), we went back for a quick bite because it was convenient and we were starving.

                                      The pad Thai is good, and so is the three-pepper fish, but if you like it spicy you have to be very emphatic -- they work on the assumption that folks on Monkland can't take the heat, and just saying "spicy" won't get you much.

                                      Despite a couple of OK offerings, definitely not worth any sort of a detour...

                                      1. re: Mr F

                                        I agree with Mr. F as it's not a sort of detour. The food is good but the service is bad. When I go for a takeout, I always have to wait on site at least 10-20 minutes more than what they said on the phone (it happened a few times).

                                        Does anyone have a good recommendation for Thai in NDG?

                                    2. re: Leachim

                                      Quartier Perse on Decarie is DELICIOUS. Big portions, super tender meat, great appetizers.... Get the meal for 2 with all the brochettes.