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Favourite Chinese?

The only Chinese restaurant I eat at regularly is Maison Kam Fung for dim sum. Besides that I'm at a loss for where to go for good Chinese. Any suggestions?

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  1. Here are my faves -

    Mon Nan (upstairs) for 3-course Peking duck, it's their specialty so you don't need to order in advance. Also delectable snow pea pods & General Tao tofu (not on menu but they're happy to oblige if you ask) (1096 Clark)

    Beijing for General Tao chicken and sweet & sour fish, plus ridiculously cheap lunch specials on weekdays (maybe weekends too, not sure) (92 la Gauchetiere W.)

    Restaurant Hong Kong for Cantonese chow mein & chicken with ginger & shallots. Open pretty late. (1019 St-Laurent)

    Lotte Furama for excellent dim sum (1115 Clark)

    Restaurant Tao - closest thing to Chinatown for an NDG-er like me - plus, they have kick-ass candied walnuts (374 Victoria Ave in Westmount)


    7 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo

      Thanks -- I'll try the dim sum at Lotte Furama and compare to Kam Fung. Looks like I'll be able to hit some of these places for take out, as I live in the Plateau.

      1. re: kpzoo

        Everyone forgot to mention the restaraunt in the south shore ??Foo Wor
        8080 boulevard Taschereau (Brossard,) Jing Hua boulevard Taschereau

        1. re: Day o lay

          Is Foo Wor the large Cantonese place that serves dim sum, one strip mall west of another dim sum joint? Based on one visit (but only one visit, mind you), it was in no way worth the lengthy detour for a city dweller. I'm sure it's a different story if you live on the South Shore. I'm not familiar with Jing Hua at all. Any comments on it?

          1. re: Mr F

            Jing Hua very good too I'm back now !

        2. re: kpzoo

          having scanned these boards for months I was motivated enough by a bad experience at Tau yesterday to post my dismal experience. I had discarded Tau as yet another bland overpriced Westmount eatery however a family member in hospital made a special request for take out. My experience was appalling. I walked in at 4:30 placed my order for pick up for 5:30. In the middle of taking my order the person walked away and was replaced by a second person continuing the order. I asked if it could be ready for pick up one hour later and the person agreed. One hour later they had my order wrong. The new counter person took my money but assured me it would take 5 minutes to add what had been omitted. 10 minutes later they handed me yet again the wrong order. at this point I asked for my money to be returned the manager refused to return my order and said it would take 2 minutes to fix the problem. 10 minutes later I walked out with 50$ worth of bland over-priced chinese food and the feeling that customer service was the least of their priorities. Upon getting home.......no candied walnuts in the bag and a vow never to return .

          1. re: crispy1

            Tau can be hit and miss. The management seems to change on a fairly regular (almost annual) basis, and quality varies accordingly. I have had very good meals from there, and some pretty so-so meals as well. However, there are great deals to be had if you order from the rice and noodles menu, which are around $6.95 for a meal. And if you order dishes spicy, they are usually more than happy to make them that way. Their big bowl of tom yum soup is up there on my list of comfort foods, although it is far better in the restaurant than when they make it for takeout. And they do not normally include the candied walnuts in takeout orders - you even have to request fortune cookies and almond cookies, as they're no longer included automatically.

            1. re: crispy1

              I had a similar problem with Tau recently (though I have always found them good in the past.) My order was screwed up, which I didn't realize until I got home. When I called Tau to complain, the guy on the other end didn't apologize, didn't offer to correct the mistake, he said "Well what do you want me to do about it?" and then put me on hold while he took another call.

              It's so frustrating when a resto that used to be good goes downhill.

          2. Dim Sum - I like going to Furama. Reminds me of proper Chinese Dim Sum (Atmosphere). As for quality, either Kam Fung or Furama are good.

            In my opinion, best chinese in Montreal is Keung Kee in Chinatown on 70, rue de la Gauchetière. The most authentic Hong Kong Chinese food I have found in the area.

            Late Night - We always seem to end up at New Dynasty. Don't know if it's cuz the guy that serves us is funny, or the Salt and Pepper Crab soaks up the beer better at 3am.

            And what's the deal with General Tao? I'm Chinese (from Vancouver) and have never heard of it until I moved here.I don't see the attraction either. Deepfried meat bits tossed with WAY too much overly salty and sweet sauce.
            Don't base the quality of a chinese restaurant on the General Tao.
            Try the Seafood, Roast Pork and Duck, different Chinese Vegetables.
            Away with the General Tao, Lemon Chicken, and Sweet and Sour whatever!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bon Appetit

              agreed! general tao = not in my books for standard chinese food per sey, (says a toronto born+raised kid of parents from HK!)

              1. re: btrsweet

                Speaking of General Tao, the history, according to french tv show (L'épicerie)(featuring a british interviewee) seems to be that it was invented in Hunan then the chef exiled to Taiwan and finally landed in New York where the current version was done.


              2. re: Bon Appetit

                > And what's the deal with General Tao?

                Ha. Here's the whole scoop - it's not just a Montreal thing.

                You're right - there's a lot of horrendous General Tao chicken out there, which is why the places that do it well are worth mentioning. And I can certainly understand the lack of appeal to someone who grew up without it.

                I personally love many different kinds of Chinese - both authentic & some of the more culturally & culinarily dubious - and I think that's OK. It's all about variety. :-


                Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that Restaurant Hong Kong does great BBQ Pork & BBQ Duck too.

                1. re: Bon Appetit

                  Keung Kee was a pleasant surprise. All of the dishes we tried had complex spices that were fresh, flavourful, and the ginger was a zinger. Nice vegetables, too.

                  1. re: Bon Appetit

                    General Tso's chicken is there for the New York visitors.

                    1. re: Bon Appetit

                      I'm with you on this one. It's way to rich for my taste. The closest dish i tasted to this in China is sweet and sour pork, which didn't have as much batter and sauce was not as thick.

                      I think the same can be said for won ton, which doesn't seem to exist in China. But at least i like won ton!

                    2. Kam Fung and Lotte Furama for dim sum, with Ruby Rouge and Tong Por coming in a not too distant second place.

                      Niu Kee (in theory; have been afraid to return since the owners changed) and Keung Kee. Beijing and Hong Kong in second place.

                      Kam Shing in Plaza Côte-des-Neiges, especially for the noodle dishes. Lao Beijing on Côte-des-Neiges between Édouard-Montpetit and Côte Ste-Catherine, especially for the hotpots and that "many flavours" cucumber salad.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: carswell

                        I did not have a great meal the last time I went to Niu Kee. The recipes have changed with fried tofu replacing fresh, details like that which didn't taste anywhere near as delicious as under the previous owners.

                        Keung Kee is great though for excellent Cantonese dishes, very good chili and salt shrimp, interesting tofu/mushroom rolls. Mon Nan is good and I haven't even tried the famous Peking duck there. We've had rather fabulous lobster at Maison VIP although it can be hard to find good items on the menu that aren't deep-fried.

                        If you are on the Plateau the food at Wok and Roll is quite authentic (despite the rather un-Chinese name) and staight-forward. I nurse many of my colds with their chicken soup which comes with lots of Thai basil, fresh beanspouts and lime. And their grilled beef in their Vietnamese specials is very tasty. You can also get home delivery from Deer Garden in Chinatown through A La Carte Express and just try to order things that travel well in containers.

                        1. re: Plateaumaman

                          How is it possible to use the words authentic and "Thai basil, fresh beanspouts and lime" in the same posting? This sounds like Vietnamese food, not Chinese at all. It's like saying the wienerschnitzel at L'Express is authentic French!?!

                          1. re: edhazer

                            Well, Wok 'n' Roll is not Chinese. It's pan-asian. Mostly Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai. I believe the owners are Vietnamese.

                        2. re: carswell

                          Your list is spot on. Although, I have not been back to Kam Fung for DS in a while, and am due for a return. Lottes dumplings and Chau Yao Yew (deep fried squid) are definitely better than Tong Por,

                          Niu Kee is definitely not the same. However, it is better than just after the transition. The eggplant seems to be missing something, but is still good. The Cumin beef is the same, and the Kung Pao chicken is not up to snuff. They definitely are not using as many Szechuan Peppercorns.

                          On the topic of General Tao. You will not find this in China other than in tourist restaurants catering to western palates. Most of the General Tao served here is nothing more than heavily battered chicken fragments covered in an overly sweet glop. You rarely find even a trace of a chili pepper.

                          If you want to try a really decent GT, made the way it is supposed to be made, with chicken chunks that are more meat then coating, and has a properly seasoned sauce, try Szechuan on Notre Dame in Old Montreal.... Mr. Ma in PVM is also a good contender, as is Piment Rouge.

                          I still have respect for Peking Garden on Queen Mary for putting out a solid Mu Shu, good steamed dumplings, and a good shrimp and Lobster sauce. Not fine cuisine, but if you know what to order, they can serve some decent dishes.

                          1. re: fedelst1

                            Lotte Furama's dumplings have gone WAY downhill compared to when I first went there. I think they lost their dumpling-master. The last few times I've gone, the dumplings have been sticky, thick wrappers, that stick to the paper. Not nice and very disappointing as I liked the variety there. Kam Fung is an OK alternative, but not nearly as many choices.

                          2. re: carswell

                            Lotte Furama is my favourite for dim sum, Ruby Rouge was okay, but things like shrimp shell in dumplings annoys me. I've done Lotte Furama for dinner a couple times, everything was always well prepared. Meaning to try their Peking duck though.
                            Kam Shing is my go-to for dinners. Both on Cote-des-Neiges and on Van Horne. I've literally grown up eating their food and I live close to both locations which makes it handy. The hubby can walk there on a nice day if need be. And their Peking Hot Soup (aka hot and sour) is really good when it's good. Like with all restos, there are times when things get borked and eating their food so often, I tend to notice.
                            Jardin Asean on Sherbrooke W. does all sorts of Asian cuisine, but I usually only get the sushi because they have the soy sauce I love best.
                            Jardin Jade Poon Kai (I think that's the full name) has a very blah buffet, but their take-out buns, rolls and sweets are quite good.
                            I've gone to some other places in Chinatown but since I was brought by friends I can't remember the name, but had some amazing stuffed bean curd. It's on a corner...that's as much as I can remember having hurried inside mid-winter.

                          3. Beijing for sam see chow mein (shredded three kinds of meat chow mein, forgive sp), eggplant hotpot (under the szechuan listings), sizzling shrimps with ginger and garlic, snowpea leaves with garlic, periwinkles with blackbean sauce, "Big Guy" Special Tofu (it's not on the menu but this is how we order it: it's Japanese soft tofu rounds, lightly fried, with diced peppers, onions, ground pork and blackbeans; ask for it, and other spicy dishes, EXTRA spicy)

                            Mon Nan upstairs for the Peking Duck and steamed dumplings

                            Furama and Le President (in Ville St. Laurent) for dim sum

                            Hong Kong for BBQ duck and noodle soups

                            The old Manchuria on St. Mathieu, now with new owners, new decor and a new name that escapes me, but the tofu dishes, eggplant dishes and manchuria pork and lamb dishes are still good, as are the dumplings (the spicy dishes are tastier if you ask for EXTRA spicy)

                            Kam Shing for hot pots and noodles

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: chilipepper

                              Chilipepper - thanks for giving me some ideas for new dishes at some of my favourite places! I tend to order the same things at the same places over and over cause I *know* they're gonna be good. Now I've got some new stuff to try. :-)

                              1. re: chilipepper

                                I've wondered about Le President for dim sum - how would you compare it to Furama or Kam Fung?

                              2. I like Beijing and Keung Kee for supper and Lotte Furama for dim sum. The food I had at Hong Kong was disgustingly greasy (think dripping and pooling on the plate). I tried Kam Fung for dim sum, but didn't like it as much as Furama.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: eoj

                                  The few times I've eaten at Hong Kong it's been way too greasy to the point that it's given me bad heartburn.

                                2. Forgot about the salt and pepper squid (salt and spicy? I forget) at the Beijing.
                                  As fro le President, I find their stuff less greasy and a bit more fresh than stuff at Kam Fung and Furama, plus if you ask the waiters for stuff that you don't see rolling around, they happily oblige ( i.e.egg tarts)

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: chilipepper

                                    Chilipepper - un gros merci! You mean I don't have to run downtown anymore since I live in VSL? I've driven by Le Pres so many times but never knew if it was worthwhile. My benchmark for Dim Sum would Furama which I found to be as good as any dim sum I had while in Hong Kong (except for the fancy shmancy, really expensive dim sum we had in a hotel with almost transparent dumpling liners & high end ingredients).

                                    1. re: RhondaB

                                      RhondaB - Where in St-Laurent is Le President located? (exact adress nice, but an approximation helpful too.) Thanks!

                                      1. re: kpzoo

                                        Actually, it's not in VSL, but just north in Cartierville. It's on Laurentien between Salaberry and Gouin, in a strip mall on the east side.

                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                          Cool, thanks SnackHappy! Have you been there for dim sum? What did you think?

                                          1. re: kpzoo

                                            I've only been there for dinner. The food is good, though. The crispy duck was fantastic.

                                    2. re: chilipepper

                                      Beijing salt and pepper shrimp and squid ROCKS! I've been going to Beijing for 20 years though- like every Chinese resto they have their good days and bad days. When one dish is good, they're all good. When one is bad, they're all bad. I've learned the regular chef's schedule. :)

                                      That being said, you can't judge beijing on one bad experience.

                                      1. re: migueldcf

                                        So, which days are better than others to pay a visit to Beijing? Can you also specify lunch vs dinner? Thanks

                                        1. re: hungryann

                                          Amen to salt and pepper at Beijing but usually on Sat or Sun nights...Fri nights have changed, maybe due to chef. Also the Fri chef messed up my fave, Big Guy (Special) Tofu - too saucy when it was supposed to be dry stir-fried...oh well...

                                          1. re: hungryann

                                            I'm guessing that you should try saturday nights. I've been out of touch- so not exactly sure these days.

                                          2. re: migueldcf

                                            Those shrimp are the best. Your totally right.

                                            1. re: migueldcf

                                              The salt and pepper shrimp are one of my favourite dishes at Beijing!

                                          3. Definitely the Kam Shing on CDN (not the Van Horne location).

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: hungryann

                                              The one thing, that sends alarm bells with Kam Shing(both locations) for me, is that you almost never see Asians eat there. Is their menu even available in Chinese?

                                              1. re: BLM

                                                I don't go that often, maybe twice a year but I have seen a good mix of Asians and Caucasians there. I could be mistaken but I think they have papers tacked to the wall that are written in chinese...perhaps the daily specials?

                                                1. re: hungryann

                                                  Let me check again the CDN location very soon. Like you I maybe go there twice a year, but I honestly don't remember much Asians dining there. I go to the Van Horne location more often, & I certainly don't see Asians dining there.

                                                  1. re: BLM

                                                    I was there a couple weeks ago, and there was several tables of Asian folks...

                                                    1. re: devilishlyj

                                                      if asian people were to dine at kam shing are we too assume that the asian continent would approve of such a restaurant? you know, it's possible that there are asian families who enjoy trashy asian food as much as us jews do.

                                                  2. re: hungryann

                                                    When I went to Kam Shing CDN restaurant during the peak hour recently just to observe, it was vast majority caucasians(maybe 75%+ of the tables).

                                              2. Sigh...I don't want to start lamenting on the lack of good chinese food in Montreal. I make my pilgrimage to Toronto once in a while to get my fill. The only reason to go to Toronto... :)

                                                But still my Montreal faves are...

                                                - Beijing for the hong kong diner style dishes (like chilipepper lists). But my faves are see choi ngau yook chow ho (season greens stir fried with flat rice noodles in a yummy oyster-based? sauce), shute choi yook see tong mie (shredded pork with tasty preserved vegetables and vermicelli in a clear broth), and ham yu gai lup chow fan (salted fish, diced chicken, egg, & shredded lettuce fried rice). The other dishes chilipepper lists are ok - can find better elsewhere.

                                                - Keung Kee - for traditional hong kong family style dinners minus the variety.

                                                - Pret a manger (Guy & Ste-Catherine) - for the "chef's special" menu which has dishes I have never seen in other Chinese restos and are actually very good! Currently closed due to a block fire.

                                                - the restaurant across the street from Mon Nan - opened very late at night - has the best salt & pepper pork. Not only that but the huge serving of salt & pepper pork is served with an egg on top, side green veggies and fried rice for ... $8?!! Their periwinkles in black bean sauce is also excellent when in season - you can taste the power of the wok - sounds cheesy but really.

                                                - Kam Fung over Furama for dim sum. Not saying Kam Fung is excellent. But at least it feels clean.

                                                - Foo Wor in Brossard is comparable to Kam Fung for dim sum & dinner too maybe less salt & msg tasting.

                                                - I recently was brought to a Chinese resto in Brossard next to the Quality Inn that is between the Panama Autoparc & Champlain Mall. I have been there a few times. They do very well only a select few dishes (seemingly off menu and must be ordered ahead of time) and the rest was not good. One is drunken chicken and the other is salt & chili pepper king crab. EXCELLENT. I will have to inquire with my aunt-in-the-know for the other dishes.

                                                - Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot - excellent all you can eat hot pot. In Chinatown. www.canada.com/cityguides/montreal/st...

                                                1. Let's see....

                                                  Kum Fung does have a great dim sum, and the atmosphere is such that you really could be in Hong Kong. Their dinner menu is also very good. Cantonese, not terribly exciting, but the ingredients are fresh and the food is well prepared.

                                                  Tong Por (Tung Pao) on the corner of St. Dom and LaGauchetiere upstairs, is an old favourite as well. Their dim sum used to be the best in town many years ago, but the selections became more limited. You know, when they stop serving the deep fried pig intestines, it's time to go.

                                                  Hong Kong has been my old faithful for 20 years, but in the past few years has gone down hill on a few dishes, while others have remained strong. Same owner all these years, but a few chef changes.

                                                  I recently rediscovered Peking Garden on Queen Mary in Snowdon, and if you stay away from the boring, run of the mill dishes, the food is very good.

                                                  There's an exceptional Chinese/Cambodian place on Poirier in VSL, the name of which I can never remember...Lac Heng something? I just go there without paying attention.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: bomobob

                                                    Seng Lac Hing 1687 Poirier ...I agree, some tasty dishes....

                                                  2. amigo on st-laurent at gauchetiere is really good

                                                    1. L'orchidee de chine and Mr. Ma anytime.

                                                      1. Ordered from Village Szechuan on Decarie last night. It had been a long time, and now I remember why...

                                                        1. So far all the places mentioned sound Canonese or Vietnamese? Disturbingly even the misnamed "Beijing" serves mainly Cantonese style food. I understand that for historical reasons this is the case, but the past quarter century has seen many immigrants from other parts of China arrive in North America. Can anyone recommend a place that serves real Szechuan or Hunan style Chinese food. I'm talking "Fuqifeipian", or real Mapo Tofu for example. Even Northern Chinese breakfast "youtiao and zhou" would be a nice change.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: edhazer

                                                            Give Lao Beijing a try
                                                            5619A Cote-des-Neiges near St. Kevin

                                                          2. Anyone here with feedback on the Yu Hang restaurant in downtown Montreal? It was just reviewed by Sarah Musgrave in yesterday's Montreal Gazette. A reader on Montrealfood.com, reviewed their Chinese hot pot in August & gave it very very marks. It's another one of the Chinese restaurants, that have 2 menus(one aimed at the 'tourists' while the other one for people in the know).

                                                            1. I have been trying out Fu Kam Wah near the cote vertu metro in ville st. laurent. I am impressed. I was a bit disappointed by the hot and sour soup (sigh, just can't find a good one here in Montreal). But the rest of the meal was outstanding. Salt and pepper squid was well fried, not too greasy and sprinkled with a yummy seasoned salt (I think it is that Asian 5 spice stuff). Beef in black bean sauce was tender and delicious. We had the black cod steamed in soy with ginger. It was delicate and fresh, a perfecr balance of flavours. The crystal tiger shrimp surprised me. When we got them, I thought, hmmm, looks really boring. But they are cooked in a very flavourful sauce that must be based on a very delicious broth. And the shrimp were well-cooked, not rubbery and overcooked. The texture was reminiscent of lobster. The final dish that really blew me away: Chinese broccoli cooked with garlic. I know, sounds really boring right? But again, the base of flavour is this really tasty sauce. The sauce is clear and light, but very flavourful. When I cook chinese broccoli, it tastes like chinese broccoli. Many chinese restaurants do the same. But this dish at Fu kam Wah is much tastier and quite unique in this wasteland of average chinese that is Montreal. I don't claim to know what authentic Cantonese cooking is, but I have heard that good Cantonese dishes focus on great ingredients prepared with balanced, delicate sauces that accentuate the ingredient but don't overwhelm it. The cod, crystal shrimp and chinese broccoli dishes seem to meet this description. I shall continue to trek all the way to cote vertu, I think this place is worth it.

                                                              I also did takeout from there, but I think it is better to eat in. This food needs to be enjoyed fresh to really capture the joyous "wok hai" (spelling?) that is so difficult to achieve at home with our low heat stovetops.

                                                              24 Replies
                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                Thanks for the report, moh. Turns out Fu Kam Wah has a website and could use a website designer (that camouflage background on the menus is the worst): www.fukamwah.com/en/index.html

                                                                1. re: carswell

                                                                  My fave chinese, are well, regrettably, not in Montreal. You need to make a trip to TO and Vancouver to find fresh. modern, succulent chinese, taiwanese, northern chinese food.

                                                                  Here, I go to new kam shing in west island every so often but seems is getting worse by the day. 3 years ago it was better, now i get poorly cooked food, unfresh, not to mention the place is sticky but i digress. the cook changed 2 years ago i think, it was horrible

                                                                  Soupe bol on st-jean, is ok quality i guess but not much choice.

                                                                  Somebody mentioned ming wa (?) on pierrefonds but i haven't been. Is is any good

                                                                  Kam fung in VSL - dim sum is OK i guess best outside of chinatown, dirty!. When it opened in 98 i had baby squid there and got violently ill. I never eat squid there (he he)

                                                                  IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR new places in the WEST ISLAND PLEASE help...

                                                                  Chinese food in Montreal is dismal and has really stagnated for decades with 70s and 80s style restos, while toronto and Vancouver probably have some of the best restos at all price ranges anywhere in the world outside of hong kong or shanghai thanks to new immigrants with deep pockets who are bringing really clean, flavorful cooking, design, and food that isn't swimming in a pool of oil.

                                                                  If you go to TO, there's just too many to mention. Asian Legend near fairview mall is a favorite of mine in the affordable upscale category. Then there's a whole strip mall full of restos in Markham with one particular noodle house that makes all kinds of fresh noodles.

                                                                  Vancouver - Cafe vogue in richmond (sexmith st), nouveau taiwanese, fabulous braised chicken with ginger and star anise, thick noodles, great ma po tofu, modern decor. Kirin of course in richmond, sun sui wah dim sum on main. I have also been to older small restos with 10 friends and had 10 course meals with lobster noodles, duck etc. for 10 bucks per person. I would move back to vancouver just for the food, let alone the decor.
                                                                  Hon's of course for cheap and greasy... the list is infinite, not to mention sushi on every street corner, that is half the price of montreal and 5 times the quality

                                                                  There's so much room for improvement in Montreal its simply mind boggling, but the smart new immigrant entrepreneur restaurateurs who have money are not landing in Montreal (duh!). They can make a fortune in Toronto. Most of the suburban places I have been to every day of the year are packed lunch and dinner. Its like a cash machine. There are so many TO chinese who live in their own world, have money, don't work and just go out to eat all the time. It's a restaurant owner's dream.

                                                                  Asian chains in TO like Spring rolls are basic but would kill here. Open one up near fairview on st-jean and it will do very well, i have no doubt, downtown too like near concordia.

                                                                  1. re: marcrobert

                                                                    I feel your pain Marcrobert. Asian in Montreal needs some work, with the exception of Vietnamese. I am working on a quick jaunt to TO to partake in the Chinese food there. But give Fu Kam Wah a try, it's in VSL, so sort of close to you, and the food has wok hai. It won't be the latest and greatest, but it is well-executed and tasty. Eating in is best.

                                                                    1. re: moh

                                                                      I ate at Fu Kam Wah, and I have to admit it's pretty tasty. However, I think that's pretty much due to the overdosing of MSG I believe they use.
                                                                      MSG in higher quantities gives me a strong and unpleasant reaction - five minutes after eating their food, I was ill, and it stayed with me for hours.
                                                                      Lots of Chinese restos use MSG, and I don't dislike them for using it sparingly. But when all the food is coated in it, there's a problem.

                                                                      1. re: kimberleyblue

                                                                        Hmm, I must admit I have no problems with MSG, so I can't comment on too much or too little. I don't think all of the flavour is due to MSG though, some of it is due to good wok technique, as you lose something if you do the takeout there.

                                                                        I have a friend who is also quite sensitive to MSG, so I would be very interested in your favorite Chinese in Montreal that is not overloaded with MSG!

                                                                        1. re: moh

                                                                          I'm not a fan of MSG, and my (admittedly unscientific) observation has been that foods that make me excessively thirsty while eating them (without them tasting salty) tend to do so as a result of flavour enhancers, usually MSG.

                                                                          1. re: moh

                                                                            my msg reactions only occur when it's in excess - instant heat on the back of my neck and face, tingly hands, then a headache, then cramps. i've had it BAD at U & Me noodles on Ste-Catherine, Fu Kam Wah, and a pho place on Ste-Catherine. Oh, and at Odaki, a sushi buffet on St-Laurent.

                                                                            Asian (not just Chinese) restos where they probably use MSG, but not in excess (e.i. no noticable reaction):
                                                                            Maison Kam Fung (eat there at least twice a month!)
                                                                            Kam Do (VSL)
                                                                            Mon Nan
                                                                            Viet place on Prince-Arthur

                                                                            to name a few. But if you have no problems with MSG, then Fu Kam Wah really is delish! And perhaps I just went on an off-day.

                                                                            1. re: kimberleyblue

                                                                              Thanks very much kimberleyblue! I shall happily suggest a few of these places to my friend. Some I already know and like well, and I shall feel more secure suggesting them to her.

                                                                        2. re: moh

                                                                          To all you MSG avoiders. Just order "no msg". :)

                                                                          1. re: marcrobert

                                                                            You know, the funny thing is that in Thailand they put heaps of MSG into absolutely everything. Which always puzzled me, since Thai food really doesn't need any help.

                                                                        3. re: marcrobert

                                                                          Try Le President in Cartierville on Laurentien (near the Laval bridge) bordering Ville St. Laurent.

                                                                      2. re: moh

                                                                        Fu Kam Wah was just reviewed in today's Montreal Gazette by Sarah Musgrave, & she gave it a very high rating. Among other dishes, she mentioned their Shanghai-style dumplings with wine vinegar and slivers of ginger.

                                                                        1. re: BLM

                                                                          Funny, they sound like they should be soup dumplings, but the waiter said that they are not soup dumplings...

                                                                          On a side note, the soup dumplings at New Jing Hua are still eluding me. We went for dim sum today, and they said they had them yesterday, but that they were out today. But on a positive note, the dim sum was quite delicious.

                                                                          1. re: moh

                                                                            BTW, if you know in advance on when New Jing Hua has soup dumplings anytime in the future when you call them, you can post it here(especially if you can't make it). I live near-by there.

                                                                            1. re: BLM

                                                                              If I can crack that code, I certainly will post and let people know. Unfortunately, I don't speak any dialect of Chinese. There is a nice waiter who now seems to recognize me, and he is very helpful and will check if the kitchen has them that day. But as to when they will have them in the future, he has no idea. It is a very random menu item, and when they run out, they run out.

                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                Thank you for the link--I'll be posting some reviews as soon as I revisit a few places. Regrettably I have no idea what soup dumplings are--I'm assuming you're referring to something other than wontons :)

                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                    Oh THOSE!!!!

                                                                                    I've been half following the soup dumpling thread, but I recognized the Wiki photo right away. I had those in Hong Kong. Ohmygod, their good.

                                                                                    1. re: bomobob

                                                                                      AH Ha! now you understand my obsession....

                                                                                      Got some leads in TO, and the place on the South shore.... I'll get one there yet...

                                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                                        if you are highly sensitive to msg, be aware that saying
                                                                                        "no msg"
                                                                                        is not a sure way to avoid it, a lot of the sauces and ingredients they use already have it, so although they won't sprinkle some on the dish, it may contain it anyway.

                                                                                        "Since the 1970s, MSG has sidled back onto American supermarket shelves, under assumed names: hydrolyzed [soy] proteins, yeast extracts, protein concentrates and other additives that are not labeled as MSG"

                                                                                        I quote this from an article I read this morning in the NYT.

                                                                        2. re: moh

                                                                          I finally got around to trying FKW and I was impressed as well. I think it is comparable to Le President , my other fave in the nabe. Like you moh, I found the usual dishes were particularly well done. For example, the special fried rice was really good and I usually despise fried rice because it`s oily and mushu and generally poorly done but not here! The hot`n sour soup had a bit of an off taste but it was not horrible. Other dishes sampled were the egg rolls (boy, these were chockful of pork and shrimp and not just cabbage filler), the garlic beef, lemon chicken, cantonese chow mein and shrimp with cashews; everything was great to excellent. I will definitely be returning to explore more of their gigantic menu. It took me almost 15 minutes to read it through before ordering.

                                                                          1. re: hungryann

                                                                            I'm glad you enjoyed FKW too. It is a fun menu to try to be adventurous on, but I do recommend that if you order one of their more unusual dishes, to back it up with some known favorites. They don't back away from some of more bitter/medicinal elements of Chinese cuisine, and some of the dishes are acquired tastes. And thanks for the report on the other dishes! I love lemon chicken, one of those guilty pleasures, will have to try that soon. We also went for lunch one time, and had their lunch special, a really lovely winter melon and pork stirfry. If you like the bitterness of winter melon, definitely try some of their dishes.

                                                                            I would love to hear more about Le President for regular food, I've only eaten Dim Sum there, which I love. Have you had some of their regular dishes? Any particular faves? If you like it as much as FKW, that is very good reason for me to branch out to other dishes! I may even have to consider a move to VSL....

                                                                            1. re: moh

                                                                              Le President is one of my regular spots but I have never had dim sum there;it is on my ever expanding list of things to try! I used to order from them a couple of times per month but we have cut back since about a year ago because they significantly raise their prices (2 meat dishes, 1 noodles/veggies and rice is almost 60$ - a little steep for weeknight takeout) but in their defense the portions are huge and the quality is all there. My DH is not very adventurous when it comes to food so he always orders one of these 3 options:
                                                                              1. Pad thai which is probably the best I've had in Mtl (with a close second being the one at Bangkok), full of bursty prawns. However, we have not had this since reports that the Thai chef left...too afraid of disappointment.
                                                                              2. General Tao chicken. Very good with mostly if not exclusively tender white meat chicken.
                                                                              3. Cantonese fried noodles, which are addictive.
                                                                              I have ventured into an eggplant and chicken hotpot, stir fried lobster, shrimp with lobster sauce, salt and pepper squid, orange/sesame beef and various vegetable stir fries and all are excellent with high quality ingredients. BTW, their hot 'n sour soup is very good. So, all in all very solid on all fronts but since we eat out 4-5 times a week, it's not on regular rotation because of the high cost.
                                                                              Moh, do come and join us in VSL; I will head the welcoming group, complete with baskets of fresh baked goods a la Desperate Housewives!! :D

                                                                              1. re: hungryann

                                                                                Ohh! Good hot and sour! Will have to try! Thanks for the report! And the kind offer of a welcoming basket...

                                                                        3. La Maison Kam Fung is great for Dim-Sum. There's a great Taiwanese restaurant in St-Mathiew street (or, probably, St-Marc), between Maisonneuve and Sherbrook - Le Roy du Won-Ton. The food is very tasty and doesn't contain MSG (as they claim).

                                                                          As for Lotte Furama, I've been there just once, but it has been a very bad experience.

                                                                          We went to the address advertised in all the articles about the restaurant - 1115 rue Clark. There were 4 or 5 small groups lined in front of us. All these people were eventually seated, but when, after half an hour of waiting, it was our turn, we were said that we'd chosen the wrong entrance. I do hope that all the people in front of us were some special guests, but we felt bad nevertheless.
                                                                          It was the moment to leave but we went to another entrance instead. After more waiting we were seated at the very end of the room with some other guys, although there were free tables for the both companies. Waiters with trolleys rarely reached this end of the room. For every item we had to wait 5 or 10 minutes. The food itself was quite good. It would have been even better then in Kam Fung - if it were warm. All the dishes that reached us were lukewarm at best. And the choice wasn't good either. When one of us asked a waiter if they served fried dumplings, the answer was "How should I know!?".
                                                                          But the most unpleasant surprise was the bill. It was exactly twice as expensive as the bills we received in Kam Fung. We asked the waiter what was so pricey among the things we ate. Upon some reflection, he told us it was steamed bok-choy. Two small plates of it cost us 24 dollars. When we tried to check it on the menu, they gave us an order-slip instead. It was only in Chinese. None of us spoke Chinese (though I'd like to learn it one day), and none of us looks like a native Chinese speaker. Anyways, we were too tired to argue. So we just paid and left, promising ourselves to never again set foot in that place.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ostap

                                                                            Lotte Furama went abruptly downhill several years ago before apparently going out of business. Their dumplings in particular suddenly had terrible wrappers (the thick gummy kind that fall off the filling). It seems pretty obvious that they must have lost one or more chefs. We switched to going to Ruby Rouge and Kam Fung. The quality of Kam Fung seems to depend on where you're seated. We found it by far the best with a smallish group (4-6) seated in the middle of the room. Too many of their tables are out of the way and get horrible service. Ruby Rouge was excellent the few times we've been, though word to the wise, some dishes are only available from a sort of buffet station over at one side.

                                                                          2. There’s a wide divergence of opinion reflected in this thread and I can only add to the confusion as I’m at odds with many of the posts as to where best to eat dim sum. My experience with La Maison Kam Fung is that the food is ordinary, the selection ditto, and the atmosphere unappetizing. A few years ago I took a course in dim sum at L'Academie Culinaire and it was our instructor’s belief that the best dumplings in town were at Restaurant Ruby Rouge (1008 Clark Montreal) and Restaurant Lotte Furama (1115 rue Clark). The intervening years have only confirmed his recommendations, except that Lotte Furama is so filthy that I won’t set foot in the place except with a shop-vac and a HAZMAT suit. For me, that leaves Ruby Rouge where I believe you’ll find dumplings as good as anywhere in Chinatown, with pleasant service, in a most convivial setting.

                                                                            1. Speaking of filthy Ming Cuisine on the West Island ranks right up there with their carpet that is almost alive and their chef that comes out with the dirtiest apron I've ever seen, but you know we always manage to go back because the Szechuan food is always so great and it is an 'Apportez Votre Vin' restaurant so value is key!
                                                                              Deer Garden on St-Laurent also an AVV is also great.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Fatfrank

                                                                                Yeah, I'm fond of Deer Garden - nothing special in particular, but good value - it is a place we wind up at when in the area. Is there anything in particular you like to order there?

                                                                                I confess that I'd rather not patronise your Ming Cuisine, even if the food is good and it is a good value!

                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                  Well if that's the case, then you may want to watch out over at Deer Garden - a particularly nasty health-board citation made me stop going there long ago, and moh's recent (and removed) disgusting horror story is enough to convince me that I don't want to go back there! Back when I used to be a DG regular (before the horror stories) years ago, I did love their lo mein noodles with shallots, served with a broth on the side.

                                                                              2. No one counts Restaurant Uyghur as a favorite? I've been itching to go there after a respected NY Foodie and blogger, Peter Cherches, found it much better than New York's most talked-about Uyhgur Restauarant, Cafe Kashkar.


                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Xiao Yang

                                                                                    It was also a very mixed bag. Arzou Express, the Uyghur resto on Côte des Neiges north of Van Horne, was much better, though it, too, has closed. Montreal has gone from being the best city on the continent for Uyghur food to a wasteland.

                                                                                  2. I don't know about Chinese- but I tried the Maison Bulgog on St. Catherine, near st-marc or fort and it was very good. I had the bi bim bap with raw marinated beef. Unexpectedly delicious!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: migueldcf

                                                                                      There are tons of threads about Korean food on this board. A simple search will unearth them.

                                                                                    2. We've not had a lot of discussion here recently, so let me raise the question again - actually two questions: what Chinese restaurants top your list for taste, authenticity, etc? Also as a sidenote, does anyone have a recent impression of Niu Kee? It used to be a favourite of a number of Chowhounders... is it off your list?

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: toddmundt

                                                                                        Based on two visits in the last year (one of them this summer), I'd say Niu Kee is a shadow of its former self. A passable option if you're in the area but no longer worth going out of your way for.

                                                                                        For thrills and authenticity, make a beeline for Cuisine Szechuan.

                                                                                        1. re: carswell

                                                                                          I second that, cuisine szechuan!

                                                                                          1. re: carswell

                                                                                            Thanks Carswell and humbert! Of course, Cuisine Szechuan slipped my mind and I'm not sure how, since I would bet it's the most-mentioned restaurant here on the board in the past year, or close to it.

                                                                                        2. well i haven't gone out to too many chinese restaurants, but one of the most authentic ones i've been to are Restaurant Beijing for cantonese food

                                                                                          1. Pret a Manger for cantonese food. I love 2 eggplant dishes there:
                                                                                            1- Japanese tofu (so silky) with eggplant and ground pork;
                                                                                            2- General Tao eggplant -- it's deep fried battered eggplant with general tao sauce.

                                                                                            Dim Sum: Lotte Furama (snow pea steamed dumpling - the best b/c lots of garlic!!) and Foo War in the South Shore (they have tendons which are deliciously marinated)

                                                                                            For Peking Duck, I like Jardin de Pekin on Queen Mary...(btw: their Moo Shoo pork is pretty good too).

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: yumyum123

                                                                                              Lotte Furama threw in the towel several months ago. RIP.

                                                                                                1. re: sharkbait88

                                                                                                  Lotte Furama went bankrupt and closed roundabouts last January or February, unfortunately.

                                                                                                  1. re: kpzoo

                                                                                                    oh thats too bad :( i've heard that maybe they would move in to the new complex plaza thats being built on clark?

                                                                                                    1. re: sharkbait88

                                                                                                      Is that place still being built? I keep hearing of the opening date being pushed back...

                                                                                                      1. re: devilishlyj

                                                                                                        It's still under construction. Last time I checked, it looked like some some of the street level stores were almost finished.

                                                                                            2. Fu Kam Wah by Cote vertu metro on Decarie. So amazing. The dry beef with rice noodle dish and the Hakka dish are my absolute fave. They also do a mean shrimp wan ton soup (to share) and soft shell crab.

                                                                                              1. Which Chinese restaurants in Montreal producing 'wok hay' for their fried noodle dishes?

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: BLM

                                                                                                  my only understanding of wok hay comes from this:

                                                                                                  What exactly are you looking for?

                                                                                                2. Does anyone know what the closing hours of Beijing or Keung Kee are? We are looking to go tonight or sometime this week but we wouldn't be able to make it before 10pm.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: causeimhungry

                                                                                                    Beijing closes @ 2:00am.
                                                                                                    Don't know about Keung Kee.

                                                                                                      1. re: causeimhungry

                                                                                                        I don't remember whats written up-thread, but...
                                                                                                        I'd suggest their razor clams if available. Although not on the menu (you have to ask), they usually have beef tendon (like dim sum) for a decadent treat.

                                                                                                    1. re: causeimhungry

                                                                                                      Keung Kee also closes pretty late - it will most certainly still be open at 10 pm (I think it's midnight or 1 am weeknights, and a bit later weekends IIRC).

                                                                                                    2. At this point the best restaurants in the Concordia area are Kazu (by far), Pret a Manger, Seoul Chako, and Thali. As for the rest:

                                                                                                      1. Pret a Manger is now a shadow of its former self, but still good. The place used to be great because all the dishes were very carefully prepared with highly refined techniques and specific recipes. Ever since the original owner left, the prices have skyrocketed and the quality has gotten worse. The chef hasn't changed, but there's obviously something wrong- he has definitely lost some of his sense of taste. The sauces and tastes simply don't match the standard of what they were before. For example, the chicken hotpot always arrived with 5-7 mushrooms in a star pattern sizzling/caramelizing on the bottom of the pot, which added a "je-ne-sais-quoi". Now you'd be lucky to get 3, and they are mixed up with the rest, with too much sauce. It's just one of many examples there.

                                                                                                      The reason why Beijing is such a great restaurant is because most of the dishes taste exactly the same way they tasted 20 years ago. I wish Pret a Manger would learn something from them.

                                                                                                      2. Wok Cafe is still a step below Pret a Manger, but their prices have literally jumped 65% in the last 5-6 years, which is insane. The problem is that they stopped making their prices inclusive of tax, and then jacked up prices even higher.

                                                                                                      3. I was excited to see a new Chinese restaurant open up in Arahova's old location, next to Kan Bai and Pret a Manger. I sat down only to find the menu looking familiar- it turns out that the owners of Nouilles du Chef simply changed location and name. There is nothing new or exciting here. Quality of food is mediocre, slightly better than Soups and Noodles, but not by much.

                                                                                                      4. As for Qing Hua, in case any of you haven't seen the reviews on urbanspoon, the place has descended into the worst mediocrity you can imagine. It used to be my favorite resto on the planet, everything there was pure magic. The dumpling shells are now thick and pasty, there is really no soup inside to speak of, and the coleslaw salads taste like they are made by a 6 year old. Their apathy has been noticed by most people-- the last few times I went there, it was mostly empty. (They used to have lineups going out the door.)

                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: migueldcf

                                                                                                        *sigh* Sadly I've noticed the same thing about PM. Recently I ordered my fave Japanese tofu with minced spicy pork. The old PM used to do an acceptable approximation of the dish borrowed from Beijing. Now it's not so great: the porky bits are chunkier and not flavourful, the black beans are gone, the small dice onions and green peppers are clumsily hacked, there are a few dried hot peppers thrown in for heat, the tofu no longer has those expertly lightly-crisped edges. Nothing binds it together. The salt fish and chicken fried rice was only so-so: the rice too al dente, the chicken and fish in too large chunks, the flavour not there(how do you screw up fried rice?!). Kind of lazy cooking.
                                                                                                        Oh well.

                                                                                                        1. re: chilipepper

                                                                                                          I fully agree with you on the Japanese tofu. It used to be one of my favorite dishes, but now the pork sauce just doesn't taste the same. I brought it up with the new owner and he looked at me as if I was crazy; saying that the chef hadn't changed. It's unfortunate that he doesn't take complaints seriously. He works there every day, so he doesn't notice tiny gradual changes in recipes. When a regular client, who has been coming for years, complains that the recipes have changed, he should take note, because the client will have a much more objective point of view.

                                                                                                          I got the shrimp with XO sauce the other day. My how the mighty have fallen. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great.

                                                                                                          It is sad that their standards have slipped so far, but I'm not really sure that they can improve. The founder was a waiter at Beijing for 20 years, so he learned from the best. Beijing has really REALLY tight quality control- the owners haven't let their recipes change over decades.

                                                                                                          If you feel this way, you should say something to the owner and tell him that his recipes and attention to detail have changed, and you eat there less often as a result.

                                                                                                        2. re: migueldcf

                                                                                                          Any idea where the original owner of Pret a Manger went? Apparently he was planning to open a Chinese restaurant in West Island somewhere?

                                                                                                          1. re: BLM

                                                                                                            His name is Hai and he sold the PM restaurant and retired.

                                                                                                            I think you are thinking about Mary, the wife of the original founder of Wok Cafe. They opened up a franchise in the West Island, and most recently in Brossard.

                                                                                                          2. re: migueldcf

                                                                                                            I agree that the quality at PM has gone down. It's still okay but not exciting like before. Like Chilipepper I recently went there for my favourite dish, Japanese tofu with eggplant, and it was fine but not stellar like it used to be.

                                                                                                            When is the last time you went to Qing Hua? I went a couple of months ago and while I noted that the dumpling skins were not as delicate as before, they were still pretty good. I wouldn't call them "pasty". I thought that review was quite harsh. I guess I'll have to go back and see for myself.

                                                                                                            1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                              the last 3 times i went to PM were terrible. the worst part is that I talked it up to my girlfriend who thought i was absolutely crazy for taking her there. the most obnoxious part is that every time i feel so rushed by the staff - even when the restaurant is empty. also the last time i was there some 20 yr olds were running around like children and dropped a cake on my lap. LOL.

                                                                                                              1. re: mainsqueeze

                                                                                                                You should say something to the new owner of PM. Perhaps he will realize that people are fickle, and their loyalty lasts only as long as their favorite dishes.

                                                                                                                As for Qing Hua, I went there two days ago. Same story: pasty dumpling skins, no soup inside. They weren't bad, they were just ordinary dumplings.

                                                                                                                I remember going to their location on Saint-Marc and then their location on Lincoln. There were lineups of Qing Hua addicts outside. We'd talk excitedly among each other about what a fantastic experience it was and how the dumpling would literally explode in our mouths. I remember people biting down on dumplings and the hot soup would squirt out so far it would hit people at the next table.

                                                                                                                It really is too bad- they were Montreal's darling for a while, on the front page of the Gazette, talked about on every radio show and culinary website (especially ChowHound). But the owner didn't continue with the recipe that made him famous in the first place. Seriously, how dumb can you be?