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Restaurant Congee

c
chilipepper Jan 29, 2008 11:32 AM

Rather than go back to other threads where this was mentioned, starting this here:

A pleasant, tasty visit on Sunday night.

The congees were thick and delicately flavoured - pork bones? Nice-sized bowls, about meal soup sized (average six bucks).

Had the beef and sea bass, lots of slices of tender beef and lots of chunks of fish, with slivers of green onion and ginger. Yummy and comforting on a freezing night -reminded me of congees of childhood, instead of the bland, frozen-tasting ones in most restos where they have, like, two choices: beef or (unknown) fish with salted duck egg.

A friend had the lai wan special, with ( I may be missing an ingredient) meatballs, peanuts and pork belly - no, not flanc de porc as she sadly discovered but the white pork stomach lining found in tripe and such - which she enjoyed nevertheless with a side order of pickled egg. There were other extras like fried dough sticks and spicy Chinese daikon.

Amusing descriptions of health benefits, nutritional stats, and historical backgrounds of the congees!

To round things off, we ordered sides of salt and spicy squid, chinese steamed buns stuffed with marinated pork, and a pork sticky rice in a banana leaf, the latter two part of the dim sum-my offerings. The squids, the dish on the small side, were very good, not rubbery, with scads of diced onions, green and red peppers and chopped hot peppers. The two mini buns were soft and sweet on the outside, savoury on the inside - pretty good, as was the sticky rice, also on the small side.

So many desserts, so little time! So I had the monthly special Malaysian ChaCha hot sweet soup : red, green, yellow and white beans with seaweed and "a splash" of coconut milk - mostly like a red bean or green bean soup but with many different beans and liked it anyhow!

One friend had the cold sweet custard soup with grapefruit and mango(?), I forget now, which she slurped up with great enthusiasm.

Another friend had the "chinese gnocchi" - cute, round sticky glutinous rice balls stuffed with sweet black sesame paste , sprinkled with ground peanuts. Delish.

I had the iced herbal black jelly drink to bring me back to old times - refreshing. Tea menu looked intriguing too with traditional green, black and white teas and such, and korean teas, too. Will try next time.

Total bill about 40 bucks.

The young waiter was very nice, helpful, offering all kinds of descriptions and suggestions.

It's a pleasant, cozy, zen-like atmosphere with high ceilings, about 30 seats, dark wood chairs and tables, matching decorative wall hangings, no music or radio or tv blaring.

Quiet, too, with only two Chinese families with babies and young 'uns there who left after we came in, followed by one Francophone guy, one Chinese guy for a takeout order, and a gang of students who came in when we left.

Definitely heading back soon, especially for the desserts! They had those plain steamed buns I love so much especially when dipped in condensed milk -mmmmmm. They had some other stuff that sounded good on the specials list that the waiter says changes every month - they had this hand ground peanut mousse dessert that sounded good but they ran out - rats!

Too bad it's across the bridge! (1200 Rome right next to Marie Victorin, in a strip mall, between a dep and a florist, kitty corner to the Golden Bowl Szechuan Thai place)
Hinted to them that they should open up a branch downtown!

  1. k
    KT MTL Jan 29, 2008 11:14 PM

    Was the guy who served you young, maybe late 20s? He's been there every other time I've visited. Either he's the owner or he's always working.

    1. b
      BLM Jan 29, 2008 02:45 PM

      When I was at Restaurant Congee earlier this month, I saw their specials list for January & it was extensive(all their monthly specials are not on the regular menu). I'm sure before they would even consider opening a downtown location, they need to make sure their current location is viable. I live near-by & from asking people around the area, Restaurant Congee is not very busy(partly why I hadn't heard of Restaurant Congee until the recent Chowhound posting). Maybe our recent Restaurant Congee discussion will give them some extra business.

      1. m
        moh Jan 29, 2008 01:19 PM

        Great review, and thanks for the warning about the Lai wan congee, I too would have been disappointed if it was not pork belly the meat...

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