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May 19, 2008 07:13 PM

Indian and Mediterranean Restaurants

I have friends from Florida coming to Montreal for the Jazz Festival and they love Mediterranean Sea Food and Indian cuisine. Re the former, I like Milos, Faros, Lezvos, any other suggestions?. Re Indian, I know very little, but maybe you can give me some suggestions.

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  1. I'm not sure about the seafood, but I do know that awesome Indian food is all up in Parc Ex along Jean Talon between Parc and Acadie. My favourite is Maison Indian Curry, but there are also a lot of people who like Bombay Mahal, Halal 786 (Pakistani food), Pushap (Vegetarian Food) and Punjab Palace. It's all really reasonably priced, some of them are BYOB and it's largely a lot better than what you can find downtown.

    8 Replies
    1. re: killedwithkarate

      Just a quick note, in case someone tries to bring their own bottle to Halal 786: This is a halal restaurant, which means no alcohol is permitted in the premises.

      1. re: emerilcantcook

        Skip the little hole in the walls in Parc Ex and take your out of town friends to Karma in the West Island. I used to enjoy going to Dev (a few years ago) on Victoria and (I think it's Dev's brother) at the one on Jarry (I forget the name, the one that kicks you out right after you're done your dinner...loll), plus a few other holes on Jean Talon.

        Yes, the prices are great at these places for what you get but I have stopped dining at these establishments because I find they are not taken care of (from a hygene perspective) and to be honest I find the food of a sub par quality (the taste is there but the I find the quality isn't).

        I am not one for the cliche over the top restos (i.e. Buonna Note, Globe, etc...), I refuse to go there, as I don't care for the "see and be seen crowd".

        Karma at first may come off just as pretentious as these places (but I don't think it is....heck it's in the West Island) but the food is excellent. Very very very fresh ingredients, they'll skimp a bit on the spiceiness (I guess because of the location/clientele) but just tell them you want a bit more zip to it. I've been there a few times and have not been disappointed although you will pay double what you pay at one of the Parc EX locations, it's well worth it.

        Bombay Choupati in the West Island is very good as well.

        As for Mediterranean/fish, the above posters have it covered.

        1. re: ios94

          Do you have an address or intersection (or even the suburb name) for Karma? I'm intrigued. Thanks.

          1. re: ios94

            I wouldn't skip Jean-Talon. Dehli Bombay is an example of an excellent resto on this strip that is definitely not a hole in the wall. While Halal 786 doesn't fall into this category either imho. I don't think you can paint all the restos in a neighbourhood with the same brush.

            Plus, some of the best retaurants around are little hole in the wall places.

          2. re: emerilcantcook

            My favorite resto for seafood is Ferreira. And at the risk of sounding very repetitive, Pied de Cochon serves a great seafood platter in the summer!
            As for Indian, I agree that Parc Ex has the largest selection of great Indian restos and they are definetely very reasonably priced.

            1. re: mangermtl2

              I went to Ferreira once, and had some really nice sardines, then tried their "Special Portuguese Rice", which they told me was like paella, which I love. It was more like rice soup, which I did not enjoy at all.

          3. re: killedwithkarate

            I agree 100% on Maison Indian Curry and Bombay Mahal. Fantastic.

            Indians that know also rate them very highly.

            1. re: The Chemist

              There is a new (or newish) Punjabi BYOW on Jean-Talon in Parc-Extension, very close to m├ętro du Parc. India's Oven 454 Jean-Talon West 514.509.8678 / 514.772.5767

              I went in to get a business card (they gave me the takeaway menu) and have a look at their menu. Fairly standard, except for the goat feet soup, the quail, the goat curry. Good choice of vegetarian dishes and several Indian breads. Unlike the Punjab Palace, the restaurant, while modest, looks very clean. Not expensive. Was told they are now closed on Wednesdays.

          4. Setting aside the sorry fact that Montreal isn't really a world-class seafood city, anyone looking for Mediterranean seafood should hotfoot it to Ferreira. Whie Indian, especially downtown, is no great shakes, Park Ex isn't that far away from Jazz Fest venues by bus (the 80 from Place des Arts), metro or taxi. The Lahori fish at Halal 786 alone is worth the trip. You might also want to check out the Indian resto thread:

            8 Replies
            1. re: carswell

              Here's their website---

              What part of the city do you live in?
              It's in Pierrefonds, it's about a 20ish min drive for me (from Snowdon area), take the 40 West all the way to St Jean and then head North.

              1. re: ios94

                I agree about Karma , it is a notch above the rest but you get what you pay for. In the same vein, another recent discovery of mine is Masala Mantram in Laval. Really excellent north Indian food, an extensive list of unusual curries that are expertly prepared and a pleasant atmosphere (though not as fancy as Karma). The owner is very knowledgeable about indian cuisine and would like to introduce more dishes that are not commonly found in your typical indian resto if only he has the clientele to support this. So far I have sampled the samosa (the pastry is very light, flaky and not greasy at all), the hariyali salad (mixed lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers in a light yoghurt-mint dressing), the murgh makhanwalla (tender pieces of tandoori chicken breast in a creamy tomato based curry), the lamb balti ( a stand-out dish of boneless lamb in a curry with peppers and onions - mild to moderate spiciness), the naan (warm, buttery,doughy, pillowy goodness!!) and the lachcha paratha ( an amazing croissant-like type of bread). The service may be a bit slow but I think it's because each dish is made to order; well worth the wait in my opinion! The prices are 10-15$ for mains but as I said before you get what you pay for; the quality is all there! I hope some of you will check it out and let me know what you think.

                Masala Mantram
                3424 Boul Cartier W, Laval, QC H7V1K2, CA

                1. re: hungryann

                  I have many friends who enjoy Karma, although I thought it was just okay myself. The decor is fabulous, the outdoor terrace, even if it gives on to a parking lot, is a glamorous spot for a pre-dinner drink, and they let you visit the wine cellar if you ask. The owner also owns Mat and Nat, the vegan handbag line, which is kind of ironic considering the huge meat portions served at Karma.

                  The lamb is apparently very good, but it's the kind of place where a side bowl of rice will cost you 5$ and there are no vegetarian sides, you need to order a veg main dish to share if you want more than just meat. If you order the lamb rogan josh, say, you get just that, lamb, no rice, bread or veggies, it all has to be ordered separately.

                  Service is students in low-cut dresses, so don't expect anything very polished. The owner will come and chat with you a long time if you feel like being treated special, though. He also parks his Mercedes right in front and points it out to you if you are interested. To me, it's a bit of a wannabe place, but you're not going to leave disappointed in the food.

                  1. re: Venusia

                    "you need to order a veg main dish to share if you want more than just meat. If you order the lamb rogan josh, say, you get just that, lamb, no rice, bread or veggies, it all has to be ordered separately."

                    This doesn't disturb me - in fact I've never been to a single Indian restaurant, in Montreal or elsewhere, where this *isn't* the case. They all serve family-style, like at most Chinese restaurants. (Except for lunch specials, which are another story!)

                    I probably won't make a special trip out to Karma based on all these reviews, but would certainly check it out if I already have to be out in the West Island for something else. Thanks!

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      LOL, then let me point you in the direction of that most excellent Indian restaurant in the West Island, Bombay Choupati. They serve a variety of dinners, where you get an assortment of rice, potato curry, main and naan, and they also serve thalis that include puris and dessert.

                      In fact, I've been to quite a few Indian restaurants that serve thalis, Sahib also comes to mind.

                      1. re: Venusia

                        Thalis are a special case, absolutely. You didn't mention the word "thali" and I only ever have thalis for lunch - I think of them as a cheap-lunch thing, personally! When I go for dinner with a group we always share several main dishes and sides. Will make a mental note that Karma does not have thalis. :-)

                  2. re: hungryann

                    Wonderful - I live literally around the corner from Masala Mantram which opened recently, but haven't yet tried it because I've been faithful to my mainstay Indian restaurant, oddly also in Laval: Tandoori Xpress, . I'll post a review / compare of both places. To me, Tandoori Xpress is a friendlier version of Bombay Mahal with fresher ingredients.

                    Will definitely try to check out Masala Mantram though, your description of the murgh makhanwalla and the balti got my attention!

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