HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >

Kitschy Restaurant Wanted

Daiya Jun 18, 2008 09:37 AM

I need a place with a balance of kitschy decor and good food. I'm looking for something with a fun, different or weird setting that is suitable for a group of 8-10. So far I've thought of Khyber Pass, Kremlin (on Beaver Hall) and Bar-B-Barn, but none of them are quite right for this occasion. Help, please!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. bomobob RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 09:51 AM

    I understand the Tiki place out near the Big Owe is very kitschy, but I don't imagine the food is anything to write home about.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bomobob
      moh RE: bomobob Jun 18, 2008 10:12 AM

      Dang! I had a chance to eat there the other day, but had to turn down the opportunity. I love kitschy Tiki places! I don't think you necessarily go to them for the food.

      1. re: moh
        Daiya RE: moh Jun 18, 2008 03:57 PM

        The photos of that place, Jardin Tiki, look amazing. BUT judging by the two internet reviews I found, the food sounds pretty poor, even for an old and worn all-you-can-eat Chinese place.

        1. re: Daiya
          moh RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 04:09 PM

          Oh dear, that's too bad... it is always surprising how one can mess up Chinese food...

    2. carswell RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:03 AM

      Le Piton de la Fournaise? Fairly decent Reunion Island food in a kitschy beach shack setting (though nothing I know of approaches the late Bazoo in the kitsch department).

      1. e
        emerilcantcook RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:21 AM

        Kitchy, not sure, but definitely weird: Nantha's kitchen. The guy is nuts and the food is pretty good (but seems overpriced after seeing him shop at Segal's almost every time I go there). The place is small (actually it is an art gallery) and you might have to close the shop for your occasion, which might lead to more crazy-Nantha scenes. BYOB.

        I think Uyghur might have been interesting with its non stop Uyghur-Idol type broadcasting and really really old fashioned decor; but they no more. Are there any other Chinatown restaurants that broadcast bad TV; complemented with bad decor? I miss Uyghur...

        Never been, but Abiata is reportedly decorated with leopard print, animal sculptures and other faux-African theme.

        Another weird setting is O'noir. The food is meh, but you eat in pitch dark and it is an experience (and kind of an expensive one I think, I didn't pay). Not for the squeamish though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: emerilcantcook
          lagatta RE: emerilcantcook Jun 18, 2008 12:33 PM

          Where is Nantha now?

          1. re: lagatta
            emerilcantcook RE: lagatta Jun 18, 2008 02:29 PM

            68 Duluth Est. (514) 284-5696. Open for dinner only. It is also listed and Cash & Curry or Cash & Cari

            They serve Conflict of Duck Penang and other Nantha specialities. Pricier than expected (a seafood pad thai cost us 15 bucks), but we had a few very nice "somewhat special" dinners. Still Bangkok has much better pad-thai, and definitely for cheaper. Still one wonders how he makes that miso-tom yum.

        2. p
          pyropaul99 RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:29 AM

          How about the Mediaeval place somewhere north of the Metropolitain? I forget the name and exact location (maybe St Denis). It's definitely fun for a group and I recall the food was much better than I expected - though this was about 7-8 years ago. Not sure if it's still going.


          5 Replies
          1. re: pyropaul99
            Zenthar RE: pyropaul99 Jun 18, 2008 11:03 AM

            Do you mean L'Auberge du Dragon Rouge? It's on Lajeunesse.

            I personally prefer Le Cabaret Du Roy: much more seating and they take reservations. The mood is much more Nouvelle France than medieval.

            1. re: Zenthar
              pyropaul99 RE: Zenthar Jun 18, 2008 11:26 AM

              Yes, that's the one! Speaking of Cabaret, are there any other "performance" restaurants in Montreal? I had fun at one in Winnipeg in April that was doing a sitcom performance and dinner.


              1. re: pyropaul99
                eoj RE: pyropaul99 Jun 26, 2008 03:24 PM

                what happened to that "iron chef-esque" restaurant that was in the works awhile back?

                1. re: eoj
                  moh RE: eoj Jun 26, 2008 03:31 PM

                  You mean Duel?


                  This might be an excellent choice. The concept is fun, and the food has been reported to be good (Note: I have not been). It isn't completely kitschy, and it is a little high end, but it might be amusing for the guest of honour!

                  1. re: eoj
                    kpzoo RE: eoj Jun 26, 2008 03:34 PM

                    You mean Restaurant Duel?


                    Duel: Montreal's own "Kitchen Stadium"

            2. m
              moh RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:30 AM

              BTW, can we get more details on the occasion? Why were the three restos you suggested not right? - Might help us make more appropriate suggestions!

              4 Replies
              1. re: moh
                Daiya RE: moh Jun 18, 2008 04:27 PM

                MORE INFO: I'm looking for something less quétaine and more historically accurate but painfully out of date. Decorated with memorabilia of an era that is not hip is great; a Vatican City themed-restaurant would be perfect. The guest of honour has a distinct sense of humour that appreciates kitsch rather than simply retro. A fine line, but when I see it I will know. Thanks for all the ideas so far! I will look into them. Keep it coming!

                1. re: Daiya
                  moh RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 06:24 PM

                  Well, what a shame we are not in TO, the House of Chan would have fit your bill perfectly (Chinese restaurant specializing in steak, very kitschy retro feel -hee hee hee).

                  This will be tough. Will think hard tonight.

                  1. re: Daiya
                    Fritzy RE: Daiya Jun 20, 2008 09:25 AM

                    Not Vatican City, but many of the bishop posters, church items and Gregorian chant in the restrooms at Chez Levesque bistro display "a distinct sense of humour."

                    1. re: Fritzy
                      moh RE: Fritzy Jun 26, 2008 03:32 PM

                      Yes, Chez Levesque is amusing. But I find the food a little lacklustre there, good but not great, considering what you pay. A little heavy handed I would say.

                2. zekesgallery RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:35 AM


                  My suggestions would be the Binerie Mount Royal, the Orange Julep, Snowden Deli, Alpenhaus, and/or Dic Ann's

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: zekesgallery
                    kpzoo RE: zekesgallery Jun 18, 2008 10:51 AM

                    The OP may want to keep in mind that the Binerie is very small - I've never been there but I heard it's tiny, so may be difficult for a group that large. And of course the OJ only has outdoor tables. (But it's definitely kitchy!)

                  2. kpzoo RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:44 AM

                    I'd say Maison Hantée but someone on the board once said the food is blah. Chalet BBQ is definitely kitchy (think Swiss ski lodge circa 1940) and the food is hearty but pretty rustic (and no good if you have any vegetarians or folks who hate chicken), not sure that's what you're looking for. I agree with Moh - if you can send more details about the group and the occasion, more finely tuned suggestions will be possible!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kpzoo
                      zekesgallery RE: kpzoo Jun 18, 2008 10:50 AM


                      Maison Hantée was closed by the fire department a couple of months ago.

                      1. re: zekesgallery
                        kpzoo RE: zekesgallery Jun 18, 2008 11:02 AM

                        No way! It did look like a disaster zone, but I always figured that was part of the décor. ;-)

                    2. v
                      Venusia RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 10:49 AM

                      I find El Zaziumm pretty kitchy and fun for a group, but don't remember much about the food. One of my acquaintances celebrated her b-day at La Menara in Old Montreal (Moroccan food), and it sounded fun: lots of lanterns, pillows, booths and curtains, and they have a belly dancing show.

                      1. m
                        moh RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 11:01 AM

                        I wouldn't call this kitschy, but I would call it unique: Khaima on Fairmount. Mauritanian food, delicious but limited menu, it is whatever the owner has made that day, he is dressed in the traditional garb of his homeland, and he tells you about his culture and cuisine. The tea ceremony is great! He is a gracious host.

                        1. t
                          thomasein RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 12:21 PM

                          You want kitsch served with a big dollop of weird on top? You don't get bigger helpings than at the vegetarian restaurant Le Spirite Lounge ( 1201 Ontario E., 514.524-5264 ).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: thomasein
                            buspirone RE: thomasein Jun 19, 2008 09:01 AM

                            oof - weird is right.

                            The food's nothing special and their "rules" are just damn insulting. This place is on my "avoid at all costs" list after just one meal there.

                            Agree that the decor is fun though.

                          2. SnackHappy RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 03:18 PM

                            I haven't been in years, but Les Cabotins dans la Mercerie has good French inspired food and a fun, kitschy decor.

                            Cabotins dans la Mercerie
                            4821 Sainte-Catherine Est
                            (514) 251-8817

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              kpzoo RE: SnackHappy Jun 18, 2008 03:28 PM

                              > Les Cabotins dans la Mercerie

                              What does that mean? Me French not good enough and the dictionary translation's not making much sense :-)

                              1. re: kpzoo
                                carswell RE: kpzoo Jun 18, 2008 03:48 PM

                                cabotin = show-off or ham (as in actor, not pork)
                                mercerie = sewing materials

                                "au restaurant Cabotins dans la mercerie (4821 Sainte-Catherine Est / (514) 251-8817), où les serveurs et cuisiniers portent des caleçons en guise de couvre-chef!" [at the Cabotins dans la mercierie restaurant ... where the waiters and kitchen staff wear underpants as headgear]

                                You can see a couple of waiters and some of the interior in the following video clip:

                                And is the diner sitting behind Pelletier wearing a clown's nose?!

                              2. re: SnackHappy
                                nonpareils RE: SnackHappy Jun 18, 2008 03:40 PM

                                I've never been there but it certainly looks interesting, haha.

                                1. re: SnackHappy
                                  nonpareils RE: SnackHappy Jun 18, 2008 03:42 PM

                                  never been there, but it sure does look interesting. thanks!

                                  (a picture i found: http://flickr.com/photos/andre060/186...)

                                2. redroses RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 07:21 PM

                                  how about the little charcuterie/restaurant on st paul near youville in old montreal across from olive and gourmando.
                                  very kitschy decor and awesom alsacian food

                                  1. redroses RE: Daiya Jun 18, 2008 07:22 PM

                                    what about cafe santropol?

                                    1. d
                                      Daiya RE: Daiya Jul 3, 2008 02:36 PM

                                      OP report on the dinner: So many great ideas. Unfortunately I didn’t get to use any of them! The guest of honour casually mentioned that he wanted to try “Chinese fondue”, so we ended up at the Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Chinatown. Not kitschy in decor, but the logo and name did yield some chuckles. We got there early for dinner and were able to sit all together at one long table. Lots of fun was had choosing from the wide array food (small pieces of meat, seafood, tofu, noodles, vegetables, etc.) and more celebration occurred as we mastered cooking it in our boiling bowls of broth. (The spicy option has a fair kick, but I shy away from quantifying it.) We ate very well, picky eaters and hot pot virgins alike.

                                      Show Hidden Posts