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Jan 9, 2009 07:06 PM

New Chinese Strip mall on Taschereau

westaust and hungryann were commenting on the upcoming Chinese strip mall on Taschereau a few months back.
Stopped in late this afternoon.
The new Kim Phat anchors one side and is fully operational (I think they opened in December). There's a sign up for Kam Fung (resto) on the other end, but crate paper still covers the windows (as well as the majority of the rest of the mall).
Theres a mobile phone storefront as well as a tea outlet. Not sure whats going to occupy the rest.
Kim Phat is huge, well lit, well organized and laid out, and well stocked. Its a jewel.
Stopped in to mostly take a look, maybe pick up a few things...walked out with $98 worth of stuff including $3.99/kg pork ribs, fresh ox tail, dozen live cherrystone clams (a measly $4.09), coupla chili sauces I haven't seen, and dirt-cheap soup bones.
If you're so inclined, you can also find the likes of duck eggs by the dozen, incubated hens eggs, whole fresh beef tongue under $10 apiece, geoduck, and live whelk.
Nice place, but don't go hungry...

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  1. I mentioned it in the Restaurant openings -2008 thread recently. The new Kim Phat opened just before mid-December. Also a new Mongolian hot pot establishment is opening in this Asian strip mall. I didn't mention before, that there will be also be a new Vietnamese restaurant & new Korean restaurant.

    28 Replies
    1. re: BLM

      Kam Fung and Mongolian Hot Pot was suppose to open up late last year, but from what I know, they are having a bit of a speed bump with the city. One of the main reason is the traffic Kim Phat created coming out of that mall ever since they opened. Right when you come out of the mall, it immediately leads you to a spit that leads you to either the Champlain bridge exit, Highway 10 south to Quartier Dix30, or Taschereau East. That section was already very busy before the mall opened up. Imagine when Kam Fung opens up with their 600 seater? I heard they also have parking space issues. There is a rear exit already in place, but is blocked for the moment. The issue there is the traffic it will cause going through the residential neighborhood. The signs for both the restaurant is already up, we'll see what happens to them.

      1. re: Jaetee

        There is a maison Kam Fung on Thimens in VSL in the strip mall corner of Marcel-Laurin. Are they the same as the one in Chinatown? I always thought so since I have seen them listed together but the website does not speak of the VSL location.

        1. re: hungryann

          That Kam Fung on Thimens is always a disappointment. Head towards President - oh, now called Tong Por - on 12242 Blvd. Laurentien if you are anywhere in that neighbourhood.

          1. re: KillerMing2009

            Is that in a strip mall across from Canadair

            1. re: KillerMing2009

              Thanks for the tip. I went to Tong Por recently and it's pretty good. I didn't have a huge appetite and soI didn't try too many dishes in order to compare them to the defunct President but it was definitely a contender and future visits are planned.

              1. re: hungryann

                Four of us went for dim-sum to Le Pres..oops, Tong Por for the first time since the change today. Next time we'll be heading to Brossard. The quality of the food hasn't changed noticeably, but the selection has really deteriorated. "What's that?....oh, taro again". The same cart circling endlessly, getting refilled, and nothing new coming out of the kitchen, We had to ask for everything that used to be standard fare.
                Popularity sure hasn't waned. It was about half full at 11:00, but by noon there were 30-40 people crowded into the front waiting for tables. They had new plates and bowls on the table before we'd even finished, which is just a bit too pushy for anyone's tastes.

                1. re: bomobob

                  It's actually still the same owners of President, but they went into partnership with Tong Por. I heard the partnership also included the location in Chinatown's Tong Por, but can't confirm.

            2. re: hungryann

              The owner of the one in VSL used to be partners with the one in Chinatown, and then he later bought the VSL location outright... be he sold it to a new owner. I was there on the saturday of the Chinese new year celebrations with lion dance. Most years that place is packed but this year it was a disappointment. The restaurant was barely half full.

              It's a shame to always see places go downhill after a change of management.

              1. re: hungryann

                Kam Fung in VSL may have the same owner as the one in China town but there is no comparison. I frequent the one in China town often...The dim sum is amazing! The one in VSL is really disapointing and not the same at all..

            3. re: BLM

              What happened to plans of T&T opening in the Mtl area?

              1. re: hungryann

                I'll try to find out if there's any update. Last I heard, they were scouting for a location in the Montreal-area.

                1. re: hungryann

                  Just asked around, I was told, T&T have decided against to opening a location here at this time.

                    1. re: hungryann

                      Based on a visit to T &T from about half a year ago:

                      A few years ago, this news would have been a disappointment. But I feel that there has been a significant improvement in the availability of Asian products here in Montreal in the last few years, and I am hopeful that this trend will continue. The product selection at Kim Phat is close to that of the T&T at Steeles, and every time I go to places like Marche Hawaii I see an increased selection of products. This is also starting to be true of the Korean grocery stores. T&T is still great, and I love going there, but I am much less wistful when I leave. And my load of products is much smaller, as I find there are more products that I know I can find in Montreal.

                      Fresh seafood selection in the stores is still pitiful here in Montreal. But I think this is true of Montreal in general.

                      We are doing ok for Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai ingredients, as well as Southeast Indian ingredients. I would comment that the Korean scene still has a ways to go. My parents were thrilled with the large Korean supermarkets in Toronto. They got very good quality meat cut in Korean styles (LA short ribs, appropriately thin bulgogi, etc). and they also got some great kimchi in large quantities. The Korean stores here are definitely better than they were 5 years ago, but there is room for improvement.

                      1. re: hungryann

                        I heard there was tremendous resistance by the local grocers since T&T was known to have aggressive pricing policies. That's too bad. You could use the competition.

                        I find big price differences in fruit (during the winter), ice cream, vegetables between Montreal and Toronto grocers.

                  1. re: BLM

                    Just wanted to add that the hot pot joint is a Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot franchise.

                    1. re: SnackHappy

                      Thanks. I'll check out the Chinese strip mall again to at least see what's going on there lately, as I live nearby.

                      1. re: BLM

                        Drove by tonight and I saw a marquee for "FranchiseMart"...some new store?!

                      2. re: SnackHappy

                        Now I recognize it's the Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot there. Otherwise no signage. It hasn't opened it.

                        1. re: BLM

                          Only one restaurant has opened so far at this new Chinese strip mall. The Vietnamese restaurant Sao Sao, & it seems the owner of this establishment has a Vietnamese restaurant on CDN, named Dao Vien(5623A CDN). Anyone eaten at Dao Vien restaurant, & is it good?

                          1. re: BLM

                            I'd rate Dao Vien above average. Generally speaking, the pho isn't as good as nearby Pho Lien's (but then again whose is), though I recently enjoyed a vermicelli soup with tomatoes and a sea snail-like crustacean (ivory flesh with black spots) from the Gaspé. Subtle and complex with a good balance between components. The bean sprouts were pristine; the basil could have been fresher. Northern Vietnamese dishes are a specialty. Steamed rice rolls stuffed with ground meat and topped with crisp-fried shallots and cliantro is plain but delicious in a homey kind of way. They also have the usual range of brochettes, none of which I've tried. It's BYOB and claim to be MSG-free. A fair proportion of the patrons appears to be Vietnamese.

                            1. re: carswell

                              Thanks for you feedback on Dao Vien. It seems Sao Sao restaurant officially opens tomorrow(tried to go there today, but it was closed). They might of opened for a little bit over the weekend, to test things out(the 'Maintenant Ouvert' sign were already up there over the weekend).

                              1. re: BLM

                                After a trip to Kim Phat (that place is awesome!), we decided to try this new Viet resto, Sao Sao. The place seemed packed, that's typically a good sign. Endless supply of Asian's getting their groceries next door, creating instant traffic, potentially a great business model if the food can hold up.

                                Sao Sao just opened up two weeks ago or so, so I suspect the hype will be temporary once people realize how bad the chow is. Oh, the decor is lovely, by the way.

                                Started with the spring roll with peanut sauce. Spring roll was the most decent part of the meal. However, the sauce was watery and rather bland. I think the resto could easily add some kick to that if they wanted to.

                                Had the grilled pork with bean sprouts and vermicelli. The portion size was - disappointingly - a lot smaller than expected (as in, "you eat the whole thing, and you're still hungry"). When ordering, we asked the waiter if it came with some lettuce and fine herbs which was specifically confirmed. (we love making a few luscious lettuce roll-ups before digging into our bowls).

                                The meal came, and again we were disappointed to see that whatever lettuce was there was shredded. Not cool, but oh well.

                                The kicker was that there was nary an herb in the meal. Not even a lone spec of cilantro. No cilantro, no basil, no mint, no nothing. Called the waiter over and asked about that. It was quite comical actually, the waiter grabs my utensils from my hands, starts poking around in the bowl with them and starts claiming that he did not misrepresent because my bean sprouts counted as "fines herbes vietnamiennes". LOL. We told him that didn't fly, and to his credit he brought out some real herbs 5 minutes later after some discussion.

                                And thank goodness he did, because whatever it took to mask the meat was desparately needed. The pork was incredibly dry and dare I say gristly. What a let down.

                                Oh, it didn't stop there. Our "Vietnamese coffees" with the condensed milk lacked the condensed milk. The server (a different one this time) graciously went back to add some in. Took a sip, and folks, this was NOT the good strong Vietnamese coffee one would expect, we were dealing in coffee flavored water.

                                The server admitted that it was probably human error (a dosing issue) but did not offer to re-make it, nor take it off the bill.

                                Can't comment on the quality of the Pho (we didn't have that) and I certainly won't be going back to find out.

                                1. re: CroqueMadame

                                  Good reporting, thanks.
                                  I usually say that trying a new resto during their first 6 months doesn't really count.

                                  Seems that these folks are really off the mark, both food and service wise ("the waiter grabs my utensils from my hands, starts poking around in the bowl" - gotta love that!).

                                  Based on this (the report, not the poking), I'd probably pass. Maybe give 'er a try after 6 months or so...if they're still open.

                                  1. re: porker

                                    I've tried Sao Sao twice recently(also tried their Dao Vien twice recently to compare). I liked most of their food, but service is their big big problem(among the worse I've ever experienced). Sao Sao menu is not the exactly the same as Dao Vien(they have some dishes not on Dao Vien's menu & vice versa). I didn't consider posting before about my meals at Sao Sao because I'm willing to give them some slack, because they're so new. I don't really think it's fair for Montreal restaurant critics in papers to regularly review restaurants when it's not even opened for a month(it seems like they all do it now).

                              2. re: carswell

                                This new Vietnamese restaurant on Taschereau from the Dao Vien people is also MSG-free. Haven't sampled their dishes yet.

                              3. re: BLM

                                Food - sucked
                                Service - sucked even more!

                                I don't consider "children" as waiters as a positive indicator towards the restaurant!!

                                And the prices weren't even good -- I found a hair in my food which looked more like a pubic hair. I ask the waitress "um..there;s a hair in my food" and she dares to ask me "what kind of hair is it?" Then I said "I don't think I shoulkd say what I think it is"
                                She relunctantly decided to change my order which I waited 20 more minutes for -- and I had to ask for a discount (the 2nd meal was more expensive) when the bill came.
                                It was the first and definitely the last time I would be stepping into that restaurant!!!

                                oh.. and their "side salad" was a gathering of coriander (with the mud still on it) on the side of my plate. Stems included -- noteven washed or plucked off the stem. What a hygiene hazard!!

                        2. Is that new strip mall on Trashereau, just west of the 10? I'd like to check it out, but that street goes for miles. Google claims there's a Kim Phat at the location I've indicated, but I don't know if that's what you're referring to.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: blork

                            I don't know if Google is updated for the new mall, however its JUST south of the 10 (like 300 meters). So much JUST south, as Jaetee points out, that it creates possible traffic problems.
                            If you come off the Champlain, exit Taschereau and take a right. You'll see the mall on the left, but its a divided road - you'll have to turn around at the next light.
                            It is a bit of a pain getting into the place as you have to be on the correct side. Same as exiting - you have no choice but to head north on Taschereau...

                            I kinda thought it was in a difficult place as I was leaving the parking lot.
                            " Imagine when Kam Fung opens up with their 600 seater? " has me thinking even more!

                            Another question, Is it going to be a similar Kam Fung as the Ruby Rouge (formerly Kam Fung) in Chinatown?

                            1. re: porker

                              Yes, it will be done the same way. They just wanted a spot that will allow them to hold wedding receptions also.

                          2. Just recently sampled the Korean resto in the strip mall - had the japchae and the ox bone soup both were about $5.50 each - I thought it was quite decent and I was plenty full on those portions.. I didn't do the pick up but it seems the food was cooked directly in front of you. Those around me that had the grilled meats were satisfied. But I'm no Korean food expert - only fell in love with japchae after having a home cooked version.

                            Note on Kim Phat: watch the expiry/best before dates on what you buy. They may seem price competitive but often their goods are beyond those dates.

                            Anyway, I've been disappointed with their choice in location and the small parking lot. I mean that lot was empty for years - it's no wonder there were no takers until now. Also, the decor/lighting/something doesn't make me want to shop there like I did at the previous location. So many of us are now hitting the smaller grocer in the mall where Sin Jing Hua is located.