Moti mehal - lunch experience
Our family of four arrived in Mtl from Ottawa yesterday around lunchtime. It was our son's 15th birthday, and he had chosen to try out Moti Mehal, since we were on our way to JT market. (We've eaten twice at Bombay Choupati on des Sources, and loved it both times...)
First...it was just after 12h00, and the place was completely deserted, save for one person waiting for takeout. A gentleman (who I think was the owner), told us to seat ourselves. He plunked down a pitcher of water and four glasses, along with the menus. As we're all vegetarian, we decided to try the thali...a bargain at $5.99. Our order arrived not too long after. The plate included a tasty chickpea curry, and what I believe was aloo palak and shahi paneer. Accompanying rice was just so-so, as was the "chef's salad" (head lettuce with what tasted like Kraft bottled dressing). However, my daughter was especially thrilled to see the server return with four big, hot naan breads. These were very good. At first blush, the paneer dish seemed quite tasty, but after a couple more bites, we realized how sweet it was. Even our 10 year-old sweet-tooth didn't want to finish it. The texture of the sauce was very nice and silky, but it was really over-the-top sweet. (The teen grudgingly finished off everyone's leftovers :) )
A word on the service. The owner/server was pleasant enough, but there really was no service to speak of. Once he had deposited the food, he never returned until it was time to clear the table. He asked us if we wanted anything else, but we declined, thinking we'd get something sweet at JT. The bill never arrived. Our meter was about to run out, so my husband and son left to go check on the car, leaing myself and our daughter waiting. I placed my Visa card at the end of the table. The owner walked by, looked at the card, smiled at me....and left again to go stand at the bar. After a few more minutes, I realized he wasn't coming back. I finally got up, walked over and asked if I should pay at the cash register. He nodded "yes", and afterwards offered a candy to my daughter.
I guess for $5.99 plate, we really can't complain, but given the choice, I would rather eat at Bombay Choupati. I thought the food and service was superior.
lol quirky Montreal service. The "not bringing you your bill" game used to drive me nuts too, but it seems to be more prevalent in areas with little tourist contact. I think it's actually polite, e.g. not trying to rush you out of the restaurant. Sometimes I ask if je paye à la caisse before my food has even arrived.