- BloorWestie May 28, 2006 02:40 PM
My research has lead me to believe there are 2 Tibetan restaurants in Montreal...Shambala & OM...any reviews, recs or thoughts on either of them???
i have never tried om but shambala is one of my standbys. the momos are delicous and i always order them as an appetizer or in one of the gigantic soups. the names of the dishes elude me but i can say that the food is generally good, though not out-of-this-world spectacular. i enjoy the soup with the hand-pulled noodles as well as one of the vegetarian stir-frys that features shitake mushrooms. the dessert is pretty awful though: canned fruit with a sprinkle of granola and a dallop of yogurt. the atmosphere is calming and the service is generally good. hope this helps. is om the tibetan place on ontario just west of st-denis? if its not, then there is another tibetan place in that area.
There is indeed a third restaurant, which, I *believe*, was the first to be established tibetan restaurant in Montreal. Information on the three are below this message.
I've eaten at Shambala and Chez Gyatse, and I like both. They both serve that fresh but very mildly spiced comfort food. I do prefer the soup at Shambala, with its hand-pulled noodles. However, a serious Tibetan-foodie friend of mine prefers Chez Gyatse bar none (which I think is actually, by signage outside, just called Maison Tibetain or something like that). He thinks it is more reasonably priced and more authentic. (I don't know if this is authentically Tibetan, but if you like your dumplings pan fried, go to Shambala: you cannot get them fried at Chez Gyatse - at least for the non-bread-type dumplings.)
Atmosphere at Shambala is a lot better, brighter, open, taller ceilings (if this is important to you.)
For either restaurant, leave plenty of time for a lingering dinner because service is very slow; however I think this might be part of the Tibetan culture, as a "meditative" eating experience because certainly the waiters are very warm and helpful.
Chez Gyatse, Montreal's first Tibetan restaurant run by Champa Kashi is at 317 Ontario St. east (2 blocks west of St-Denis,) tel. 514-844-6461.
Shambala Restaurant offers vegetarian variations and some meat dishes at 3439 St-Denis, tel. 514-842-2242.
Gelek (Gerard) Achöd 's OM Restaurant serving Tibetan & North Indian food is at 4382 St-Laurent (west side, between Mont-Royal & Marie-Anne, north of Club Balatou) in Montreal, QC Call 514-287-3553
re: Montreal Eater
I ate at Om on a recent trip to Montreal. The lentil soup was fantastic, loaded with slivers of garlic yet didn't leave you with a horrible case of garlic breath. My main was chili chicken which, though it could have used a kick in the firepower department, was nicely flavoured. Plain lassi was thinner than what I'm used to, yet more refreshing.
re: Montreal Eater
Another vote for Chez Gatse. I've been going there fairly regularly for the last 6 years. Their momos and shapales are to die for (though sometimes the latter can be a bit greasy).
In particular, their meat momos are like homemade potstickers with a chewy, tasty dough, while the cheese / vegetable varieties are big fluffy buns stuffed with a gently spiced filling. I recommend the cheese ones which are slightly sweet on the inside - they are addictive!
Note that I have only tried Shambala once a while ago, and was not so impressed. The ambience was very nice, but I found the service to be slow and unprofessional (though friendly), and most importantly the food just did not knock my socks off the way Gatse does.
I have only ever been to OM for Tibetan. I personally like it although I have no frame of reference. I'll have to go try the other places mentioned in this thread.
At OM, I recommend the vegetarian and meat momo's (dumplings). The cheese one is a little odd for my liking. There was a beef dish I really liked too, although I forget what it is called (starts with a k - perhaps a fellow chowhounder would know). Their lamb biryani is yum. Oh and the butter tea is not my thing, but definitely worth trying if you are in an adventurous mood.
I'm a periodic "Chez Gatse" customer and I have never been disappointed. The locations isn't that great, but I like the calm ambiance and the "no hurry pace". They also have a cute little terrace at the back, but it's not covered.