Gault & Millau seduced by Montreal…, Bombay Mahal Thali better than the original, Portuguese Grilled meats at Chez Jano , Japanese Yakitori at Otto (Montreal)

Posted: June 2, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Gault & Millau, the major competitor to Michelin, was in town as initially announced  here by Newswire. There is now a G&M Montreal.  G&M pride themselves on looking for new talents, but there was nothing “new” in their findings. Toque! and Le Mousso are widely known as good restaurants, by our local standards, and they made it to the top of the list of  G&M Montreal, each deserving 4 toques  (G&M assigns  “toques”, with 4 toques as the highest ratings they had for Montreal). Predictable. Then there is this: it would be hard to explain to someone well versed in serious cooking how La Chronique is not highly rated? Does it take a genius to realize that Tapas 24  in Montreal has a kitchen that performs far beyond what G&M considers as  2 or 3 toques …for Montreal??? That Bottega outstands in town, at whatever they do! That ..if L’Europea and Maison  Boulud are 2 toques, then  Jun I deserves better!  That…not considering Chef Michele Mercuri as a 4 toques (the highest rating of G&M Montreal) is like pretending to be an expert of boxing….but ignoring that  Mohammed Ali had ever boxed………….???  Furthermore, should we consider G&M ratings as international or simply local???…… because,  honestly, our local 4  toques ..superior to Frederic Simonin ?? superior to some of  this globe’s better French bistrots such La table d’Aki /   Bistrot d’Antoine /  La Merenda / ?  As good as restaurant Christophe Bacquié? Le Grand  restaurant? Seriously?? .. In terms of cooking skills (meaning the ability, when the kitchen is at  its best, to surprise with exceptional work of textures and flavors) , certainly not! Or else I may as well start believing in Santa Claus. Obviously, the folks at G&M should have spent more time in town (the only G&M Montreal rating that makes sense, for me, was the one of Manitoba, I think Manitoba’s kitchen brigade is one of superb skills  ) …………….. – Gault & Millau Canada, URL: https://ca.gaultmillau.com/

02I have never been impressed by Bombay Mahal on Jean Talon. But their sister eatery Bombay Mahal Thali –on Ste Catherine, in the Mc Gill Ghetto — is offering some of the best Indian food’s lunch specials in town with sauces and naan bread of great quality . Bombay Mahal Thali execute some punjabi and gujurati  staples with great skills, adapted, as expected, to North American palates. Some serious challenge to an old personal favourite of mine, Indian Curry House ( ICH still has a slight  edge for the curry, but Bombay Mahal Thali’s naan bread   and thalis are better ). 8/10, by local Indian food standard,  for their lunch special and thalis. Bombay Mahal Thali  Addr: 1629 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3H 1L8 Phone: (514) 903-9600 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BombayMT/

CHEZ JANOChez Jano offers grilled Portuguese food. I picked their   25,45 chef’s special mixed grill (rabbit, spare ribs, lamb chops, pork steak). The spare ribs firm rather than falling off the bone tender, but that is not faulty grilling, as doneness is a matter of taste obviously. The rest as fine as portuguese grilled  meat tastes generally in mtl (the lamb the best of them all, tender as It should and very tasty). Overall: 6/10 (above average for grilled food in Mtl). So, dazzling? No! …but perfect Portuguese style grilling with meat cooked to order, the charcoal grilling  a preferred grilling method, the grill truely grilling…which sounds funny, to say, but as stated elsewhere on this blog, many places in town seem to have hard time imparting grilling flavor to their …grilled food. Some say that  the best grilling is what you grew up with and for me, the best grilled meats  are the souvenirs of the dazzling grilled meats of my tender childhood in the indian ocean. Jano’s was nowhere near those souvenirs, but that is not the problem of Jano and should take nothing away from the perfectly fine grilling (by local standards) that they are doing. In a city where everything is overrated and overpriced, here is one rare example of well spent money (many are charging twice that price for the quantity of food that I was having – ). Chez Jano, Addr: 3883, St Laurent, Phone: 514-849-0646 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Janos-Restaurant/133058920055823

 

01Otto  yakitori is the first  Japanese style eatery dedicated to Yakitori (Chicken grilled skewers)  in Montreal . I took their $18 mix of several grilled chicken skewers (Chef’s selection – chicken wing, chicken skin, chicken meatball, soft knee bone, etc), pork belly as well as short ribs . All just Ok by local standards, but no more, as I had more delicious grilled  chicken skewers as well as of other types of meats at other local isakayas. Yakitori does not require pre-marinade, but on that evening,   I wished it was the case as the yakitori seasoning was not particularly exciting  (one important feature of the better yakitori food I had elsewhere).  They really need to impart more flavor to their grilled chicken meats as I came to expect from plenty of yakitoris in Tokyo  as well as in North America. And contrary to popular belief, you do not need quality meat for that. For me, based on this specific meal,  this was  a 5.5/10 by local Japanese grilled meat standards. Yakitori Otto Addr: 1441 Rue Saint Mathieu, Montréal, QC   Phone: (514) 507-8886 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottoyakitori/

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