Posts Tagged ‘congolese grilled goat meat’

hoogan-et-beaufort-sept-2016Revisiting Hoogan et Beaufort, a table that I do consider in my top restaurants in Montreal. Service and ambience as superb as I remember it from my two previous meals. The food I was having  on this evening (Saturday Sept 17, 2016)  was more “casual” than what I came to be accustomed to from Chef Marc-André Jetté’s cooking  (more casual in comparison to  the fine dining aspect of Chef Jette’s meals when he was at Laloux/Newtown as well as what he was cooking in the early days of H&B) , therefore  less elaborate in  its work of flavors and textures (a good example being the duck magret (pictured above)  which, on a previous visit, came with a dazzling sauce, some first rate purée and some grilled veggies, whereas, this time, only some fine purée and a pleasant piece of peach complemented the protein),  consequently it dazzled less. But everything was executed correctly (just not as  dazzlingly as it used to be).  Hoogan et Beaufort, Type of cuisine: Contemporary French, Addr:  4095 Rue Molson, Montréal, Phone: (514) 903-1233, URL: http://hooganetbeaufort.com Overall subjective (obviously) rating –   Food: 7/10, Service: 10/10, Dining experience: 9/10

bottega-sept-2016Bottega on St Zotique has oftently delivered consistently superb pizze throughout the years. The pizza on this evening was a shadow of what I had on my last  visits here: the superb crust that I was accustomed to…was thin, as it should for a Neapolitan pizza, indeed, BUT  almost..shall I say …”limpy”  …this time. Listen, unless you have been living under a rock, you already  know that in Naples the Neapolitan pizza has oftently a center that’s a bit ‘soupy’. Any serious connoisseur of Neapolitan pizza knows that. But this pizza I was having at Bottega  had a crust that was so limpy that it diminished the enjoyment of the pizza. Whereas the ‘soupy’ textured center of some pizze in Naples has a ‘soupy’ center that adds to the enjoyment of the pizza. Not the same thing at all.  Furthermore, the once dazzling puffy edges I was accustomed to at Bottega, were on their way to be puffy, but that was it. Just on their way to be puffy. Hopefully just an isolated slip, though, to be fair, it was not the same Chef as on my previous visits that was in charge on this particular evening. The nice ingredients are still there, but the pizza needs to dazzle as it used to. Pizza Bottega 65 Rue St Zotique E, Montreal, Phone:(514) 277-810, URL: http://www.bottega.ca  Food: 6/10 Service: N/A  Dining experience: N/A

Petite Ya quartier (Mtl) cooks exquisite Congolese grilled goat – A Congolese foodie has recommended a new place in Mtl to try grilled goat meat (Congolese style)  and her suggestion was spot on: exquisitely seasoned and expertly grilled goat is exactly what I had here. The flavors genuine. As ever, most debuts at restaurants  look oftently promising, especially in Montreal, so only time will tell (how good on the aspect of the consistency this restaurant really is),  but the grilled  goat on this visit (Sept 2016) was one of the best I ever had in Montreal. Petite Ya Quatier, 4509 Beaubien E, Phone: (514) 257-6060 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Restaurant-petite-ya-quartier-339413376183374/  Food: 9/10 The best Congolese grilled goat I ever had in Montreal in a long while. Just hope they keep the goat this great in the long run. Ambience and service : N/A  ( BE REALISTIC ABOUT what you SHOULD BE looking for as this is not a  gourmet restaurant, but an African casual Dining eatery) Experience: N/A
tonys-pizza-williamsburg-sept-2016Tony’s is a  celebrated pizzeria of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NY), serving pizze since 1950. I sampled the pepperoni/mushroom pizza as well as another one ganished with bits of pineapple. Nicely baked crust, tasty pizza indeed. It is surprising how this pizzeria is delivering pizze almost as –if not ..MORE — satisfying  than at some  … who are investing tons of $$$ in sophisticated imported wood fired ovens (which Tony’s  does not have).  Hail to king  Tony!  Tony’s Pizza, Addr: 355 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY Phone: +1 718-384-8669 Food: 7.5/10 (very satisfying North American/Italian Pizza …some say Sicilian style, but I was in Sicily recently, and we would need  a debate about that …;p) Ambience/Service: it is a laidback old school eatery,  so not much in the way of ambience.

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WYCLEF Wyclef Jean was in town and the hip hop fan in me could not have asked for better. Mr Jean’s performance was  one that can only be described in superlative terms, a performer of incredible talent.  The hip hop world is blessed with outstanding performers, from the Destiny’s child to Usher, but Mr Jean did, in this instance, way more with far less. This show was a reminder that spectacular effects and showcasing big means is just a way to show the container because there’s perhaps no content to offer: with just basic light effects, a guitar and a DJ, the crowd never stopped jumping, singing and dancing under the genius sense of festivity of one of this world’s most talented artists. If you are depressed, no need of any medical intervention…just go to concerts of such festive power.  Please do not come back for a while, Mr Jean…such highs need to be savoured for a very long time! It needs to transcend time. Magical, indeed (for those who like that style of music, obviously). WOW!

goatvscow La Référence is a Congolese (RDC) restaurant nightclub. I heard their Chef makes some decent Congolese food and seized the opportunity (of dining with a Congolese friend) to sample their grilled goat meat, which is one of my favourite Congolese dishes as I am fond of the way the Congolese (from the region of l’Équateur, but the baluba in the Kasai region do grill and season their goat in almost similar fashion, too)  do generally spice and prepare  their goat meat. Goat meat spiced and grilled by Congolese, when really well done, are among world’s tastiest food-street style goat meat preparations. I am not too sure if this was just a bad day for them, but the goat was goat only in the imagination, but beef in reality, on my visit. Trying to pass beef as goat is a practise that eludes me, especially given the obvious difference, in taste, between  grilled beef vs grilled goat. But worst, the grilled meat  —  of the special beast that once lived as a goat but ended on my plate as beef – was dry and tasteless (barely no seasoning), the consistency almost leathery, then, to complete the exceptional feature of messing with what’s supposed to be some basic grilled meat, it lacked the grilling flavor that is expected from such dish. I never thought that I would one day suggest  that perhaps grilling a simple piece of meat could be a daunting task . 0/10 for the  grilled goat meat that happened to be beef. This was served with a flawless chikwangue, which seemed to indicate that the Chef can indeed cook well (if it’s her who made the chikwangue), as well as fresh slices of onions (classic Congolese accompaniment to grilled meat). My overall food rating: N/A (I need to pay them another visit, to get a definitive idea  of  what they are capable of,  since this was perhaps — I hope — just a day? or just a dish?? ..to forget). La Référence, 808 Rue Beaubien Est, Montréal. (514)805-7606

LUCILLESince it’s summer,  I seized the opportunity to try couple of food trucks. One that caught my attention was the food truck of a restaurant that I have not revisited for years but that pleased me a lot when I dined there on that sole visit: Lucille Oyster dive. I recall that the quality of their seafood, by our local standards, was particularly good, though, as expected with seafood-centric restaurants in Montreal, pricey. Lucille’s food truck  had a crowd pleaser among its offerings: the lobster roll. The folks at Lucille do not mess with quality, thus, as expected, the lobster tasted as good and fresh  as a lobster roll can taste in town. The bread of the lobster roll is unaltered, for ie  not fried nor baked in butter, which is my preference as I believe that a bread that’s buttery would distract from enjoying the star ingredient, the lobster.  A lobster roll is admittedly no rocket science, and yet I oftently  tend to think that perhaps it is: plenty of lobster rolls in town taste mainly of buttery bread or mayonnaise, hiding the flavor of the lobster. In contrast, this one at Lucille’s food truck featured lobster tasting of the sea, the quantity of the mayo just right, meaning not overwhelming, so that the fresh maritime fragrance of the lobster can express itself. One fine lobster roll, indeed, which is a rarity in town despite online claims of the opposite (when you read online accounts  on our local lobster rolls, you would think that Montreal is a great if not better than serious lobster roll destinations like the Maine – the reality of Lobster rolls in Mtl  is nowhere near those standards), but charging $4 for some french fries, which although beautifully crispy and tasting great, SHOULD BE …included in the $12 lobster roll offering. Or else $16 for a  lobster roll and some french fries (which most ppl would certainly expect as the default accompaniment to their lobster roll)  is quite pricey for some street food. Clearly, Montreal food trucks are among this world’s priciest food trucks. My overall food rating: 8/10 by the standards of lobster rolls in Montreal. There are plenty of  supposedly fabled lobster rolls in town, most of them characterized by an overuse of ingredients and condiments as to mask the taste of the lobster, but Lucille’s tastes of what it should: lobster, lobster in its fresh maritime form.  Lucille’s food truck http://www.lucillesseafood.ca/en/food-truck

ATELIER ASIEAtelier Asie (situated in the Business district downtown Montreal) is a humble  eatery  serving pan-Asian food such as ramen soup, gyoza dumplings ,  braised pork steamed bun (Bao). I picked 1 serving of gyozas (5/10 – the chew fine enough, meaning the consistency was decent as it was not mushy, not hard neither,  but the taste of their filling— which consisted of pork, veggies and mushroom in this instance– was not apparent). The restrained flavor was also an aspect of the  Bao (what they call Bao is, to be precise, their take on the Taiwanese braised pork steamed bun / gua Bao): here, again, the pork belly barely tasted of pork, its usual bold and meaty mouthfeel — typical of most Bao  – was absent on my visit. The texture of the bun was not going to make up for the downsides of the pork filling, neither: part of the surface of the bun peeling off easily under barely no  pressure. A good gua Bao should always boast a soft surface and fluffy/smooth consistency, whereas this one was rather slightly sticky and a tad firmer to the touch.   5/10 for that Bao I was having. My overall food rating: 5/10 by Montreal pan-Asian casual food standards –  I gather that this is no dining destination given the low cost of the food, but food…should always taste of what they are made of! Atelier Asie, 453 Avenue Viger O Montréal.  (514) 508-9998