Category Archives: Munchlax

Ca lem

I scream, you scream for some ice cream!
Hello world of munchies and people who love to eat, but not only eating, enjoying what they eat. Summer season, means hot weather (even though we have our fair share of rain too), short and late night snack/dessert. And what a better dessert to eat in hot summer night/day than ice cream. There is also binsul, but that is for another post.

The place

(c) Ca lem

Ca Lem is the way we pronounce ice cream in Vietnamese. It’s located on 6926 Sherbrooke West, in the NDG area of Montreal. They are located in a…house. Well, they took over a house and convert it into an ice cream shop. The entrance is painted with a vibrant pink and green color to attract your attention. It’s the same color used for Kem CoBa, but why change a theme when it works, right? The place is very neat and very welcoming. The interior gives out a more hipster vibe, but the exterior has been arranged so that it looks like a terrace where you can just sit and chill while chatting and enjoying your ice cream. There is also a long bench on the side of the entrance for you to sit when it’s raining outside (yup, rain cannot keeps you away from an ice cream when you really want one). Inside, the counter for ordering will be on your left and on the right a few benches had been installed so that customer can sit inside for AC/avoiding rain. On two walls you will see decoration for taking selfie or picture of your ice and share it on social media with a # to Ca lem, on the other one there are tons of post-it of people who has visit the place.

The food and service

Ca lem offers sorbet, soft serve ice cream, but also drinks which consist of Vietnamese iced coffee. I’ve tried most of their ice cream and they were good. The service is fast and friendly, like most ice cream place, you have the option of trying 2 flavors before ordering. They have some original flavors that are not in Kem CoBa, but if I have to compare some of them, I would say that Kem Coba would be better. Haven’t had the occasion to try on their drinks yet so can’t really give you a review on that. Both Kem Coba and Ca lem have Vietnamese coffee ice cream, but I have to say they Kem CoBa got the flavor on point. Calem on the other hand is too milky. It’s more for those who just want a little hint of coffee in their ice cream.

Overall

If I have to compare their ice cream to any other ice cream place, I would say that they gets point for their artisanal side and different flavors. As for the punch in the flavor, I would say that they lack a little bit, it’s mostly very milky. I will definitely come back for some ice cream, but if I have to choose, Kem CoBa will always be number 1 choice.

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Ganadara Bar (18+)

Hello world! First of all, Happy Canada’s day to all Canadians!! Yes, a food review on National day *smiley face*.

So, you might be wondering why I’ve put a 18+ sign, well this is a bar review after all so a 18+ would be required by law as only adults can visit this place. Don’t even think of getting in there without showing your ID. Also don’t be confused by the name, there is a Ganadara bar, by the same owner obviously. If you have been visiting this blog for a while, you might have read the entry on the Ganadara restaurant, but this is their grown up, have more fun with drinks type of place. You might also be wondering why a bar review when this is only food and bar food mainly consist of chips, fries and alcoholic drinks… well this is Ganadara after all so they have to serve their dishes along with some very good drinks. Anyway, end with the rant, up with the review.

The Place

(c) Restaurant & Bar
Design Awards

It is located on St-Catherine street, a little bit away from the main area of asian restaurant. It is located on the corner of where Lasalle college is. I say it’s on the corner, but you really have to look at the door to be able to spot the sign, as it is pretty discreet from the rest of the neon flashing signs. I have to say that the design of this place is absolutely gorgeous. The woods “dripping” from the ceiling, the chairs are made of wood and bicycle pedals. Their kitchen is half open so you can see what is happening in the back. The table surround the bar. It’s very intimate and welcoming. One of the rare well design place in downtown, I must say.

The food 

(c) Ganadara bar facebook

Their menu is quite simple, tapas/bar style. They have a section of entrée, combo, desert, tapas. They also have imported korean drink that one must try. We were a group of 4 persons so we each order something for us and a few things to share. In our order we had a papaya salad, bowl of raw salmon on rice, rice cake, nacho, karaage, grilled squid and a set of 7 skewers. Everything was excellent, my salmon was a bit salty, but it’s natural since it’s a bar and they need you to drink. I’ve ordered a Korean peach drink, which was a bit like a milky peach drink of 5% (it will take a lot to get me drunk on that lol ). One other nice part of this place beside the drinks, is the desert section: binsool! Shave iced topped with fruits/chocolate/cookies/caramel. It was quite big and we have to share (1 bowl for 2), but it was the best thing ever!

The service

(c) Ganadara bar facebook

The waiters were very nice and the guy who came to our table seems to be the manager of the place he was pretty nice and recommended and explained to us quite a few things as some of my guests were clueless of Korean food. The service was very quick. Ordering food and display on the table didn’t take up to 30 minutes. As a bar, they are required to go fast so it was good for us hungry after work people. The staffs were very friendly and they were very patient and nice with us, as I mentioned some of my guests were new to Korean food culture and had questions. The cleaning of our empty plate didn’t take long too.

Overall

We enjoyed our stay there. The staffs were very nice and the food was delicious. The drinks were well made, not only does they taste good, but the cocktails were well made, it’s not “drown” in alcohol and you can actually taste the flavor. Too bad we were a bit exhausted from out day, I would’ve like to order more drinks and other items on the menu. I would definitely come back some other time to try more items on their menu.

 

Kem CoBa

Hello everybody, how is your summer so far? To not be too late in the summer vibe, here is a post on ice cream. Yes, moving away from usual food, here we have a dessert. I’m pretty sure, if you are a long time Montrealers, you probably know this place already as it is the best ice cream place in town. This place has establish it name for a while now and every time I go there, the line is getting longer and longer. So let’s start with the review.

The place

(c) Kem Coba

Kem CoBa is located in the Mile-End area, on 60 Avenue Fairmount O, it is near St-Laurent street. The meaning of its name is “3rd aunty’s ice cream” (translate with the best I can give) in Vietnamese. The area is very friendly, but beware that if you go by car, forget about finding parking. Especially in the summer with all the construction, it would be best to get there by bus/metro/walk. It’s quite near metro Laurier, so a little 15 mins walk wouldn’t be that much. Kem Coba is just a small open store where you go in, order, pay and leave. There is no sitting place, except those in front of the store, which is great because you eat ice cream when it’s very good outside so why not take the time to sit outdoor and enjoy the weather. Love the paint on the frame and steps, a very bright pink and green makes it stands out from the neutral decoration from the other stores.

(c) Kem CoBa

The service

The service is very quick and friendly. Upon entering you can order your favorite flavor or try something new. The staffs will gladly give you a small sample to try if you decide to go for a flavor you haven’t try yet. They are usually 3 to serve and the line goes by pretty quick, they won’t rush you to order, but due to the line up, you would feel the need to decide quickly. Regardless of what you are going to order, it’s still pretty good. The owner will be on the side serving soft ice cream or taking the payment. The usual feel of the place is very nice, even if the rhyme goes by fast, you will still get out of there with a big smile and some delicious ice cream.

(c) Kem CoBa

The food

The menu included a few choices of their original ice cream flavor consisting of pandan, chocolate 72%, salted butter, dulce de leche, banana, mango lassi and their sorbet flavor including passion fruit, hibiscus, soursop, blackcurrant, blackberry, orange and lime mint (the flavor mentioned here can change from week to week). There is also a flavor of the week available in soft ice cream. You can also have special flavor 500 ml pot for home enjoyment. The flavor is the very special durian fruit that not everyone can withstand and corossol. They also have a dessert call Che Thai, which consist of a mixture of goodness: red beans, tapioca, coconut milk. I think I have tried almost all of their flavor and my favorite, which I would highly recommend for the 1st timer is the chocolate 72%. It’s sweet, but not super sweet and the rich chocolate flavor is there for chocolate lover. If you are not a fan of chocolate than mango lassi will be the one to go to and passion fruit. The usual customer will come for the flavor of the week, but one of my favorite would be Vietnamese coffee, as they have grounded coffee beans mix in it and the flavor is so authentic.

Overall

I LOVE THIS PLACE! Have never disappointed me regardless of the time and day.

Kumamoto Ramen

Hello world! How is the world while I was gone, for a few days….months…year? I haven’t been active lately, gomen, due to work, social/personal life, but I did go out and had some delicious experiences around town. Without been too obvious that ramen is one of our favorite thing to go to, this one will be another ramen review. I think I somehow set out a goal to try the ramen in this town.

The last time, Ponyta, Bayleef and I went out to eat together, we decided on a rather new ramen place called Kumamoto Ramen, located on St-Catherine street. I went there a couple of weeks before bringing them there and wanted their opinion on it as the concept of the restaurant is quite unique.

The place

It is located on St-Catherine street,1812 Saint-Catherine St W, near Seoul Chako. The restaurant itself it very well decorate, but it visual attraction would be the sitting places. Ramen places are usually always decorate with wood element and tables, but what’s peculiar with this restaurant is that they had brought

the “eat alone” concept from Japan. If you are a foodies and often watch Japanese ramen places on youtube, you will probably know this concept of separation between seats. This restaurant had brought that concept creating eating place with minimal interaction between the waiters and the customer. Upon entering, you will be seated at their “counter”. If you are alone and would rather eat by yourself, you have the option of putting up the screen to separate yourself from other customer. If you are a small group you can also set up the screen to separate your group from the rest of the customer sitting next to you on both “end”. This concept is quite unique here and also ideal for the location as it is surrounded by students going for a quick bite before returning to their studies/class. 

The service

As mentioned, there is minimal interaction with the staffs, but it doesn’t mean that the quality of their service wasn’t there, on the contrary. One of the other original part of this restaurant is the way the waiters come to get your order/explain the menu to you. They don’t just walk around in the restaurant, but in front of your “table” there is a bamboo screen, the waiter will appear there, lift the screen take your order, pull it down and leave you alone. This is how they minimize interaction. On your table, there is a water faucet, a glass, menu/checklist/pencil and a red button. You sit down, check out what you want, HIT the red button and they will appear behind the bamboo screen to take your order and will reappear later with it. You get to pour your own water with the faucet set on your table (beware: the pressure can be strong).

The food

Their menu is quite simple, the basic one of porc, chicken and vegetarian. We each order something a bit different to try, along with takoyaki and karaage. You have the choices, like the other places, of adding extras in your bowl. As usual, I will always have an egg and corn in mine. I do think that every ramen bowl should come with an egg instead of having it as extra. Maybe to have more instead of not having it in the first place and then add it. Anyway, that’s my opinion, I know some people do not like egg and would rather have it as extra instead of wasting it if it was already included. The broth was rich and creamy, but it does lack in flavor. The meat was tender and melted in the mouth. The side dishes that we had wasn’t anything that we can compliment on. This place really concentrate on their ramen. The takoyaki wasn’t crispy as I would like them and the karaage lack in that department also. It was also kind of soggy/wet and lacked in flavor.

Overall

From all the ramen places that I have tried throughout the year, this place would rank last in the flavor department. The concept is there, the idea is well executed, but the flavor is lacking a lot. They also mainly focus on the ramen and not on their other items on the menu. Ramen is the star of the menu, but their side dishes should lack in flavor or execution. Missing on karaage is kind of a crime! The broth was rich and creamy, but then again is was lacking the punch and after a while I was starting to get “sick” of eating it. It was kind of disappointing because I was actually looking for a place where I could eat alone without having to look at other people or have them look at me because I’m sitting by myself at a table for 2. The concept is very good and would actually work well with the location, but they need to work on their flavor.

Panda Hotpot

My lazy self has gone out eating again. And there I am telling myself that I should really stop eating outside and cook more at home. Oh well, it was a night out with a very good friend of mine and I had been implanting this idea of having a hot pot night with her for a week, therefore I have to honour my words and bring her there. Also because the pictures on facebook are very drool indulging (I don’t even know if this makes sense LOL). As some of you might know, I love my hotpot and I love my hotpot when it’s at home or in an all you can eat. This one is an all you can eat, yummy! It’s a bit hard for me to describe this one as there are so many things to talk about, but do trust me that this place is awesome. Also sorry for the lack of picture, every time I go there I’m just thinking about eating and no time to snap anything.

The place

It’s on St-Catherine, 2170 Saint-Catherine St W, near the Forum, next to the previously called 5000 ans Korean restaurant. The entrance is on the second floor, but the entire place is for the hotpot. So it’s a restaurant with 2 floors, upon entering you will see tables for 4-6 groups and single table at the end of the restaurant, just in front of the cash. On the basement/2nd floor there are more big tables for larger group. It’s an all you can eat hotpot place so you will find in the middle of the restaurant the food area where you can go pick up what you would want for the hotpot, but also beverages and sauces. They do have a sense of humor regarding their decoration choices.

The service

The staffs are very nice. When you enter if there is no place available you will be seated on the side and while waiting they will serve something to drink or something to snack on while you wait. They will try their best to make you feel comfortable and the wait is never too long. If you are only two, sometime there is an option of sharing table with another group of two. The staffs are very friendly, every time I go there I was never disappointed and I’ve been there for 3-4 times now. The first time we went there, my friend’s pot got water dripping from the ceiling due to evaporation and we told them about it. We didn’t really complain or anything and mine was fine, but they still insist on giving the both of us 15% off (which was the tax).

The food

Even though it is an all you can eat buffet, the food is still very fresh. They are all on iced platter so they don’t get wasted and the seafood is cold enough to keep them from spoiling. When you are seated they will show you the menu for the soups and type of meat. There are 6 different types of soup, from non spicy, sweet, to super spicy. There is the basic choice of meat like beef, lamp, but also the marinated one. They also have a special menu for bigger group, which I haven’t try yet, because I think it’s for more than 6 persons. For the soup, you have the choice of one or 2 soups base, meaning they have pot that are separate in two and you can have two different type of soup in which you dip your goodies inside. Once you order your soup and meat, it’s up to you to get your vegetables and seafood.

Overall

I only went there for supper time so I don’t remember the price for lunch time, but for around 30$ you can eat until you explode. The service is always good and the staffs are super friendly. Unlike other Chinese restaurant where the customers are treated like nuisance most of the time (something about people from China coming here and still behave like they were in their country), the staffs are always there and the service is very fast. The food is always fresh. The only thing I really don’t like about the food would be the sauce. They salt up all the sauce to make you more thirsty and drink more so you don’t eat as much as normally you would do. Which is normal practice for restaurant, but really that much salt I can’t take.

So far, my favorite place for hotpot and it would be yours too (I do not recommend the spicy soup if you cannot take spice!)

Cocoro

Yup, it’s me again, the lazy bum of this community, once again eating out because I really don’t want to cook. This time we went to a brand new place that just open not long ago. And once again, it’s a ramen place, because I just love ramen, it was cold and also I love Japanese food. This restaurant was featured on facebook through a blog about good restaurant in Montreal. Since I always hunt for authentic Japanese restaurant, I was tempted to try it out. I was suppose to have a date with the munchies, but since we went on a small date with le hubby, we decided to try this one out.

The place

It’s on Park Avenue in the ParkEx area. The restaurant is small with about 6 tables inside and 2 tables outside. The place is quite strange, because the hall to go to the washroom is pretty long and they could have use that “longness” to make more sitting space. The decoration is pretty simple, very Japanese style with a flag with their name writing in Japanese on it. On the wall there is a giant painting and around the tables, there are katanas. I do like the little touch of the chopstick “rester” in the form of a fish. It’s quite cute.

 

The service

The service was quick. Upon entering the place we were seated within a few minutes. The menu took a bit longer to come, but no complain there since it was also writing on the board just above the kitchen entrance. We ordered 3 dishes, and it didn’t take long for them to come out. I do have a little complain about the entree. We ordered the Karaage and the waitress just brought out the dish without any extra plates for us to share or just simply for one person to eat without dropping the pieces everywhere.

 

The food

Their menu is quite simple with 2-3 types of ramen, 2 type of rice bowl with 4-5 entrees and 2 deserts. So le hubby and I have ordered Karaage, pork tonkatsu and another type of ramen with egg in the soup (I really don’t remember the name). The karaage was very crispy and delicious with the sauce. It was tender inside and not dry at all. Le hubby’s ramen was as usual, he said he likes it, but it was not his favorite. As for mine, it was ok. It’s not too salty like the usual ramen that I had, but it was a bit plain too. The egg mixture in the soup wasn’t helping. As I slurp through the soup, the egg kind of overpower everything and it was getting on my system. I didn’t even finish the noodle nor the soup.

Overall 

The price was about the same as any other ramen place. The karaage was one of the best. I really did enjoy it. As for the ramen, I didn’t like it at all. The soups need for saltiness? It was a bit bland. There wasn’t any option of adding more toppings too. I would have enjoy to some corn in my ramen. As I was reading the reviews on facebook about this place, I was expecting it to be a bit more, but it was deception. Some people were commenting that it was the best ramen place in Montreal and it was the best ramen they ever had. Which was kind of deceiving or that they haven’t try enough ramen yet. As for me, I need minimum requirement for my ramen: the saltiness, the toppings and the spiciness. Overall, I did like the service and the atmosphere of the place, but the food would not bring me back.

Captain’s Boil

Hello citizens of the web, here we go again for another review on the world of good/bad food (well got to balance out). So for our rare night out without the kids, Ponyta and I decided to go to this seafood restaurant that I have been bugging everyone to go with me for about a month or 2 now. It’s the Captain’s boil, a seafood chain originated from Toronto. We decided for the location on St-Catherine Street, downtown Montreal. Let’s sail that ship, shall we?

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