Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Asian Restaurants, a couple of honorable Chinatown mentions.

I love food, and one of my favorite activities is eating out. When I'm in the mood for some adventure I go for Asian food because I find it's the weirdest and most exotic kind of cuisine. I mean, we're talking about eating raw fish, squid, sea weed, chicken feet and even tendons and tripe in certain dishes. You also find certain foods that are all gooey and slimy, made out of glutinous rice and starch, with a texture that can feel quite unusual for westerners. And lets not forget the exotic fruits and vegetables with weird shapes and peculiar flavors.

However, the restaurants I'm going to talk about today are pretty accessible and are not too weird. They're a couple of places that I really like and that I've discovered in the past few years. First, I'd like to start with a couple of places in Chinatown. Now, Chinatown was never my favorite spot for Asian food, mainly because I had a couple of Asian friends who worked there and mentioned how some places were very dirty and that they would fail an inspection pretty fast and hard. I also have seen many a exterminator truck parked in the streets around that neighborhood. Not to mention that according to the website Resto-Net.ca, there is a high concentration of restaurants there that have had infractions. That's why I prefer to go around Concordia, the second and unofficial Chinatown. But the places in Chinatown I will talk about are okay, trust me.

So you're in Chinatown and you want to eat out on a budget? The Noodle Factory is the place to go. That restaurant is a little hole in the wall on Saint-Urbain just off of De la Gauchetière and they have really good food. Especially noodles, you know why? Because they make their own freakin' noodles, that's why! And that's amazing. How many Asian restaurants do you know who actually make that kind of effort and still serve you a meal under 10$? Well The Noodle Factory does it! And their dumplings are pretty freakin' solid too if you like stuffing your mouth with balls of noodle covered meat. (hehehe)  My favorites are the Hunan pork dumplings with spicy peanut butter sauce and chopped green onions.

The Noodle Factory from outside.

The restaurant is very small and kind of cramped so you'll want to get in, eat and get out. Thankfully, their service is super fast and the people are super nice and friendly. Make sure you give them a good tip. Oh and did I mention it's cash only?

When you're done eating your meal, you might want to satisfy your sweet tooth with some dessert. That's when you cross the street and go to the Chinese bakery Patiserie Harmonie. It's a tiny bright little bakery full of baked goodness. They have all sorts of Chinese goodies such as "mochi" balls (they're not really mochi, but that's what they call 'em.) which are soft coconut covered balls made from glutenous rice and stuffed with sweet red bean paste, sweet black sesame paste or some other sweet stuff. (Like big soft sweet testicles.) They also have some green tea cakes, almond cookies and sweet buns stuffed with cream. (Sorry!) And if ever you're in the mood of a small snack, they have some very tasty Chinese hot dogs and buns stuffed with meat. (There's really no other way to describe it! I swear!) Dirty references aside, their food is really good and I love their desserts. They also serve bubble tea with a large variety of flavors if you want to cool down on a hot summer day.

Those are Chinese hot dogs apparently

The said testicular treat: the "mochi" balls

Though this looks like something you'd see  dripping from a zombie's mouth,
that black stuff is actually sweet sesame paste and it's very tasty.

Balls of meat in your mouth, meat and cream filled buns, sweet testicle-like desserts. I told you Asian food was weird and erotic exotic!

Next time, I'll talk about a couple of Japanese places and my most favorite restaurant in Montreal.

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