No more Canto-generic Chinese food

A five months trip to HK does that to you: finally realize and have engraved in your mind that generic Cantonese/Szechuanese with such typical dishes as "egg rolls" or "general Tao chicken" (and let's not forget sweet and sour pork) is not equal to Chinese food, and really just a subset of it. Sure, the usual stuff does not vary much: the veggies are likely to be variants of Nappa cabbage, or bok choi or kai lan.

Shanghainese was something I often had at fancy restaurants my auntie took me to, with most place serving similar dishes, the make-or-break xiao long bao on top of my list. There's a whole entry dedicated to food I had in HK.

The trend these past two weeks has been Uyghur food. There's another place Wee found out, from listings on a food column on the Sino-Quebec website. People from other parts of China are slowing making up for decades/centuries of letting coastal China dominate in terms of immigration to Western countries. It's a nice thing, especially with the food. After that Manchurian place two years ago, and the few Uyghur ones, I'm looking forward to see in Montreal some real Shanghainese cuisine, some authentic Sichuanese, Yunnan, and other places I've never heard about.

The place we've been to is only identified as "Arzou", in English characters. It's at 6254 Avenue Côte-des-Neiges, down the slope from the Jewish Hospital, a block past the Jean-Coutu. The specialty seems to be the spicy mutton fondue, which is a spicy soup with typical flavours (with at least 10 whole pieces of garlic thrown in the mix) and lamb meat, lamb liver, some veggies and tofu for dip. $19.50 and it feeds two people (but we're greedy and had 4 largish 羊肉串 each, $1.49 apiece :P). With this sort of regime, all attempts to lose weight through exercising have been annihilated. >_>



Kate M. said:

Found your blog while looking for info on the Uyghur resto on Saint-Laurent, which I noticed the other day. I see from the menu outside that the guy who runs it, Mahmut, used to have a place on Sherbrooke in NDG, where I went with a Chinese friend (whom the owner addressed in Mandarin, no use to my friend, who speaks Cantonese). The menu at the new resto seems to be a lot more interesting. In NDG he was being cautious and still serving pizza too.

Thanks for the notes about the Cote-des-Neiges place. I'm going to give it a try soon.

Charlotte said:

I'm looking for an authentic Chinese food restaurant! I'm not a fan of the Canto-generic stuff either being a China-lover myself and the only place I knew that served typical stuff has closed!!!!!I want to have a dinner this friday before I leave for a year. Help me please!

smurfmatic said:

I only know downtown places, and one of my regular haunts is "Ravioli de Manchuria" on St-Mathieu, between Ste-Cath and de Maisonneuve. As the name implies, they serve Northern-style food. The jiao zi are their speciality! The mutton skewers are good too, but the Uighur places I've mentionned are somewhat better.

Good luck!

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This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on November 2, 2005 11:13 PM.

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