La Maison du Nord
It's a Northern invasion! Well, as emigration from the Chinese Mainland accelerates, so does the increase in restaurants specializing in Northern Chinese food in a town near you.
Yesterday, we went and tried this restaurant on St-Mathieu between De Maisonneuve and Lincoln, apparently opened by people from Shanxi. Her colleagues mentioned that their pork sandwich was not to be missed, and it was so very true: how can anything with pork fat be bad when the appetite's in its right mind? The sandwich was made between slices of Chinese-style pancakes (probably oil-fried, but I'm not sure), and contained ground pork, bits of pork skin and fat, and fresh coriander ($5). I had the lamb soup ($4), which was really a sour-tasting broth with rectangular slices of old mutton meat patrolling the bottom of a deep narrow bowl (fresh coriander floating at the surface, probably to diffuse the foul smell of lamb fat). Also, they had fresh hand-made dumplings ($6 for a 18 bite-size ones) either made with shrimp, or with beef (no pork?). A tad expensive for dumplings on the world market, but it is as right as you get in Montreal, Canada. It's a must-try, if you are exploring the diversity of Chinese cuisine. Don't expect General Tao chicken or ethnic cuisine served with Western fancy.
I was also recently told of a place making real xiao long bao with soup in Montreal. Unfortunately, the place burnt down a couple of weeks ago. It was apparently on Ste-Catherine, a few houses west of St-Mathieu. "Sadness", indeed.
It's even more sad, because adding up clues from colleagues and friends alike, it was confirmed in a Mirror article that it was that restaurant opened by a former waiter at the Beijing Restaurant (京都) in Chinatown, who we knew growing up. I guess he saved up and opened a restaurant there a couple of years ago. I ate there last year out of pure luck with petronia, and he even recognized me, I think. (Also ironic that the only known xiao long bao place in this city was opened by a Cantonese guy, right?)
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