International Restaurant Review { Zizzi }

I was lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot in 2013, and looking through my pictures, I realized there are still a lot that I haven’t blogged from my trip to the UK last summer.

I really enjoy travel posts on other blogs because I feel like I am able to get glimpses of other parts of the world that I hope to explore one day. What better way to spend a Sunday by escaping for a little bit before the beginning of the week? Let’s go back to Scotland today, shall we?

Zizzi is an amazing Italian restaurant that my friend had recommended before I left for Scotland. I still remember how delicious everything was, from the garlic bread and pizza to the salad dressing! Everything was incredible! We went to the one in Inverness, but we passed by another one in Edinburgh as well. Even though this is a chain, it’s still so delicious and really worth trying if you happen to pass by one!

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{ Zizzi’s in Inverness }

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{ The Menu }

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{ It was fun to see the chefs hard at work! }

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{ AMAZING garlic bread! }

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{ Close-up }

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{ Veggie pizza }

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{ Cheese pizza }

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{ Meat lover’s pizza }

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Restaurant Review { Mango Bay }

It seems a bit ridiculous that I haven’t blogged about Mango Bay since it’s a go-to for my bf and I. unfortunately, because it’s such one of those places that we eat so frequently at, I never seem to think ahead to bring my camera with me, so I had to rely on my iPhone for these pictures.

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Restaurant Review { Confusion }

I had another blog post planned for today, but was too excited to share this new restaurant with you. I have passed by Confusion many times on Saint-Denis and have been meaning to try it, and boy have I been missing out.

First of all, let’s talk about the swings. Yes, you heard me, swings. Some of the tables have SWINGS instead of chairs. WHAT?! Am I the only one that finds that SO fun?! But, since I’m a bit of clutz, we sat at a table with chairs safely fastened to the floor to avoid any accidents.

Now on to the food. Wow. Where to begin? We had a delicious quinoa salad, even though it didn’t blow me away, I liked the cranberries and the walnuts topping it. The lambs sliders were very tasty, especially with the caramelized onions, a perfect combo with the sweet potato served with truffle mayo. We also had calamari with lime & pepper mayonnaise. For the pièce de resistance, we had a seafood mac & cheese, with lobster, shrimp and calamari. Although I’m not the biggest fan of seafood, I do love me some good mac & cheese. The lobster was really good and the mac & cheese was really well seasoned (although it could have used a bit more cheese to my liking…but my boyfriend would disagree). For dessert, we had ‘pudding chomeur’ served with date ice cream and maple syrup! SO GOOD!

I would definitely recommend going to Confusion. It was really worth it and will definitely have to go back very soon!

Confusion Tapas

1635 Saint-Denis, Montreal

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{ Outside }

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{ Sweet potato fries, calamari & quinoa salad }

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{ The menu }

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{ Ambiance }

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{ Fried calamari with lime & pepper mayo }

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{ Quinoa salad with cranberries & walnuts }

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{ Sweet potato fries }

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{ Lamb sliders with onion jelly }

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{ Seafood Mac & Cheese !!! }

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{ A close-up was necessary }

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{ Dessert! From the left: maple syrup, pudding chomeur, date ice cream }

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{ A swing!!! }

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{ WEEEEEEEE!!! }

Restaurant Review { Pho Lien }

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been a bit … obsessed…. with Vietnamese food lately. Every time my boyfriend asks me where I want to go for dinner, I just look at him and smile. It’s become a bit of a joke between us, but what he doesn’t realize is that it’s not really a joke. I crave Vietnamese food 2-3 times a week…

This week, we decided to venture away from China Town to find another Vietnamese restaurant we could try. After a quick research, we found Pho Lien, which was rated as one of the best in Montreal.

We started with a delicious beef soup, which was really tasty and full of flavor, perfect to warm us up from the cold weather. I had my typical choice of grilled chicken served on vermicelli noodles and an imperial roll, while my man had the same but with beef. The chicken was really well grilled and oh-so-good. Now that I think of it, I actually didn’t get to taste the beef.

Although this was a good Vietnamese restaurant and I would definitely recommend it if you live or happen to be in that area, I don’t think I would rate it the top Vietnamese restaurant in Montreal. I’ve tried 3 others, and there’s still one that is my top favorite, from good food to good service to lovely décor…but that’ll have to wait for another blog post!

Pho Lien

5703 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges 

(514) 735-6949

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{ The menu }

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{ Beef soup – perfect for a cold night! }

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{ Beef choice }

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{ Chichen choice }

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{ This is making me drool … just making the obsession worse }

Restaurant Review { Aux Vivres }

Even though I hadn’t been to Aux Vivres in a while, this is one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal. The food is great and there are many options on the menu, from burgers and sandwiches, to bowls of rice veggies and some of kind of meat replacement, and appetizers and desserts.

I can’t help but always ordering the Kosmos plate (there is an equivalent in a sandwich which is just as good, but I really like my potatoes…). The Tzadiki is BURSTING with flavors and is SO good (but not so good for the breath). My bf usually opts for the Dragon bowl, which I have tasted a few bites of and is actually delicious, especially with the peanut sauce. I just want the potatoes and Tzadiki…

A highly recommended restaurant if you are looking for delicious vegan/vegetarian food in Montreal!

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{ It was so cold that night so I’m glad that the picture turned out because I wanted to go inside so badly! }

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{ The menu }

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{ The Dragon Bowl – a mix of veggies sitting on top of warm brown rice, served with your choice of tofu or tempeh, and peanut sauce }

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{ There are many choices on the menu! }

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{ My favourite – the Kosmos plate! The salad dressing is delicious too! I usually only get potatoes.. }

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{ Yum }

 

Restaurant Review…and Persian Food 101 { Chateau Oncle Jamal }

I love Persian food. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m Persian…but…doesn’t change the fact that Persian food is delicious. The only thing that I find mildly annoying is that most Persian restaurants are limited in their menus and generally only offer different kinds of meat, which is great, nothing wrong with that…but there are SO many different delicious meals that could be served!

When my roommate told me about a new Persian restaurant (which…I’m surprised I didn’t notice since it’s right in front of my bus stop where I get off to go to school…and the gym……and the library….but that’s besides the point right now) I knew that I had to try it, especially since they offer a very special item on the menu that I love but haven’t had in a while: Tah-cheen (not sure what the translation is…sorry folks!). Although it was on the starter menu, the portion was HUGE and really inexpensive, and could actually be a main meal….and it was oh-so-good. I would describe it as a Persian-version-lasagna (like how that sounds?): basmati rice with saffron (because no Persian cooking is complete without a healthy dose of saffron), combined with yogurt and an egg (to keep in together), and in the middle there’s a layer of eggplants and chicken. All the ingredients are prepared separately, and then layered in a pot and cooked in the oven to create a light crust around it (the ultimate part of this, crispy basmati rice, the part that everyone fights over) This restaurant topped our huge slice with barberry (which are one of my favorite things from Persian cooking – they’re tart/sour little berries) and pistachio slivers. This was also the first time that my boyfriend has tasted Tah-cheen, which was really fun for me because…well, I’ve never actually cooked Persian food (I know I know, it’s embarrassing, but cooking a traditional meal seems so much more daunting than all the other recipes I’ve tried! Maybe I’d feel like a failed Persian woman if I didn’t succeed? Who knows. Anyway, not the time for psychoanalysis. Back to the food.)

For our mains, I got chicken, which is actually called ‘Joojeh-kabab’. The literal translation of that is ‘barbequed chick’ which is so wrong, so let’s just stick to chicken skewers, shall we? Served with a healthy portion of basmati rice, a cooked tomato and onion. That’s a very Persian thing – eating onions (raw mind you) with anything and everything. And if you’ve never had Persian food, the way to eat your tomato is to first add a ton of butter on your rice (which I didn’t do, shame on me) and then squish your tomato in the rice and eat it with a piece of meat. Yum.

The boyfriend got the typical Kabab, which was served with pita bread, lime and fresh mint leaves, which put together make a delicious wrap!

Overall, I was really happy with our meal at Chateau Amoo Jamal (which translates to ‘Uncle Jamal’s Castle’) and I’m really excited that it’s super close to home!

Chateau Oncle Jamal

1620 Sherbrook Street West

(514) 933-8866

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{ The menu }

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{ And I present…(drumroll please) Tah-cheen! }

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{ The little red stuff are the barberries, and the yellow colour of the rice is from the saffron. The middle layer is the chicken and eggplants }

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{ The chicken was delicious! }

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{ The beef skewers were really well-seasoned }

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Scotland { Town of Inverness }

I think that Sundays should be spent lazing around, resting, but most importantly, dreaming. Dreaming about the wonders that the world is waiting for us to explore, dreaming about the things we wish to accomplish.

Since I still have so many blog posts from my Scotland trip and my stint in London this summer, I will post ‘travel posts’ on Sundays because I think it’s a good time to spend a few minutes and let your mind wander away from life.

After a night at the Drumossie hotel, we went to the beautiful Kincraig Castle and spent a couple of days even closer to the city of Inverness, a lovely little town in the North East of Scotland.

I really loved Inverness: there are cute little streets to walk around with little boutiques, shops and bakeries, good restaurants to try, many castles in close proximity to visit, and a picturesque waterfront area.

We spent a nice morning strolling through the streets, visiting boutiques and walking on the beautiful cobblestone. We also visited the Victorian Market, which I would really recommend. Even though many of the shops were closed when we were there, I really enjoyed walking through it and seeing the different shops, from touristy stuff to a cute little bakery and candy shop, to jewelry store and an adorable accessories store.

While in Inverness, we also tried a few restaurants that are definitely worth mentioning.

Cinnamon is an Indian restaurant that had a really good mango chicken. I don’t usually like fruity sauces with my meals but I was pleasantly surprised with it. They also had an incredible coconut Naan bread that I couldn’t get enough of.

We also went to a Caribbean restaurant, Kool Runnings, which I would solely recommend based on the chef and owner – a super nice (and hilarious) Jamaican gentleman that had a Jamaican and Scottish accent (good luck imagining that, it was quite unique) The food was great and the place was packed.

My final recommendation for Inverness is Zizzi’s. This is actually a chain restaurant that I also saw in Edinburgh. One of my closest friends had travelled to Scotland a couple of months prior and had highly recommended Zizzi’s (they had gone to the one in Edinburgh). And I am going to say the same: you HAVE to go to Zizzi’s. It was so delicious I can’t even begin to describe the food we ate. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Restaurant Review { Korean Grill: Seoul Chako }

There are so many restaurants to try in Montreal that sometimes, I forget about some of the most obvious ones that are the most accessible to me. This is precisely what happened with Seoul Chako, which is a few steps from Guy-Concordia metro.

The first time we went to Korean grill house, it was for a family birthday, and my boyfriend and I knew that it would become one of our go-to restaurants in downtown Montreal.

Food is a social experience, which is why I really enjoy it when restaurants combine great food with an interesting and unique dining experience. Seoul Chako is an all-you-can-eat grill house, and the menu offers a wide range of meats and foods, from sushi and chicken poppers, to a variety of meats and vegetables.

The meat is served uncooked, and there is a grill on each table, where diners have the liberty to cook their own meat. The meat is incredibly well marinated; I particularly like the beef. It is SO tasty I have to find a recipe to make some at home because it is really delicious. The sausage, chicken, pork and ribs are also all really good. For dessert, they have a really good lychee Jell-O that’s really light and tasty.

The service is relatively fast, considering how busy it was the times we’ve been. I would definitely recommend this restaurant as a place for a leisurely long meal where you can take the time to cook the meal, chit-chat, and enjoy the process of preparing your own food at a restaurant. ImageImageImageImageImageImage

{ The stack of meats }

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{ We left the tongs in the grill to be sanitized with the heat }

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{ The beef wrapped in a lettuce is so delicious }

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{ You place your order by writing the number of your pick & the quantity. It’s always best to order a few rounds so that food doesn’t get wasted }

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{ The chicken poppers }

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{ The lychee Jell-O }

Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant { Yuan }

There have been so many vegetarian restaurants opening in Montreal in the last couple of years it’s amazing! Yuan is even more unique because it is vegetarian Chinese food. You can order à-la-carte or all you can eat!

There are so many options on the menu, from sushi to general tao to salt & pepper shrimp, all of which are vegetarian. It’s Had I not known that it was vegetarian before I tasted it, I would have barely been able to notice that it wasn’t actual meat or seafood!

I really recommend this restaurant, especially for vegetarians, because they have done a really good job with the menu (there are so many choices!) and it basically tastes the same as a meat-using Chinese restaurant.

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Restaurant Review { Burger Bar }

With the start of Burger Week in Montreal, I thought it would be appropriate to write about one of my favorite burger joints in the city: Burger Bar.

To first give you a brief background, during Burger Week, restaurants around the city create a unique burger, people can find the list of restaurants and try the burger in question, and then vote for their favorite one. Restaurants featured on my blog like Tapeo are also included in the line-up this year.

I discovered Burger Bar a while ago and it has been one of my favorite burger joints to go to because of the great vibe, and the incredible food.

Even though I am not a big fish eater, my favorite burger at Burger Bar is the Samurai burger, which is a salmon filet encrusted with sesame and almond, and cooked over a grill. There is also a wasabi mayo in the burger, and with all burgers, you can opt for a salad that has a delicious dressing. I also really liked the Jack Daniels Burger as well as the chicken burger. 

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There is also a deconstructed s’mores for dessert, a chocolate mousse with a graham cracker crust and topped with roasted marshmallows: absolute decadence!

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I highly recommend Burger Bar. Every time I’ve taken a friend to try it out, they have loved it.