My Weekly Adventures: The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome to the mid-April Weekly Adventures! Its a bit weird to call this the calm before the storm as we supposedly should have had a rain storm (there was a rainfall warning on The Weather Network) but it was a lot more mild than expected. Regardless, my meaning is that the first half of April was relatively calm but the second half of April is going to be crazy. I sometimes skip the month end April Adventures post because my life is going to be mostly work and more overtime work so just putting it out there in case, things get crazy. For now though, April was a little quiet, mostly because there weren’t any holidays and then nothing huge happened and I didn’t really do a whole lot of anything. Still, let’s see if I can rummage something to talk about. I will end with some little planning things I have set for myself in anticipation for some stuff down the line.

Restaurant ChuChai

I’m going to keep this short since I already did a small post on it before. ChuChai is a Thai vegan restaurant. It was a spontaneous visit to say the least while being in the area.

You can check out the entire Restaurant ChuChai post HERE.

Courses Thematiques Le Tour D’Horloge (& Old Montreal Stroll)

old montreal

old montreal

old montreal

To be clear, my outdoor running season hasn’t started. I’ll talk about that at the end of the post. My friend’s that I help out has. This was a new one for him but it was a nice double race to start with a 5 km and 8 km. To be honest, I’m considering this one for next year, the 5km probably since its still early in the season and on the rare occasion, I’d have time to run in March. Either way, my friend did alright especially for the first outdoor races. However, I liked it mostly because I got to finally walk around during that time and take some nice pictures in Old Montreal. I work around the area but its not the same on a weekend morning or when its gloomy and stuff. The emptiness of it in some areas makes for some nice pictures. I only showed two with actual runners in the background. Talking about the race, the course looks pretty nice.

L’Instant at Casino De Montreal (again)

Casino de Montreal

One of my friends are on a gaining casino points mission so its been all about taking advantage of the bonus points events so on the start of a gloomy weekend, we went out to have dinner. I finally got to try Fish & Chips there which was what I wanted to try last time but decided to choose the pasta instead. It was the special of the day and I don’t think its a permanent selection? I really don’t know the menu here at the L’Instant, the deli at the casino that well. Either way, it was pretty good. I only went to the casino to eat so it was pretty much in and out.

Upcoming Plans: Workout Plan

As the 2 months and one week countdown starts until my best friend’s wedding and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I need to lose some of my winter fat and get a little more in shape (at least to make sure that I can still get into the dress at the end of June. I have started walking the stairs to the office at our building and trying to not take the elevator. Its been  pretty nice. The project coming up is finding a cardio and weights workout schedule that I know that I can stick to and try to eat more healthier. I’d like to start clean eating again but I’m not sure that I’m totally ready for it. Either way, I’m going to gradually try to get back to a more balanced diet, more veggies probably. Gardening season also starts soon and weather is starting to be good for running so I’m looking forward to putting some outdoors activities in as well as in May, hiking starts. So, I’ll work it out accordingly. Especially going to try to add in using the park workout stations facilities to incorporate something different to the running path. I won’t do a segment specifically for workout (too many segments right now) but I will do some updates here. 🙂

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures post!
Its been relatively calm lately and its nice since I’m enjoying the staying at home time.

Hopefully I keep up with posting (or getting things done in bulk beforehand) for the second half of April.

Restaurant: ChuChai (Montreal, Canada)

A random Friday evening outing and a sudden change of plans due to the original spontaneous restaurant visit my friend and I chose had a huge line-up lead us to go check out ChuChai, or according to my friend who had gone a few times before a few years back, a more hip and lounge version of it. I didn’t take any pictures of the decor but you can check out their site HERE.

ChuChai is a Thai restaurant with vegetarian and vegan foods, although to me, I think the menu is pretty much vegan as a lot of stuff worked for me. I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant before and its a nice feeling to know that I can eat everything on the menu even with my lactose intolerance. Of course, with any benefit you get, there is always a premium to be paid for the atmosphere and the vegan angle so just something to think about, for myself, it was pretty much expected.

ChuChai

Appetizers/Tapas

Spring Rolls (1pc – $8)

I’m a huge fan of Spring Rolls. I actually had learned how to do them from my best friend before but then its been years since I’ve done these. However, I always prefer them over the deep fried versions. ChuChai does a good one. It has a nice bite and its wrapped really firmly. The peanut sauce has a little spicy kick to it that really compliments the roll well. The roll does seem to also be a bigger piece than other restaurants.

Main Meal

Chu Chai

Royal Pad Thai

Vegan shrimp and vegan duck makes its appearance in this dish. Its been a while since I’ve had any vegetarian or vegan versions of anything. I do think that the vegan duck is better than the vegan shrimp in terms of how genuine in texture. But then, it was a decent taste so seeing as I don’t really go to vegan restaurant to go eat meat and have the meat taste because in my mind, its not about that. The Royal Pad Thai was alright. The noodles were done well and it wasn’t too much sauce and just right. Its a Pad Thai and it tasted like one.

Vegan Duck with Spinach

My friend took the Vegan Duck with Spinach and ordered a bowl of steamed rice to go with it. I had a little taste of it. The vegan duck is really great. The texture and the taste was pretty good. The spinach is also decent. My only deal, also a preference issue, was that the dish itself was really salty. Of course, with a bowl of rice, this might just work really well.

A little something aside from my personal preference is that the presentation for all of the dishes (appetizers, main meals & desserts) were done really well and matched the atmosphere and class that the restaurant itself presented itself as.

Dessert

Fried Banana with Maple Syrup

The dessert menu has a lot of nice little things to it that I would consider trying out. Of course, the one with the most representation is Fried Bananas with Maple Syrup. It tastes the asian dessert and adds a little Canadian twist to it. To be honest, the fried bananas were fantastic. Probably the best part of this entire meal.

Overall…

ChuChai is a decent restaurant. It targets a certain audience that appreciates a nice atmosphere and ambiance and raises the level of how we’d normally view Asian cuisine in general, in this case, Thai food and then giving it a nice little twist of vegetarian and vegan specialty. I won’t say its a challenge to make vegetarian food tasty because its doable and I’ve been to other restaurants that have done it well but vegan food has the impression (from those that haven’t had it before or less frequently) of being a lot of healthy and not so good food so its nice to see restaurants such of these pop up where it not only benefits those with allergies (like myself) but also provide a place to enjoy some good food. In terms of food and creativity and ambiance, ChuChai is a good choice. For my own standards, I think the food is still fairly basic and for that, the premium paid for the vegan angle is a bit on the higher side. If you were to ask whether I’d go back. Maybe, mostly to try out some of the other desserts and some of the tapas/appetizers/soup (they have a lemongrass one which caught my eye).

Additional discussion: The question (which I’m not vegan so don’t know how to answer): would it matter so much to someone who is permanently converted to vegan or is vegan in their eating habits from the start whether there is vegan meat on the menu? Or is it more for the normal person going in for a vegan experience to have an easier point of entry into this type of eating lifestyle?