Restaurant: Brasserie T! (Brossard, Canada)

Its been a crazy restaurant phase lately. Unexpected to say the very least! Next up is a relatively new restaurant in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard, which is in the south shore of Montreal. Its an outdoor complex with a wide selection of many different types of stores, restaurants and entertainment.

Brasserie T! has its first restaurant in the Quartier des Spectacles area which is right next to Place des Arts in downtown Montreal. I’ve never been to that location before which is something on my to do list however, I had heard that the Brasserie T! at Quartier Dix30 was open and that it was pretty good that I decided to go there to check it out.

While my post here is going to be fairly short with only the little bit that I tried out, you can find the menu on their website HERE.

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30 is location in the Hotel Alt! in the Square Dix30 area. Its location is pretty nice with underground parking and side lots all around it. The interior decor is classy and nice but still has the casual feeling of a brasserie. The waitress that we got was also very friendly and accommodating. She jot down my allergies and made sure to double check on the questions I had related to make sure that I could have which food with no issues. When we asked about wines, she also made her suggestions but also went to ask the more experienced staff to make sure it was a good selection.

I went with someone who had been to the Brasserie T before and therefore, we were aware to ask for the specials which were not written on the menu. If you do go, that is very important to ask because the special menu is done with the vegetables and meats that they have fresh that week (or whichever duration the special lasts because I’m not sure and didn’t ask). There are usually some entree item and then one or two main meals, I believe.

Main Meal

brasserie t

Crab Roll

If you like seafood, rolls are a really refreshing summer meal. Usually we see these in lobster variety. Its nice that Brasserie T! swapped it up and used crab as the star of their roll. This roll was very refreshing mostly because there was a good amount of crab and a very nice crunchy coleslaw to go with it. It was also done well because it had a good balance of mayonnaise as well.

DESSERT

BRASSERIE T QUARTIER DIX30

For dessert, they have a pretty nice selection. However, as usual, there wasn’t anything else that I could have so I chose to have a sorbet. You could choose to have one or two scoops. Their flavor also changes to what they have available. The one that we got was for strawberry sorbet. I’ve never had strawberry sorbet (usually its more raspberry and such) so its a really nice one to try out.

OVERALL, Brasserie T Quartier Dix30 is pretty nice. The ambiance is nice. The interior decor is very elegant. The service was also really good and knowledgeable. The food was pretty decent as well. I’d be interested to go back and try out some of the stuff on their normal menu as well as see what else they come up for specials as the season as warmer and the produce changes.

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Battle of Ingredients #13 The First BBQ of 2019

Its been a while since out last Battle of Ingredients. As usual, we have our Winter through summer months of busy and crazy schedules so our off season if you can call it that. We are back to doing Battle of Ingredients in the home setting, which is always fun.

The First Barbecue of 2019 had a change of scenery from our previous barbecue settings and that had to do with the purchase of a new one on our behalf. Its still early in the season however with the long weekend, we were able to do a nice little meal to feed our 6 adults and a 1 kid crew.

Before we start, I’ll apologize that pictures are a bit incomplete so please bear with me as I try to add more in the description.

Wine

Petale de Rose

The wine for this Battle was provided by our friend as usual. This was the bottle left over from the previous battle. It was a nice match as a rosé wine called Pétale de Rose. Its a bit on the drier side but its pretty smooth in its end notes.

BBQ Food 

First up, this was my BBQ food ready to go on the grill. There’s some skewers of marinated chicken, some sliced zucchini and some baby Shanghai bok choy. Right before the grill, the zucchini got its seasoning of the simple stuff: salt, pepper and olive oil. Shanghai bok choy had no season other than oil to prevent sticking (unless the husband put some then I can’t remember).

Zucchini

Chicken Skewers

The Chicken Skewers were done fairly quickly. For the these skewers, I used:

  • chicken thighs
  • garlic
  • smoked salt (from Les As du Fumoir)
  • Plumée poultry spice (from La Pincée)

We marinated the chicken in the fridge for about 3 hours (at least) before we skewered them and got them cooking. The chicken skewers turned out really well. We hadn’t had a lot of luck with bringing out the flavor when we used the smoked salt but it works really well on the grill. I really liked this spontaneous marinade for the chicken.

Sorry for the lack of a more focused picture. Phoebe brought us the more intricate stuff with seasoned steaks which are under the Portobello mushrooms.

Mushrooms and Steak

Her steaks were marinated with:

  • salt,
  • oregano,
  • rosemary
  • homegrown fresh basil.

I don’t have the end result. We all forgot to take a picture and I thought I had taken one when I didn’t. However, the mushrooms were great and the steaks were also marinated really good also.

Non-BBQ Additions

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

In addition to the BBQ food, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough food so I added a little carbs to our meal but making a pasta salad.

The ingredients are:

  • Rotini
  • Pedon’s More Than Pasta – Green Pea Rotini
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Orange and Yellow Peppers
  • olive oil

We kept an Italian salad dressing (normal Kraft one) on the side for anyone that wanted to use it.

The pasta salad is pretty straight-forward. It turned as expected. The only new trial here was the Green Pea Rotini which has a very odd texture. We noticed that when cooking it more, it actually got more rubbery instead of mushier (which is what happens with some gluten-free pasta when overcooked). The texture was really odd in the sense. Pushing that aside, everything else works well. I left all the seasoning and sauces to however everyone liked it so just kept it as a base salad to be modified as desired.

Dessert

Apple Muffins

No recipe for this one as this was brought by our friends who also brought the wine. They are attempting the world of baking and brought us some dairy-free soy-based apple muffins. It was pretty decent.

That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
We are working on the date for the next one so things are picking up again in the Battle front.

I apologize again on the rusty organization skills and forgetting to take pictures.

Goodfood Recap #37

It sure feels like a while since the last Goodfood recap. We’re back to monthly instalments of these. To be fair, we only get the ones that we think we have time to cook and also the meals work to our liking. This week has two repeats and two new ones so it’ll be interesting to see. However, we took this box mostly because it was the week after some crazy work schedule and just needed time to not think about groceries and the like.

Let’s check it out!

Seared Steaks
with Lemon-Oregano Potatoes & Roasted Zucchini

seared steaks goodfood

A word of the wise to fellow cooks, at least for myself, I’ve learned that any meal with zucchini (or other leafy vegetables) should be the first to go in regardless of when the meat expires. I’ve experienced too many times of bad zucchinis due to my not getting to it quick enough. With that said, its why the random time that steaks got put forward. This meal is actually pretty good. The roasted zucchini is nice and I’d definitely try to do that again. The potatoes were a nice blend. We don’t like eating seared anything and like this cooked completely so the husband, who is almost always responsible for cooking meat, made sure to have it well done. That’s our personal preference, of course.

Chicken Yakitori
with Roasted Carrots, Chinese Broccoli & Miso Butter

chicken yakitori goodfood

The first repeat meal is Chicken Yakitori. I’m going to say right now that starting from this meal, the husband took care of most of 90% of the cooking and I only helped with small prep work and stuff due to work and whatnot. His first attempt at Chicken Yakitori and it still tastes fantastic. I love all the elements of this meal from the sauce to the chicken and the spices and the miso butter on the roasted veggies. I would redo this one on the grill any day in the summer. Works well because its one I’ll consider for the next Battle which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Fried Eggplant Sabich
with Mango Chopped Salad & Red Cabbage

Fried Eggplant Sabich Goodfood

Every box has a meal that we just add in to try out and this time its the eggplant sabich. The husband isn’t a big fan of eggplant to start and I’m not a big fan of this type of eggplant but I’m hoping to find an eggplant recipe which I can like and eat more of because eggplant is a healthy addition to our diet. This is supposed to be put into the pita as a pouch sort of meal but the pitas turned out to be too crispy so we just put everything on top of it. I think the meal still works because its like pita chips with hummus and then the freshness of the mango chopped salad meshes well with the flavorful fried eggplant slices. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Pork Chops
with Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions & Shaved Asparagus Salad

pork chops goodfood

Last meal of the box is also a repeat, one that I was a bit more than lukewarm towards and the reason why it made it in. Under the helm of the husband, I actually think it tastes better than the first time. It could be the potatoes are seasoned really well and finally not burnt as it usually turned out for me when I put it in the oven. The sauce is done really well and I liked it so much that I ended up making some toast to eat the rest up. It all goes well with the pork chops.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!

Restaurant: Brasserie Elements (Brossard, Canada)

Next up in the food adventures is a long-awaited Friday date night at a restaurant that we’ve been thinking of checking out for a while which has been only opened in the last few years called Brasserie Elements.

Brasserie Elements is for 18 and over as it is focused on its beers and cocktails while it has quite a limited but interesting menu also. You need to be aware of which days the kitchen closes at what time.

Elements Menu

I apologize that the menu is only in French but just to show you the limited choices. You can find the menu on their website. Either way, its to get an idea.

Let’s check out what we got!

Drinks

Elements Blonde Beer

Avril Sour

Avril Sour

When you go to a brasserie, it wouldn’t be right to not order some kind of drink. The husband likes beers to went ahead to try their house brew blonde beer. I had a sip (because I’m not a huge beer fan) and thought it was pretty decent. Its smooth and pretty good. I had a few items on the cocktail list that I was interested in but essentially got sold on the Avril Sour which is like an Amaretto Sour except it uses a Quebec-made almond-nut liqueur. its small and delicate and tastes really good. With any sours, its always good to keep them well-portioned mostly because its pretty acidic and sometimes the different liqueurs can be too much when the quantity is too much, which is why I’m pretty happy with their flavors, the balance and the size of the drink.

Appetizer

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings with peanuts and green onions

There were two things that caught my eye in the menu right from the get-go and one of those were this Smoked BBQ chicken wings with peanuts and green onions. They tasted really good. On top of that, I like the concept that they really promote the whole finger food thing so yeah, its casual and fun because there is no elegant way to eat wings without wasting a ton of meat. At least I’m not skilled that way.

Main Meal

Burger Elements

Burger Elements

The husband had the Burger Elements which has roasted shishitos, crispy shallots, cheese sauce infused with beer (not sure how to translate that). He really enjoyed it a lot but there was something in it that we couldn’t quite pinpoint.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I’m a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches so chances are if they have that as an option, I’m going to choose it. This one had a lot of stuff in it or just very leaky coleslaw along with a good amount of pulled pork and with smoked BBQ sauce. It tasted absolutely fantastic even if it was a completely messy experience. I do say that the coleslaw was a bit too generous which made me not be able to finish up the also very generous portion of fries which was comparable to a mountain.

Overall

Brasserie Elements is a pretty nice place. Its laid back and casual which works very well with the menu it gives and all the kinds of beers that you can try. There’s a good selection of beers from all over and very unique ones that you probably won’t find everywhere. Other than that, the food menu is also pretty good with appetizers, main meals as well as desserts. For a brasserie, they had pretty decent service as the waitress is very attentive to make sure that we were satisfied with our food and drinks and anything else that we needed. However, with a brasserie experience comes a bit more of a noisier atmosphere. The music however was really good, at least to our tastes and the place was split a little bit more in half so the more drinking side definitely felt like they had more speakers than say the more restaurant side. Maybe it wasn’t deliberate but it definitely worked for the better for our preferences.

Restaurant: Mama Dumpling (St.Hubert, Canada)

Sometimes we find the things we are looking for when we aren’t quite looking for it as is the case with Mama’s Dumplings, a Chinese dumpling restaurant on the South Shore of the island of Montreal. As dumplings become quite the new thing popping up over the last few years in Chinatown, its been a hunt to find out where to find it on a more suburban setting and then I came across this place and called up my friend who is equally passionate about finding a dumpling place not in downtown. And here we are! At this point, we had gone back a second time, both recapped together. The main suggestion for going to dumpling places is to get a bigger group to be able to order more types to see which works the best to your tastes.

Food

First visit

Chicken - Mushroom Dumplings

Chicken-Shitake Mushroom Pan-fried Dumplings

Pork-Cabbage Steamed Dumplings

Pork-Cabbage Steamed Dumplings

Beef-Coriander Dumplings

Beef Coriander Pan-friend Dumplings

The first visit was just a little trial where we gave each type of meat a try so we took the more basic flavors: Chicken and Shitake mushrooms, Beef and coriander and Pork and cabbage. These are very normal ones. Some types have choices of pan-fried and steam while others one have one or the other option. For each, the wrapper skin is different. For dumplings, that is a huge component to how heavy the dumpling is and how the bite of the whole thing is. its one of the things that Mama Dumpling does well.

Talking about the food here, the first time around the one that stood out was the chicken and shitake mushroom. It had to do a lot with how the pan fried was done well and not too oily. Plus, the mushroom elevates the chicken especially because these ones have some soup sort of thing on the inside like the soup-filled dumplings (shanghai specialty) so its pretty tasty. The beef and coriander tasted almost exactly like the beef balls dim sum. While the pork and cabbage was exactly as you’d expect and the taste is good.

The first visit was a quick run and we managed to eat all three plates with just 2 people. It worked a ton for us so it was obvious that we’d come back for a second run which happened the week after….

Second Visit

Pork and Mushroom Dumplings

Pork and Mushroom Dumplings

Shrimp, Pork, Leek Dumplings

Shrimp, Pork, Leek Dumplings

Pork and Green Onion Dumplings

Pork and Green Onion Dumplings

I’m going to be honest that I can’t remember if the last one was pork or chicken with green onions. Its not like it shows that much difference. With that said the second time around, the three different types of dumplings were better than the first time. The first visits standout was the chicken and mushroom. Anything with shitake mushrooms has a really nice flavor to it so the pork and mushrooms was really good because of that. Green onions in dumplings are best pan fried because it doesn’t only taste good but smells really good also. Finally the star of the show goes to the Shrimp, pork and leek ones where the dumpling itself had a small whole shrimp in there which gave it both a nice texture and a good flavor. This choice is only available steamed and it works so very well. The wrapper was really delicate but not too thin that it’d break either. This second visit was really tasty.

Overall

Mama Dumpling is a nice environment. The description on the menu talks about it being originally a chain from China. I don’t know where but the dumplings that we’ve tried so far is good to great so definitely a place that delivers some nice stuff. The only dumplings we didn’t try yet are the vegetarian ones which I might go back one time with my mom and give it a go as well. There are also some other appetizers on the menu that look really interesting. I can feel there is a strive for authenticity here and being healthier than other places so I’m looking forward to go back and check out more items on the menu. I have a massive unexplicable love for dumplings. Its kind of my comfort food so this find is a great one especially since I don’t have to stick to the same choice available in Chinatown.

Are you a fan of dumplings?
Are there any dumpling places you’ve tried that you recommend in your city or somewhere that you’ve visited elsewhere?

Goodfood Recap #36

Goodfood (19)

Its been a month and time for another Goodfood box! This time had one repeat recipe and a few that I’ve seen but never found enough in the previous times to want to order the box. This time, we wanted to give it a go.

Let’s check it out!

Braised Cod
with Roasted Garlic Chickpeas & Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

braised cod

Kicking us off for any box is the fish recipe! This time we have braised cod. This meal was absolutely delicious. It would be paired perfectly with a baguette to just eat all the remaining sauce. I actually ending up making the closest thing I had: toast. The flavor is fantastic and the lentils give it such a nice bite. My husband cooked the fish perfectly. He actually took care of this one as he had a spontaneous day off. This is one that I’m definitely getting again if the opportunity presents itself.

Chipotle-Honey Chicken
with Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomato Salsa

Chipotle-Honey Chicken

This menu was pretty spicy. The chipotle completely covers any honey that was in there. To be honest, I think the meal works well because it has the whole rice and salsa so balance it out. Its still fairly intense (but that could be because I don’t eat spicy food a lot in the first place). My biggest issue of why I wouldn’t do this again was that I spent a good part of my time, extending the prep time a lot just taking out the seeds from the chipotle pepper and then chopping it up. That took a ton of time since it was my first time doing it.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bao Buns
with Charred Miso Broccoli & Chili Mayonnaise

Tofu Bao Buns

Bring on the next fire-breathing dish. The chili mayonnaise was extremely spicy because of the sambal oelek which I only used half of the portion in the first part and then my husband also used half of the portion in the second part of when we had to use it. Props to the instructions for the broccoli being pretty accurate and it turned out to be pretty good. Plus they gave us much more than the recipe asked for. Bao buns are something that I don’t have frequently and a Taiwanese street food style and in this recipe, it is pretty decent. Its spicy but the different elements and the sauce and everything really pulls it together.

Fresh Udon Noodles
with Ground Pork & Napa Cabbage

Udon Ground Pork Napa

The last meal is the repeat meal that we’ve had before. I love udon noodle meals and this one is really easy to put together. Its almost like a one pan dish aside from the having to cook the noodles in advance and then it just basically turns into a stir fry. Plus, it tastes really great.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Some new stuff and one repeat meal!
My favorite meal in box had to go to braised cod but then everything else worked well. 

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.