For a Chinese culinary experience that’s more authentic than 3 a.m. peanut butter noodles, do dim sum (“touch the heart”), a brunch alternative as steeped in tradition as it is in salt and fat. Here, Montreal’s top spots.
The newest kid on the block (formerly Zao) is a no-frills storefront above a pool hall near Marché Central – unless you consider poker broadcasts on large screens to be a frill. What they lack in ambiance, they make up for with grub such as niu bai ye (beef leaf tripe) and niàng xiè qián (stuffed crab claw). $2.25 – $3.50, 9394 Acadie Blvd., 514-387-7665.
Despite its strip mall exterior, this South Shore staple boasts warm lighting, red and gold wall hangings and white tablecloths. Try the dou fu ta (silken tofu with thick ginger syrup) for dessert. $2.50, 8050 Taschereau Blvd., 450-923-2200.
La Maison Kam Fung
Tuck in to chiu-chao dumplings, yau yu sou (crispy fried squid), Phoenix talons (aka chicken feet) and water chestnut cake at Kam Fung’s red-and-gold, dragon-adroned Chinatown location, or the sprawling South Shore branch. $2.50–$4.50, 1111 St. Urbain St., 514-878-2888; $2.15 – $3.75, 7209 Taschereau Blvd., #111, 450-462-7888.
At this chandeliered Chinatown dining hall, TVs loudly broadcasting Chinese shows somehow complement delicious pork buns, gai lon (greens), ha gow (“shrimp bonnet” dumpling) and shu mai (pork and mushrooms dumpling). $2.50 – $5, 1008 Clark St., 514-390-8828.
Cartierville’s Chinese community flocks to Tong Por for spare ribs, congee and daikon cake. Inquire about the items that aren’t on the English menu. $2.50 – $5, 12242 Laurentien Blvd., 514-331-8883.
Image courtesy of Frank Art Culinary.