Published at 11:00
Why talk about it?
Mui Mui resonated when the finalists of the Lauriers de la Gastronomie were announced earlier this month. The smiling “little sister” (meaning the Cantonese expression “mui mui”) competes with some of Quebec’s most famous tables, including ARVI, Mastard, Candide, Monarque and Beba. Its discovery began a little over a year ago, and much of its short existence has been devoted to takeaway food. We were interested to experience this experience indoors.
Who are they ?
We could not wait to meet the friendly Min Phat, the soul of this place, whose good humor is contagious. As proof, our very hospitable server Maxim, a mine of recommendations, whose disguised smile can be heard in his voice. It was busboy in the previous restaurant where Min served, the non-existent Orange Rouge, in the heart of Chinatown. In Mui Mui, the chef promoted him to waiter. It was with the support of a group of childhood friends – Alexandre De Rozier, Millie Maud DeGrange and Thierry Justin – that Min was able to realize his dream of cooking, interrupted by a pandemic. During the day he is engaged in shopping, Mrs. in the kitchen and other duties of a cook. In the evening, he heats the room, and his longtime co-chef Felix Emery does most of the work in the kitchen.
It’s a late Wednesday night, and the terrace is already filled with Montreal people who are excited to find food “outdoors.” Inside there are two adjoining rooms. They are sober, marked by light wood and ebony, then enlivened by small frames, books, trinkets and plants. We are located in a relaxed area of the restaurant, the Parc-Extension restaurant, just south of Jarry Park. Min grew up in Wheeler and knows the area well.
We are set up in the second room, where there is a large bench where two of my teenagers are throwing themselves. The youngest has already made his choice, studying the menu on the phone the day before: grilled broccoli with ruil in sambal olek sauce, shallots, marinated jalapenos; ribs glazed with soy, sugar and gochujang; dumplings with duck confit in batter with beet juice.
We can say that he has a sense of coconut. These three little dishes were the best in the meal, as well as her sister’s contribution: a green bean salad with garlic and sesame vinaigrette with tofu sauce, full of minds. A large plate of duck stuffed with Italian sausage, which was eaten in salad buns with the addition of it, was not an expected holiday. Seasonings served side by side (cucumber kimchi, green papaya, mayonnaise with peel flowers) would have more advantages, both in taste and texture.
Sharing is the foundation of the Mui Mui experience. If you do not order enough, add dumplings, a plate of albacore tuna, salad or wait for dessert. There are two sweet options: hearty caramel cream sprinkled with coconut, and white chocolate mousse for those who tolerate sugar above average!
The essence of the menu remains the same throughout the year, but it adds ingredients such as snow crab or tomato, with a small amount twist still asian. Raised in Cantonese and Vietnamese cuisines, Min Phat draws from these repertoires, as well as from the repertoires of Japan, Korea, Thailand and others.
Inquisitive and hungry customers can order an open menu that includes ten dishes that can be shared for $ 50 or $ 60 per person. But the chef identifies himself with those who love their “classics”. “I have a passion for life,” he explains the day after our visit. So I understand people who want to find certain dishes when they go to a restaurant. If someone comes here to eat only their Vietnamese beef or yellowfin tuna salad, that’s fine. »
In our glass
Very young Olena Ratseviciute, another former orange blush who has risen well in the service, takes care of watering the clientele in Mui Mui. “He is my trustee in the restaurant. I can’t live without it, “said Min Phat. As is now customary in most good restaurants in the city, all tastes are taken into account, preferring handicrafts. Beer, cider, cocktails, wine, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks: there is something for the whole family! Young people enjoy popular carbonated drinks from the Vermont Savouré brand, and mom drinks a glass of Bugey. We notice the advantage of France and Italy in choosing wines that are also quite original and adapted to the cuisine – also original – home.
Good to know
There are still many vegetarian options, and vegans can also find what they are looking for.
Small meals will cost 15-20 dollars, larger – 20-25 dollars, and duck, a large dish for two or four guests, depending on appetite, costs 40 dollars. The opening menu costing 50-60 dollars, of course, has good value for money. As for wine, forget about the $ 40 bottle. It is almost non-existent on the map of Montreal. Prices here start at around $ 56, but you have to pay around $ 60 or $ 70 instead. There are options for 10-14 US dollars.
Mui Mui is open in the evening, Wednesday to Saturday, from 17:00. You can still order takeaway or delivery.
149 Jean-Talon Street West