Quebec City – Part 2

A review of Paillard (a highly rated bakery)

My family and I went for a 1 night trip to Quebec City.  The first place we stopped was at Paillard in Old Quebec because we wanted a light snack.

My family members got panini’s and soup.  The mushroom soup was reviewed highly on tripadvisor.  However, it was quite ordinary to me; perhaps because they didn’t put cream in it so it was a light mushroom soup kind.  The panini’s were are decently priced and there were a lot of options.  I had a bite from my hubby’s panini and found it quite good.

When we got there at 4pm, many of the pastries were sold not: not surprised, since there was a huge lineup outside the store! However, the next early morning, I walked there just to try the pastries out.  Omg – they were exceptional.  Here are reviews from a few of the pastries that I tried:

1. Jesuite – this was puff and flaky pastry with a thick layer of smooth and sweet almond cream.  It was soooooo good
2. Chocolate Amandier – it’s a chocolate and almond croissant but this was THE best one I’ve ever had! The pastry part was slightly crunchy on the outside and moist inside and buttery.  It had a layer of that delicious, smooth almond cream and some dark chocolate large chips
3. Vanilla Crème Brulée – this was THE best crème brulée i’ve ever had.  I’m not a big fan of this, but the cream part was SO smooth, creamy, light and they used REAL vanilla beans.  It was topped up with a rich and sweet brown sugar layer and was broiled at the top to perfection leaving some sweet and slightly chewy caramel parts on the rim of the pots
4. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin – I usually bake my own muffins, but these were high quality ones.  The cake was very soft and sweet – I believe they used really riped bananas because the taste was very flavourful.  Furthermore, it had many semi sweet big chocolate chips in it.

Overall, if you go to this place, you must try the top 3 products listed above!  The muffins were good, but they were not unique as the other items listed.  The sugar rating is slightly above average.  After trying a bit of each of the above items, I was really sugar high and now cannot take anymore in me 😀 but it’s not sweet as Tim Hortons and Starbucks.  This is really high quality stuff. Definitely go there and indulge!!

Jesuite

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Chocolat Amandier

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Crème Brülée

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

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Quebec City – Part 1

So I went to Quebec City a couple of days ago, not really expecting much. However, my-oh-my; I had the most delicious thai food ever!  It was at Bati Bassak.
We went in a group of 10 people.  Although they were fully booked on the 27th Dec, they did however manage to accommodate us!  Their service was extremely good because given that it was busy, they had the patient to answer our questions and provide us drinks and food promptly.

Here were my favourites:
1. Amok – Tilipia fish in coconut milk, wrapped up by cabbage.
2. Beef Khemr – very flavourful and slightly spicy. You could also try the chicken version
3. Cambodian fried rice – I’m not a big fan of fried rice, but my sister said that it’s the best she ever had

We also ordered the Nid Balti which is basically a bird’s nest (i.e. vegetables, chicken and prawns on top of crunchy noodles).  This was good, but not amazing as the others above. Also the Pad Thai was good but not extraordinary as the above 3 dishes.

All dishes were served with white rice and each dish accommodates only 1 person, so make sure you order enough dishes if you plan to share!

Overall – I highly recommend this place! Yum – feel hungry for this now while thinking about it!

Nid Bati (below)

Amok

Beef Khemr

Cambodian fried rice

The best chocolate desserts in Montreal

As a big chocolate fan, I have tried and tested chocolate desserts from quite a few places!  Here’s my run-down:

1. Triple chocolate cake by Cacao 70
2. Chocolate mouse cake by La Croissanterie Figaro
3. Chocolate babka from Cheskies
4. Dark chocolate mouse cake from Pekarna
5. Toute chocolat cake – Première Moisson

 

Cocao 70 (Pic 1)

This absolutely devine!! Layers of sponge cake (soaked with coffee), layers of dark rice thick chocolate sauce topped up with whipped cream. It’s hard to explain – better you try it for yourself!

La Croissanterie Figaro (Pic 2)

The chocolate mousse cake is very rich, smooth, not bitter and NOT sickly! My hubby is not a big fan of chocolates but he actually liked this! For the price and quality of the cake, you get a lot!  I highly recommend this to you.

Cheskies (Pic 3)

The chocolate babka is not a cake; rather it is a pastry: layers of soft pastry (pastry itself is not that sweet), followed by layers of dark chocolate (sweet).  Overall, it’s a soft and very rich chocolatey structure – you would want to have it with a cuppa tea!

Pekarna (Pic 4)

The dark chocolate mousse cake was surprisingly good!  But it does not beat the cake from La Croissanterie Figaro.  Why? It has some hazelnut/flaky stuff on the bottom which diverts the chocolate taste away.  It has a chocolate glaze on top but this is very sweet and not as rich as the other glazes from other bakeries and is topped up with what a basic chocolate ball.  I am not saying it isn’t good; it is, but the other ones in my ranking earns their place!

Premiere Moisson (Pic 5)

The Tout Chocolat cake used to be at the top of my list a long time ago until I noticed other great bakeries around.  They also stopped selling this cake.  In fact, they say “we still make it” but it’s not the same.  It used to be a layer of brownie, followed by a slight bitter dark chocolate mouse with chocolate bits, covered by a rich chocolate ganache.  I did however, see a similar cake on valentine’s day and it was amazing – but it had whipped cream in it.  See the picture.

Gourmet Privilège (Pic 6)

They have some amazing cakes, but I only tried one: Sonuscouta ( believe that’s what it’s called!). Layer of dark mouse (quite bitter and a bit crumbly – like a mix between a brownie), vanilla cream (light and flavourful), chocolate sauce, topped up with chocolate clusters which were sweet and a bit salty.  It had different kinds of textures (smooth, then light, crunchy, sweet, salty) so it was quite addictive!  For sure this would satisfy a sweet chocolate tooth 🙂

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Thé Mon Café

Thé Mon Café

So what’s the hype about this coffee shop in Montreal? I wanted to know; soo took a 15 min walk to old Montreal from the main city..

I was clueless what to order, but the people at the counter were very friendly and helpful and spoke English! :). I ended up getting a Latte and a croissant. Although I just had my breakfast an hour ago, the guy at the counter said that I must try the croissant. So I did. It was reeeeeaaally good; actually THE BEST croissant I’ve ever had! Generally I’m not a fan of croissants, but this tasted buttery, was moist, fresh and light!! Was totally the opposite of “bland”.

Actually if you go for the croissant, choose the TLC. Has tomatoes, eggs, lettuce and sauce..but I was too stuffed for that.

The latte was really tasty!! It wasn’t watery, but wasn’t too thick. The coffee taste of it was brilliant!!! I’m not a coffee drinker myself but this was tasty! I didn’t need to put much sugar in it as it wasn’t too bitter anyway.

Would I come here again? I live in the west island; so it’s quite far just to come here (1.5hr by public transport). So no. But I’d definitely come here if I’m around.
I could get my buttery croissants from Première Moisson (which is around 7mins drive from my house). For lattes, I’d come here or stick to my other more convenient and fave place: Café Myriade.

Verdict: not worth to come down here if you live too far; but then again I’m not a coffee drinker nor a croissant eater 🙂

REVISED – Surprisingly, I can’t stop thinking about this amazing croissant and no other croissant compares to it.

Macarons

Ok, so the first thing I’m gonna review are macarons!!

I stopped at the airport in Paris on the way back from England.  My first sight was “Maison du Chocolat”.  This brings back good memories of my past trip to Paris where I had the most AMAAAAZING chocolate tart.  The chocolate was just simply smooth, rich and fresh.  So I bought some dark chocolate macarons.

After I few steps ahead to my gate, I saw Ladurée which is meant to be THE best macarons!

So as usual, I sat in a corner and started trying them both.

Ladurée: the macaron part was very thick.  It was soft in the inside and crunchy on the other side.  It also had a bit of a chewy feeling; EXACTLY how i perfect macaron is meant to be like! Then there was a small layer of chocolate.  This was good quality dark chocolate like any other good dark chocolate.

Maison du Chocolat: the crusty side (macaron part) was good (soft, with slight crispy texture and didn’t take long to get into the chocolate part.  In fact, the actual macaron part could have been a bit too thin (compared to Ladurée).  After I got into the chocolate bit, omg, this chocolate was a piece of heaven!!!! It was fresh (if you know what I mean), SMOOOOOOTH, rich and had a lovely cocoa fragrance. The chocolate bit was to die for!

Verdit:

If you really want good macarons – go ahead with Ladurée because they have the perfect texture.  If you want REALLY good chocolate (more than the perfect macaron texture), then go with Maison du Chocolat.

For me personally, I would definitely go with Maison du Chocolat only because I love chocolate and could not care less about the macaroon 🙂

(Bottom left) Ladurée.  (Bottom right) Maison du Chocolat

Intro

Ello and welcome to my food blog!!

So just a little bit about myself: I’m British born and raised Bengali girl, now living in Montreal.  I actually didn’t know what the term foodie meant until one day on a flight to the U.K, a passenger told me straight up “wow! You are a foodie!”  How did she end up saying that? I guess she said that because at that time she was thinking to move to Canada from the U.K. Since I was someone who experienced that, she was asking me “How is Canada compared to U.K?”  I guess all I talked about was the food!!! 😀

Since then, I became aware that I  eat out a lot and take pictures of food! Actually 90% of my Facebook photos/status are probably related to food!

I thought about it…I would love to share my reviews about food to you all out there!  After all, researching and trying it all out is time consuming!  I remember the day when I went for a cupcake spree in NYC! I tried a cupcake from every single cupcake bakery in the city!! 😀 I was even chasing famous cupcake trucks (by checking their location out on twitter).

Anyway, I actually enjoy the whole process of criticizing food – hahaJ.  I grew up living above an Indian restaurant (which my parents own in Cornwall, U.K).  I grew up criticizing Indian food 🙂  I was also a baker myself; and later I started trying out different bakeries.  

I’m impressed of Montreal because of its wide variety and high quality of bakeries! I’ll tell you more about it later!  Honestly though, when moving here 7 years ago, I was a bit sceptical because I would be missing my Cadbury chocolates, potato waffles, fish and chips and pasties from England.  However, I did not realise until I moved here that Montreal has soooo many good chocolate places, cafes and high quality food!  So I can say, it’s all even or even better:)

Bon Appétit!

Roxana