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Pâtisserie de Gascogne

8 Jun

Funniest cake I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not really sure what it’s suppose to be, but my dad saw it over the weekend at Pâtisserie de Gascogne and instantly decided to buy it.  It could pass as a porcupine if the eyes were lower and if there weren’t any mouth or nose drawn on.  I think it’s reminiscent of a Boondocks character, whole my mom thinks it looks like Wyatt from the show 6Teen.  Now that I look at it,  it can also pass for a very cartoon-ish nervous/scared Buddha.

Aesthetics aside, this ice cream cake has 3 layers:  the shell is made of chocolate truffles, the second layer is chocolate ice cream, and the orange center is made of mango sorbet.  I think the sorbet would have been the perfect compliment to the chocolate but the cocoa powder is a bit too overwhelming my liking since I couldn’t really taste the ice cream after eating the shell.  The sorbet is amazing though; you can tell they used real mangoes.

As you can see, I felt a little apprehensive about slicing off the face, so I cut it from the back instead.

In short, as much as I love how goofy this cake looks, I don’t think I will buy it again (instead, I’d go for the giant pear shaped sorbet cake we got for my mom’s birthday, earlier this year — not only did it look like a perfect replica of the fruit complete with a stem and leaf, but the outside was made of pear sorbet and the pit was made of raspberry sorbet).  It does; however, make a fantastic conversation piece for any type of gathering.

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Pâtisserie de Gascogne
1950 boulevard Marcel Laurin
Montréal, Québec, H4R 1J9
Tel: (514) 331-0550


point G: Plaisir Gourmand

2 May

Over the weekend, we were making our way down Mount-Royal East and having a very enthusiastic conversation about something when suddenly a very colorful storefront and display window caught our eye and brought our conversation to abrupt halt.  What can I say; we have a weakness for anything sweet and colorful.  Without further ado, we dashed into the quaint little shop to get a closer look at the darling little French confections known as macarons.

I have never tasted macarons before but I have read enough about them from some of the food blogs I follow to know that even though all macaron cookies are are ever made of only the same ingredients (fine almond powder, icing sugar, beaten egg whites, caster sugar and food colouring), achieving the perfect macaroon is a monumentally challenging and difficult task.  The end result should have a thin, smooth eggshell-like crust while being light, firm, not sticky, crumb-free when pieced, slightly chewy and packing a sweet flavorful punch.

From Left to Right: Abricot-Black tea, Lime-Basil, Raspberry-Rosemary, Yuzu, Crème Brulée, and Lavender Blueberry.

By definition, Point G’s macarons definitely fit the bill.  I should warn you though the order in which you eat your macarons does effect its taste especially if you eat one with a milder flavor after one that’s really bold.  For instance, after sampling the Yuzu, and Abricot-Black Tea one, I couldn’t taste the raspberry in the Raspberry-Rosemary macaron; the filling tasted like the cookie.  It was only until after I tried the Lavender Blueberry and went back to the raspberry one that I could taste the jam.

Would I go back?

If my wallet permits, then sure !  I would love to taste all 22 flavors (and buy another Yuzu since it’s only available for a limited time — such a shame since it’s by far my favorite out of the six that we bought) as well as every thing else they specialize in.  After all, if the ‘G’ in Point G is derived fromtheir specialities — “gaufres, glacés, and gourmandises” (waffles, ice cream, and gormandises) — then you better believe they’re just as, if not more, spectacular as their macarons .

Yuzu: available for a limited time, this macaron is made as part of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami relief movement. A portion of its proceeds will go to the Canadian Red Cross. (More info here.)

The 22 flavours of Point G's macarons.

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Point G
1266 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est
Montréal,  Québec, H2J 1Y4
Tel:  (514) 750-7515

juliette & chocolat

17 Apr

Girls day out today!  Started off visiting Ongles Kim (yes, this is a shameless plug for my best friend, K, whose family owns this shop so you’re just gonna have to deal with it! =p), shopped and walked along Saint-Catherine before making our way to The Big Fashion Sale by Quebec Designers in Old Montreal and finishing our day with dinner at Juliette & Chocolat.

I have never actually been there before but I have read raving reviews about this place so I figured it’s the perfect locale to celebrate M’s belated birthday (it had to be postponed due to exams).

Juliette & Chocolat

It was so hard to chose something from the menu because everything sounds so divine!  The lingering scent of chocolate wafting through the dining area alone is enough to make any non-chocoholic drool and shriek with anticipation.  After much debating, we finally decided to settle on the following:

La Belle Hélène Twisté Flambée

La Belle Hélène Twisté Flambée:  I hope I got the name right; it’s not on their online menu so I had to google it but it was definitely called Hélène-something.  Admittedly, it is on the pricey side ($15) but from the bite I’ve gotten from M, it tastes pretty good.  The chocolate is a bit bitter but you won’t even notice it since it’s coupled so perfectly with the pears and crêpe.  The flambée aspect of it was a bit of a letdown since our waitress was having technical difficulties with the lighter and didn’t light the dish properly; we could smell the cointreau to know that it did work — just not enough so that we could see the flames.  I would order this again just to get a better taste since one bite is not enough!

The Pesto Complete Buckwheat Crêpe with Ham, Sundried Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese

The Pesto Complete Buckwheat Crêpe:  When ordering this, you have a choice between 3 types of cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, and gouda), two types of meat (ham or turkey) and several types of pesto (sorry, I can’t remember them all since I don’t really know what the difference between them are; I just opted for the sun-dried tomatoes when the waitress mentioned it).  Yes, it does look a little boring, but don’t let it deceive you.  All three of us really like this one and I’m actually glad I ordered it with tomatoes since it gave it a little more juice.  K commented that it’s reminiscent of a pizza.

The Mushroom Complete Buckwheat Crêpe:  In presentation, it looks exactly like the Pesto Crêpe and again you have the same option of cheese and meat.  Briefly put, I am not a fan of this dish.  Granted I don’t like mushrooms in general, but K does and even she admits that this one’s not as great as it could be.  The problem is there’s no sauce, whatsoever.  It would be a whole lot easier to swallow if it’s not so dry.

Chocolate Fondue Duo

Chocolate Fondue Duo:  The perfect way to end the evening.  I was a little worried that we would have trouble finishing this since I was quite full from my crêpe, but thankfully I was wrong.  Just look at that platter; how can anyone say no to that?  I can’t comment on how hot the melted chocolate (milk, and semi-bitter) was since we took too long talking and taking photos.

Would I go back?

Of course!  What we ordered is just the tip of the iceberg.  We really wanted to sample their famous brownies (I hear they’re heavenly when eaten with a tall glass of milk), not to mention their Chocolate Raspberry Mouse, and Praline Bomb (I like the sound of that!) on my next visit.  I can’t remember what’s in it, but their Juliette & Chocolat salad sounds really interesting too.

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Juliette & Chocolat
3600 St-Laurent (corner of Prince-Arthur)
Montréal,  Québec, H2X 2V4
Tel:  (438) 380-1090

Chez Cora & Paris Crêpes — Quick Review

17 Apr

I was going through some of the photos in my phone and just realized that I have a lot of food photos that I never uploaded.  I did intend to write some restaurant reviews but I just never got around to it since I’m usually so drained by the time I get home on the weekends.

Chez Cora

I think these photos were taken sometime during the fall last year but don’t quote me on that.  We meant to have dim sum at Fu Lam (福臨門) upstairs, but the line-up was so long that we didn’t feel like waiting.

Raspberry 4 Lucie

Raspberry 4 Lucie:  The first few bites were heavenly.  It was only until maybe two-thirds of the way through that it started to taste a little heavy.  By the time I got to the last few bites, I just felt sick.  They were overly generous with the cream cheese; it was just too much.  It completely overwhelmed the raspberry and in the areas where there’s no syrup, the combination of raspberries and cream cheese made it too sour to enjoy.

I don’t remember what these last three are since it’s been so long, but I remember the second dish is really good.

Would I go back? —  Probably not.  Mostly because for the price we paid, we could have ordered a huge variety of dim sum at Fu Lam upstairs and we would have left completely full and satisfied.   I do admit that my answer would probably differ had I ordered something salty instead of sweet/sour.

Chez Cora
9394 Boulevard de l’Acadie,
Montréal, Québec, H4N 3H1
Tel:  (514) 381-5606

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Paris Crêpe

Every time my friends and I walk pass this place, I would — without fail — get an immediate craving for some crêpes because the smell is so alluring.  It’s beckoning us as much as it’s taunting us since we always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere whenever we pass by.  Finally, we decided that enough is enough and set aside a whole afternoon just to sample their menu.

Clockwise from top left: Strawberry Nutella, Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake, and Apple Cinnamon.

Will I go back? —  I don’t think so.  The Strawberry Nutella Crêpe seemed like a safe bet, but the nutella got soggy halfway through and the texture felt extremely grainy on the tongue.  The Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake Crêpe didn’t taste as bold as I expected and it’s too heavy for one person to finish alone.  The Apple Cinnamon Crêpe is unanimously the best out of the three since it tastes exactly as you would expect it to.  In short, we were all severely disappointed and felt deceived by the enticing aroma.  The upside in all of this that we can finally say that we’ve “been there, done that” and move on.  There are better  crêperies in Montreal and quite frankly, you’ll do well to avoid this one.

Paris Crêpe
1333 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal,  Québec, H3G 1P7
Tel:  (514) 842-7128

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