Chinese food is well-recognized and appreciated world-wide, however it is often the naturalized and somewhat “white-washed” dishes that most of us non-Asians order and consume. What Chinese people may consider “genuine” cuisine, the rest of the world shies away from, and often not quietly…

   For those of you out there who crave the taste of authentic Chinese food in an intimate, clean and convivial atmosphere, search no further than the almost two months old restaurant Aunt Dai that opened its doors officially on February 5th, 2014.

The owners wish to offer their customers the opportunity to enjoy their hospitality and services, while truly appreciating Chinese cuisine in Montreal.

Situated in the heart of NDG and a stone throw away from the Montreal Jewish General and Sainte Justine Hospital, the restaurant is already gaining a good reputation among the Chinese community for offering specialized Chinese dishes and good lunch combos.

The chef has accumulated several years of experience working in China as well as in Singapore – the food Mecca of the world. The 40 seat restaurant offers free WIFI and Live sports TV on two television sets.  Customers are invited to bring their own wine and beer and are able to visualize the dishes in advance on a Galaxy tablet. A patio terrace will also be on offer during the summertime.

Here below is a sampling of what I found interesting on Aunt Dai’s menu:

Entree:

The Wonton Soup dumplings were made with a thick dough and filled with pork and fresh spring onions seeped in an not overly salty broth. The Hot and Sour soup was served piping hot, garnished with spring onion and filled with carrots, bamboo, tofu, eggs and black fungus.  A little spicy, but not too overwhelming.

The inside of the Fried Squid was soft and chewy while the thin outer fried crust remained crunchy. The platter was served with lots of vegetables, mostly red & green peppers and onions.

Main courses:

Visually stunning like its name, I enjoyed the esthetic presentation of the Daisy Fish Filets cooked with fresh water fish. During preparation, the fish is thinly sliced and then wrapped and cooked with flour. The filets are served hot and dipped in a decadent orange – colored sweet and sour sauce with a side of carrots and salad.

One of the popular dishes among the locals are the BASIL sauce dishes. You can have your pick of cooked chicken, beef, shrimps, tofu or vegetables served with sweet and sour sauce.

The Braised Chicken with Wild Mushrooms Hot Pot dish was scrumptious and should be eaten the moment it arrives piping hot. A word of caution is given to clients before ordering as there are several small bones in the dish.  I found the meat succulent as it just melted onto my tongue. To enhance the flavor, the chef prepared the dish with a rare and prized hazelnut mushroom that can only be found in the northern provinces of China.

Dessert:

For a sweet finish, I recommend the Fried Ice Cream.  Served flat between two fried patties, the texture is very hot and crunchy while remaining cold on the inside.


I found the trilingual staff to be friendly and more than happy to suggest dishes.  The chef’s own specialty is his spicy, Sichuan Twice Cooked Pork with spices, capsicums and preserved vegetable from the chef’s native province Jiang Su.

During my visit, the owner raised the importance of paying attention to small details in food preparation and choosing quality ingredients.  He was quick to emphasize:

“The key to good taste and quality is taking your time to cook the food.  Chinese food cannot be prepared quickly… If you do, it will probably not be high quality cuisine and the dish would have been westernized. Most importantly, for flavor it is important to eat your dishes while they are hot!”

This last point explains why the restaurant refuses do delivery, but still offers take out services.


 Next Tuesday on the 15th of April, from 4PM to 10PM, for the launch of their new loyalty cards, the restaurant will offer all customers a 50% discount on all dishes.

Address:

5557A Côte-des-Neiges

Montreal

H3T1Y8

Tel: 514-340-0088


Opening Hours

Everyday from 11:00 – 22:00

Website:

www.auntdai.com