Restaurants & Bars 27

Maison du Nord

lipoff | May 13, 2010 02:25 PM

On the very fine suggestion of sharkbait88, my friend and I went to Maison du Nord (北京人家, Bei3 jing1 ren2 jia) for lunch. It is not the easiest place to find (many maps do not seem to have it, but it is at 2130 Rue St-Mathieu (and Avenue Lincoln) and quite near the Guy-Concordia metro station.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see many Shaanxi style dishes on the menu.

We shared 葱油饼 (cong1 you2 bing3, or Green onion Chinese pancake), 羊肉泡馍
(yang2 rou4 pao4 mo2, Pita bread dipped in lamp [sic.] soup), 红烧牛肉面 (hong2 shao1 niu2 rou4 mian4, Braised Beef Noodle Soup), steamed dumplings filled with 羊肉香菜 (yang2 rou4 xiang1 cai4, Lamb and coriander) and 豆浆 (dou4 jiang1, Organic soybean milk).

The cong1 you2 bing3 was terrible --- it was the oddest scallion pancake I've ever seen, being very crispy on the outside, uncooked and soft inside, and with almost no scallions at all. The black vinegar served with it was excellent, however.

However, the restaurant more than redeemed itself with the noodles. These were terrific hand pulled Lanzhou style noodles, with a remarkable depth of flavor and perfectly textured beef. The la4 jiang4 (chili paste) served with it was both ma2 (numbing) and la4 (hot) and also flavorful.

yang2 rou4 pao4 mo2 is an unusual dish from Xi'an, and consists of a lamb stew studded with little bits of torn, stale bread. Usually you are presented with a large bowl and a piece of bread to tear into pieces yourself, which is then whisked back into the kitchen and filled with stew. In this case, everything was done in the kitchen, but the results were still good, with nice pieces of a bread and an unusually flavorful stew (if maybe a little sparing on the lamb).

The dumplings were good too, although some weren't quite cooked enough. They have a remarkable variety of dumplings.

dou4 jiang1 was very good both hot and cold.

All in all a very good choice for authentic northern style Chinese food, with very nice ownership and wait staff. Cash only though. The rest of the menu looked intriguing and I wish there were more than just the two of us so that we could have sampled more food. But make sure to get noodles!

We saw a sign around the corner of Tapioca Thé at a Sichuan restaurant, but they were closed, so we ended up having bubble tea at Magic Idea right across the street instead. They had one of the most extensive bubble tea menus I've ever seen. We both ordered winter melon with kumquat jelly, which was quite good but a bit too sweet. Although the bathrooms were terrible, the atmosphere was nice, with many flat screen TVs showing movies, and numerous couples and small groups engaged in friendly conversation all around.

Magic Idea
1675 Boul De Maisonneuve W, Montreal, QC H3H1J6, CA

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