The critic for the Montreal Gazette ventures to Chinatown for her review this week. A rare departure for Lesley Chesterman but, as the critic indicates, Orange Rouge "is far from your typical Chinese restaurant. Frankly, it’s a lot more fun!"
That fun includes cocktails, bar snacks, a 36-seat terrasse slated for delivery soon after tortuous delays, and small, punchy plates from chef Minh Phat Tu (late of Le Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet). Not every item scores but the kitchen knocks a few choice home runs. First up, ribs: "Eating those ribs made me remember the first Chinese food I ate as a kid, especially that distinct sweet-and-salty flavour of barbecued pork. Yum!" Also solid, "a perfect, warm-weather dish" of citrusy beef tataki.
The pièce de résistance, however, is Orange Rouge's duck. "Here the duck is dismantled and cooked three ways: the wings are deep-fried, the legs are confit and the breast is sautéed. The results? Spectacular!" On the strength of superb service and a trio of memorable dishes, the Chinatown restaurant earns a respectable two and a half stars on four from the Gazette critic.