Last week the food critic for La Presse ventured to Chinatown to ward off winter's chill with hand-pulled noodles and beef broth. This week Marie-Claude Lortie finds herself at a Taiwanese tea house on the edge of Shaughnessy Village close to Concordia University downtown. Nos Thés offers "des spécialités taïwanaises, donc beaucoup de fritures, des plats de riz, des soupes, des nouilles. À quatre, on y a mangé amplement pour 65 $, avant service. Un excellent rapport qualité-prix."
Lortie chooses two soups to start: chicken broth and pork wonton, and beef tendon and spicy soy sauce. The former is "simple et merveilleusement efficace pour réchauffer le convive", while the braised beef melts in the mouth. This, Lortie writes, is "Un grand moment." Other hits from Nos Thés's kitchen include a Taiwanese take on popcorn chicken, minced pork potstickers, and the star of the show, Vasir — a rice dish with ground, seasoned pork and an egg simmered slowly in soy sauce. "Wow. Du réconfort à la fourchette." There's a long list of teas to accompany the food at Nos Thés: Lortie opts for a chamomile gently sweetened with yuzu jam. "Un remède immédiat contre le blues d'hiver." Despite a quibble with the restaurant's ostensibly pre-cut vegetables, the critic will be back.