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Sadness on a Plate: 2016’s Most Disappointing Montreal Meals

From too much syrup to too little service

Les Enfants Terribles PVM
Deirdre C.

As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food critics, writers, and bloggers. This year we posed eight questions, from meal of the year, to top restaurant newcomers. All will be revealed by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2016. Responses are unedited, for the most part. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.

Q: What was your most disappointing meal of 2016?

Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette fine dining critic:

Les Enfants Terribles PVM really outdid themselves providing the shoddiest service I have ever experienced. I mean, you have to make an effort to be that bad.

Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse restaurant critic:


Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:

Instead of going to Otto Yakitori Izakaya for the umpteenth time, or another Shaughnessy Village favourite like Kazu or Mei, I decided to try GaNaDaRa after taking in a movie at Cineplex Forum a few weeks ago. I went in hyped to try some Korean snacks with a beer or two but the dishes I sampled—fried chicken, kimchi pork belly stew, bulgogi dupbap, and a couple of others—were bland. The fried stuff was flavourless and coated in syrupy sweet sauces. I left feeling gross, not particularly well-nourished and regretting that I didn’t just go back to Otto, or finally discover a place like Gado Gado. There are better options for Concordia students and anyone else hankering for Korean food.

Tied with GaNaDaRa for most disappointing meal of 2016 is Soy, the longstanding Chinese (ish?) restaurant on Saint-Laurent in Mile End. Soy was never on my radar, even though I live close by, but after seeing it garner a few raves over the last year, I finally gave it a go. The food was mediocre. We ordered a bunch of dishes and everything tasted the same. Just lacklustre. I don’t get the restaurant’s appeal at all.

Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter:

Speakeasy Mtl: I was excited about this new place and went there a few days after the opening. The space has potential and the service was great, but it was kind of a disaster in the plates: boring, not good and not inventive at all. I know they changed chef since then so they might be ready for a second chance.

Joanna Fox, Ricardo magazine associate editor:

Sadly, Maison Boulud.

Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:

I don’t really have disappointing meals. I love eating and I try to do it with people I enjoy the company of. And if that’s not enough I add lots of wine.

Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:

Agrikol. The space and drinks were great, however I found that the food was ‘meh’.

Coming tomorrow: the writers sum up the restaurant world in 2016, and offer predictions for what might happen in 2017.

Les Enfants Terribles PVM

1 Place Ville-Marie, 44e Étage, Montréal, QC H3B 4S7


1844 Rue Atateken, Ville-Marie, QC H2L 3L6 (514) 903-6707 Visit Website

Maison Boulud

1228 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3G 1H6 (514) 842-4224 Visit Website


5258 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 1S1 (514) 499-9399 Visit Website

Bar Ganadara

1900 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3H 1M4 (514) 379-3009 Visit Website


551 Rue Saint-Martin, Le Sud-Ouest, QC H3J 2L6 (514) 447-2717 Visit Website

Le Speakeasy

120, rue McGill, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E5 (514) 883-9138 Visit Website