Spectacular. Ambitious. Two words the food critic for Le Journal de Montréal uses to describe Jellyfish crudo+charbon this week. Fresh off a solid write-up by Lesley Chesterman in the Gazette, the facelift of the bygone Aziatik from Francis Rodrigue (of Longueuil restaurants Madame Thai and Magia), and Roberto Pesut (Buonanotte, Globe) gets Thierry Daraize's notice.
The critic with the persistent habit of gendering in his reviews doesn't waste an opportunity to observe that Jellyfish is a perfect restaurant for "a girls' night out." Daraize writes that the chic and comfortable décor, lineup of small plates, and charming ambiance makes the restaurant a favourite with "la gent féminine." On to the food then.
Salmon with blueberry, lemongrass, and ponzu is good, but the blend of fish and berry could be more pronounced. A pork flank is too fatty, but the flavours, aided by a spicy aioli, coleslaw, and 60-degree egg, are impeccable. The best dish from chef Mathieu Masson Duceppe comes next, in the form of a tuna crudo with fresh wasabi, black radish, picada, sweet soy, and nuts. "Un plat quatre étoiles et plus!," exclaims Daraize. Other winners from Jellyfish's kitchen include red curry salmon with kefir, and shallot confit. The fish is a tad overcooked, but it's a tasty dish nonetheless. With braised veal cheeks, black cherry, cipollini, and spaetzle, "on devine que le chef se donne bien du mal pour satisfaire sa clientèle," the critic concludes.
A bacon laced pouding chômeur caps it all off. Service is friendly, and considerate, and Daraize adores the "hors des sentiers battus" wine list. A few dishes can use some adjustments, but on balance the Journal critic likes Jellyfish a lot (despite being a dude). Three and a half stars on five.