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Critic: Montreal’s Newest Moroccan Restaurant is “Elegant” and “Authentic”

While new bistro Boxermans also gets a warm welcome

Organic beet salad, turmeric cumin hummus, toasted pistachios, aged sherry vinaigrette
Alain Dahan

New Drummond Street Moroccan restaurant Tangia had its first critic visit this week since opening in May, and Le Journal de Montréal’s Thierry Daraize was full of praise. It’s “modern”, “authentic without falling into clichés”, and has “elegance”. With nods to the ambiance and service, the food gets almost uniform praise: a carrot-raisin-orange blossom water salad is ideally balanced, moflettas (Moroccan crepes) are a “real treat”. The main plate is Daraize’s star — braised beef (possibly a tagine or tangia, although he doesn’t specify) melts in the mouth, complemented by couscous and jus. The dessert platter would benefit from a little less sweetness, Daraize says, but it’s four stars nonetheless. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Boxermans

Also getting its first write-up is Outremont bistro Boxermans, open since June. The day-and-night resto gets a warm welcome from Ariane Krol at La Presse — interestingly, Krol deems a five dollar potato dish with herring mayo as a must-eat dish, but it isn’t to say that potatoes aren’t the only thing Boxermans does right. Elsewhere on the summery menu from Deux Singes de Montarvie chef Sean Murray-Smith, smoked mussels and arctic char do well, ditto for Provençal tomato with pecorino mousse. Boxermans should ditch beetroot from the beef tartare, according to Krol, but there’s otherwise a lot to enjoy. [La Presse]

Patricia Brochu

The new Old Montreal location for Vietnamese restaurant already has the Tastet stamp of approval; now Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman has positive words. Chesterman never reviewed the original Plateau Hà (it fell into the now-dead casual dining reviews at the Gazette), but says she’s always considered it a restaurant that feels just right. The second Hà doesn’t quite hit the same heights, but Chesterman loves “the presentation, the quality of ingredients, the vibrancy of flavour” in the food, from sour-but-rich coconut shrimp soup to spicy glazed chicken wings. Grilled satay beef, cooked rare with crispy broccoli, is easily Chesterman’s main of the night; others like the pad thai (main) and papaya salad (entrée) go too subtle on flavour. Two and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Otto Yakitori

Lastly, Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet is at izakaya Otto Yakitori, the downtown Japanese spot that had a warm reception upon opening last year. He writes that Otto is to Japanese cuisine what the corner bistro is to French — it’s casual and unassuming with its straightforward yakitori skewers. He’s warm, but not raving — Tastet’s group leave “satisfied but not stunned”, although he doesn’t have any glaring negatives. The chicken skewers go down well, and Tastet recommends what he calls “the house version of bibimbap” (nevermind that this is a Korean dish; perhaps he means donburi). Anyway, the stone bowl of lightly-spiced pork, vegetables and rice is “succulent”, helping Otto earn three stars. [Le Devoir]

Otto Japanese Yakitori

Maisonneuve ouest, Montréal, QC

Restaurant Hà (Old Montreal)

600 Rue William, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E5 Visit Website

Tangia

2072 Rue Drummond, Ville-Marie, QC H3G 1W9 (514) 282-9790 Visit Website

Boxermans

1041 Avenue Van Horne, Outremont, QC H2V 1J4 (514) 495-4000 Visit Website

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