A 10,000 square foot Chinese brasserie is on its way to Laval, taking over the former space of restaurant-nightclub Moomba, which closed last year.
Miss Wong is the name of the slated newcomer, and it’s partially headed up by Dan Pham, who has (until now) made his name in the Village with Vietnamese pub Red Tiger, Hawaiian snack-bar Kamehameha, and sushi spot Le Blossom (now all under the banner of Pham’s Lucky Belly restaurant group).
With around 400 seats (and another 130 on a terrasse), it’s over ten times bigger than anything Pham has worked on before, so he’s not doing it alone — the other partners in the project are the Foodtastic group, who own the space and are behind several Montreal-centric chains such as La Belle et La Boeuf burgers and Souvlaki Bar.
Pham says his success with various Asian-leaning restaurant was what led Foodtastic to contact him for the project.
“Laval is really missing Asian concepts, Asian food.”
Specifically, Pham says it’s going to be getting into dim sum territory, something practically nonexistent in Laval, but with much more fusion than, say, Montreal Chinatown classics like Kim Fung. Specifically, it will have North American touches (and fittingly, it’s named for Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong, who made her name in Hollywood during the 1920s and 30s).
The menu isn’t set in stone yet, but possible dishes include a beef carpaccio with yuzu sauce, shimiji mushrooms, and parmesan; a gyro-style take on Peking duck with Haitian pikliz, and bone marrow with a sea urchin gratin and fried bread (yutiao). Chef Phong Tach (of Red Tiger and Kamehameha) is overseeing the menu, and Pham says he’s getting the opportunity to get playful.
“It’s a playground for him.”
Equally playful will be the space — Pham has re-enlisted designer Guillaume Ménard (Le Blossom), and the large space will be designed with different sections — the terrasse will take after a Chinese garden, while the use of some neon lighting inside is aiming to evoke a chaotic Hong Kong street. Menard and Pham also drew inspiration from Chinatowns in Vancouver and San Francisco, with some design elements set to suggest “a Chinese/American kitsch restaurant from the 70s”.
But Pham notes that Miss Wong won’t just be a restaurant. Also on-site will be a smaller speakeasy style bar. Cocktails are to be taken seriously (and will be served for both the restaurant and bar): Tao Zrafi (who worked on creating drinks for Nhâu Bar and Perles & Paddock) will apply the fusion approach to mixed drinks. Also on board is Le Blossom sommelier Derek Vaillancourt. In all, Pham calls it a “one stop shop” of sorts.
The space is still in the works, but Pham says it should be open sometime this summer.