A new dim sum bar is on the cusp of opening in Old Montreal, bringing both a 50-seat space for drinks and small plates, and on weekends, a late-night takeout window.
Jiao comes from a duo with a mix of nightlife and restaurant expertise: the owners are Tongue Bui (see also: École Privée on the Plateau; Bui also hosts certain nights at other venues), alongside Olivier Berkhani, owner of food trucks Phoenix 1, bowl-burrito purveyors Queen B, and Le King Bao.
Back in December, Bui told Eater that he wants to fill a gap in Old Montreal, which is well-stocked on prominent high-end restaurants and decent casual options, but outside hte hotels, a little light on resto-bar options.
“What’s missing in that corner is a place for people to pre-drink, have a quick meal, and socialize,” he said.
OK, so one item will definitely skew towards a rather moneyed crowd: Jiao is planning to serve a dumpling infused with Rémy Martin’s Louis XIII cognac — priced at a casual $100. Will a drunk person order it from the take-out window and promptly drop it on the ground? Possibly.
Elsewhere on the menu, it’s much more accessible. Menu items fit with the restaurant’s name in part (Jiao is short for jiaozi — a type of dumpling), and include har gow (a Cantonese dumpling) with shrimp and Alaskan king crab, shumai, an open-faced dumpling with pork, scallop, and shrimp. Outside of dumplings is a flowery wonton soup, and “General Jiao chicken”, a take on General Tao — and while some eyes may roll at the North American Chinese classic, it does look rather good in picture form, laden with red chiles.
Since it’s part resto-bar, expect a focus on cocktails (menu TBD) and for beers, mostly Chinese imports. The space itself is shiny and metallic, centred around a lengthy U-bar, but softened with an array of paper lanterns and a cartoon mural — take a peek.
STATUS — Jiao opens Wednesday, August 1 at 399 Notre-Dame W, from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days, with lunch to come at a later date.
- Jiao [Facebook]
- Prominent Party Promoter to Open Old Montreal Dim Sum Bar [EMTL]