Montreal will get an array of tropical flavours from a new Hawaiian and Filipino fusion restaurant, set to open in the next two weeks in Côte-des-Neiges.
It’s named Le Petit Vibe, and co-owner Willson Luu tells Eater it’ll definitely go beyond the rather limited scope of Hawaiian food that exists in Montreal.
“People are just used to poke bowls when they hear ‘Hawaiian’, but there are all sorts of different chicken dishes, stews, and comfort foods, like Filipinos do as well.”
The combination of Filipino and Hawaiian influences makes sense — around a quarter of the entire population of Hawai’i is of Filipino descent, so there’s already plenty of cross-pollination between the two cultures. Le Petit Vibe has the right person on board to make it happen — the former chef from Griffintown Filipino restaurant Junior, Ryan Oabel, is on board as a co-owner and will run the kitchen. (Luu also brings years of experience in the Japanese culinary world, another major influence in Hawai’i — he worked at Westmount izakaya Imadake for seven years.) A third owner, local DJ Chops Wunda, rounds out the team.
Oabel’s menu will be at turns meaty and comforting, but with some tropical elements in there too. Some planned dishes include lechon kawali, a crispy fried pork belly dish to be served on rice with bok choy and furikake (a Japanese rice seasoning). Then there’s furikake chicken, which Luu likens to a Hawaiian-style General Tao, with seasoned fried chicken thighs and a citrus sauce. A buttery garlic shrimp bowl from Oahu’s north shore will also be served.
Brunch will also be served (Oabel worked on Filipino brunch over at Junior), featuring comfort food dishes like loco moco — a beef patty topped with gravy and a fried egg, often with a range of variations.
The restaurant will be a casual, counter service affair, open both lunch and dinner — a cocktail program is also in the works for sometime after it opens.
Le Petit Vibe takes over a location that was previously fish and chip shop Brit & Chops, on Côte-des-Neiges Road near Edouard Montpetit, with Luu hoping that it’ll prove popular among crowds from the nearby hospitals and universities. Montreal’s small Filipino food scene is also centred in that neighbourhood, although it’s mostly around Victoria Avenue.
The owners are hoping to open in the final week of September — track them on social media for a confirmed opening date.