The latest addition to Montreal’s al fresco dining scene brings French bistro fare with Vietnamese flavours to a rooftop on the southern edge of Chinatown. Officially open today (May 20), Terrasse Carla is the brainchild of the Lucky Belly Group (Le Red Tiger, Le Blossom, etc.). It is perched on the sixth floor of the newly constructed Hampton Inn by Hilton on St-Laurent, corner Viger.
The hotel is already home to another of Lucky Belly’s hyphenated projects: Italian-Japanese Tiramisu, with which Carla shares its executive chef, Chanthy Yen. Over the last year, the rising Canadian-Cambodian culinary star has been involved in the launches of Tiramisu and vegan Vancouver spot Nightshade, debuted a pan-Canadian counter at Time Out Market Montreal, and worked as the personal chef to the Prime Minister of Canada.
Noting the impact of French colonization on Vietnamese cuisine, Lucky Belly Group founder Dan Pham last year told Eater the aim at Carla was to flip the script on that culinary exchange, bringing Vietnamese influences to dishes perceived as distinctly French. Accordingly, mains like salmon tartare get dressed in ginger and sesame and served with taro and shrimp chips, while chicken with cognac sauce gets stuffed with Vietnamese sausage and herbs. There’s also a “pho-tine,” where the Québécois favourite gets doused in pho broth-based gravy.
Drinks come from Montreal bar experts Kevin Demers and Sam Kirk, the duo behind The Coldroom and El Pequeño. One called the Fanxipang mixes rum and vermouth with orgeat syrup, lemon, soursop nectar, ginger beer, and butterfly pea tea flower, giving it a bluish hue. Carla’s variation on milk punch adds pineapple, lime, passionfruit, and black tea syrups.
The space itself brims with plant life, marble surfaces, black and white checkered flooring, and tall archways. At 7,000 square feet, it seats 250 and gives way to a stunning view of the Old Montreal skyline, including the Art Deco gem of the Aldred Building. On its opposite end, Carla overlooks the smaller-scale assemblage of independent restaurants and shops that populate Montreal’s Chinatown, recently granted heritage status to protect against future real estate developments.
Though billed as a terrasse, Carla is mostly covered, meaning diners can enjoy the vistas no matter the weather.
Terrasse Carla is open daily from noon until late on the sixth floor of the Hampton Inn by Hilton at 985 Boulevard St-Laurent.