September 25, 2010

L'Express @ Montreal

After reading numerous reviews of various French restaurants, L'express was acclaimed to be an authentic Parisian diner. So for the first night of my Montreal trip, I decided to go there for dinner. The restaurant is situated at Le Plateau-Mont-Royal and after spending a few hours climbing Mont Royal prior this this, I was absolutely starving when I arrived. The restaurant looked promising as it was the only jam packed one on a rather quiet street.
Upon getting seated, we were served bread with butter. I love bread and especially French bread, and this bread was the best that I had on my trip. I tried not to eat too much of it to not ruin dinner, but it was really hard. To my horror, after the first loaf was done, the server promptly gave us another one! I really struggled hard to not eat more!

We also had free pickle and mustard. I'm not a big fan of pickle so I didn't try any, but the mustard was simply to die for. It was so good I wanted to dip everything into it!

BONE MARROW WITH COARSE SALT: I'd thought that I had an adventurous palette, but perhaps I overestimated myself. Eating the bone marrow felt like... eating pure fat (albeit very flavourful fat). One is supposed to eat the bone marrow with the baguette slices topped with some coarse sea salt. Perhaps eating one would've been a pleasant experience, but after eating 3 of them, I felt like I was shortening my life expectancy. Apparently, a lot of people like this dish, but I think I will stray away from it in the future...
ROASTED QUAIL WITH WILD RICE: I love Chinese-style quail, so I was wondering how much I would like French-style quail. I was looking forward to trying completely new flavours. Well, it turns out that it tasted pretty much like Chinese-style quail, which means that I liked it a lot, but it wasn't anything surprising. The thing I did like was the wild rice, which I've never had before. You can see some of it poking out beneath the quail. I love the chewiness and texture of the rice, so I'll be seeking that again in the future.
SAUTEED DUCK CONFIT SALAD: I actually enjoyed this dish a lot and I thought it had great flavour. However, the duck tasted like... Chinese-style cured duck! Nonetheless, I think all the flavours worked well together with the salad. In the end, I was simply surprised at how similar the flavours of some French dishes are to Chinese dishes. I guess I was wishing for a more exotic experience.



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