September 2012 Archives

By: Virgina Bostock

Image source: Flickr

A tapestry of cultural foods has worked its way into Montreal's reality. We have come to expect pleasant surprises when we choose to dine out. We are rarely disappointed! While there are many "down home" variety of restaurants, dynamic restaurants from these many cultures are represented by popular, highly recommended eateries. In a continuation of exploring these many cultures, my investigations will, once again, be separated by regions.

This article concentrates on East Asia consisting of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and Tibet. Not every country has dedicated its cuisine to one particular restaurant variety, but has, instead, created a fusion of cultures within one ranking. The most represented culture is Chinese. Montreal's Chinatown is small in comparison to those in other Canadian cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver, but it is a vibrant community nestled in between downtown, the business district and Old Montreal. There are many large and small restaurants, specialty stores and community centres as well as Montreal's Chinese Hospital. The south shore district of Brossard has the largest Chinese population, by district, ranking at 12% of the population. Other East Asian cultures have not taken up residence in any specific borough in Montreal.

While the Japanese population is very small in Montreal, its foods, extremely popular worldwide, are very well represented with in excess of 175 listed restaurants. Sushi, generally attributed to the Japanese, has infiltrated every Asian community's repertoire.


Korean is the second largest East Asian community in Montreal with a vibrant community centre located in N.D.G. as is a very well stocked Korean market. Korean food is noted for its powerful spicing and flavour. There are a number of excellent Korean restaurants scattered around Montreal, in particular downtown and the N.D.G. area.


The Taiwanese, Mongolian and Tibetan populations are quite small and tend to fall under the umbrella of the Montreal Chinese Community. Unlike in other Canadian cities, finding restaurants specializing in these cuisines is limited. There are no dedicated Taiwanese restaurants, just one Mongolian and three Tibetan. The flavours from these cultures can be found intertwined in the menus of most Asian restaurants that boast extensive choices.


China           Chicken Stir-Fry with Angel Hair Pasta Noodles

Japan           Faux Seafood Sushi Wrap

Korea           Short Ribs (Galbi Jim)

Taiwan         Fengli Su (Pineapple Cake)

Mongolia     Beef Hâche

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