Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Just when you thought a city block could not possibly fit more restaurants, a couple new ones pop up! Sandwiched between two-year-old Marusan and the spanking-new Kupfert & Kim along the Old Montreal stretch of Notre-Dame Street West is Jiao. Today I was invited to sample lunch at this reimagined dim sum bar, open since July/August of this year.
The cozy interior is dominated by a spiffy wraparound bar, which really nails the pre- and post-party concept Jiao is proposing. The industrial/chic décor is juxtaposed against Chinese paper lanterns, a quirky cartoon mural and 90s hip hop beats. The dining room was empty when my wife and I entered at noon sharp, but filled up rather quickly with business types shortly after; perhaps the pair of us perched at the main banquette by the window helped draw them in!
tagged: GROOVY TUNES
Jiao suggests a fresh take on dim sum, including classic and inventive versions without forgetting the infamous Rémy-Martin-Louis-XIII-infused dumpling – which will set you back a cool $100! As for lunch, a one-pager lists a dozen options featuring noodle soups, rice bowls and bento boxes. Finally no bar would be complete without a custom cocktail list; this one making use of Asian ingredients such as sake, Sichuan bitters and green tea.
"egg noodle soup, wonton, bok choy, char siu bbq pork"
"tai chi gow, fried calamari, veggies fried rice, soupe, salad"
tagged: ORIGINAL DRINKS
Following izakayas, ramen bars, banh mi joints and pho shops, perhaps dim sum is the next Asian genre in line to modernize or go down the fusion/tapas path. Jiao is trying to accomplish this while providing Old Montreal with a hangout spot. A return visit at night may be required to get the full experience, but dis dim sum joint be bouncin'.
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.