Park Restaurant (Montréal)

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It’s an idyllic day in the beautiful province of Québec as we head to dine at one of Montreal’s finest restaurants. It’s my final night in Montréal and it’s quite the signature way to finish my time in this beautiful city.

Cocktails

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Opting for cocktails to start; my friend selects the Patrón & Lime while I reach for the more complex Osaka Sour. We admire the décor of the place which is so zen, specially the stars hanging from the ceiling; it has the hallmarks of an open skies feel.

The restaurant has beautiful brown and wooden thematic which beautiful carvings on the tables which contribute to the delicate and gentle feel of the place. There is a bar and counter area where you can see the chef’s ply their trade but we choose to sit in the main dining area inside.

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The Osaka Sour (pictured below) is a unique cocktail has Hennessy, Lime, Blanc doeuf and is topped with Nori. It’s a mix of citrus, smokiness, fluffiness, and salinity. Perfect to whet the taste buds and swing into the evenings proceedings.

Chef Special Maki

The slow sipping of libations is interrupted as a dish, served to the table next to us, catches our eyes. The chef has prepared a dish, which is not on the menu, for a table of VIPs. We are captivated by the dish and request the same dish. The waiter notes the dish is not usually done and he will check with the chef if he can prepare it for us. The chef agrees and specially handcrafted this creation for our table. Chef Antonio Park personally serves the dish to us.

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The Chef Special Maki has seared scallop, avocado, tempura Yellow Japanese Sea bream (Renkodai), cucumber, spicy mayonnaise

I gently lift the piece of sushi onto my plate. The scallop has a smoky salinity flow with a touch of sweetness in the finish. The nori wrapped vinegar laced rice rubs your tongue with an eclectic playful stroke, the tempura Japanese sea bream melts in your mouth with its flakiness melding beautifully with the crunchy oily tempura batter. The beautiful natural flavours of the sea bream linger leisurely on the palate with no hurry to depart.

My lungs gasp for air as they seek to recover from the exhilaration of the moment.  The dish balances with the refreshing crunch of the cucumber and the spicy mayonnaise touches the taste buds (and your soul) and weaves together each component of the dish.

I feel a little flustered, a little lost in the moment, my consciousness of mind is permanently altered. I gaze up to my friend to confirm the Maki moment was as magical for her as it was for me. The object of our affection is the Maki. Like all of life’s most treasured moments, in the vastness of human history this is a moment of unique culinary pleasure which will sadly pale into a distant memory as the span of time uncontrollably ticks on!

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Sashimi

We also opt for a selection of Sashimi to go with the Maki for the first course.

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There is a wonderful selection of fresh snapper, tuna, salmon, caviar, yellowtail.  We gently work through the sashimi; it’s a mix of strength of flavours and delicate nuances which are tasted carefully. There are some dipping sauces provided but my recommendation would be to taste at least one slice raw of each before doing a dip on the next slice. The real treat is the tuna which was my favourite and the salmon mixed with a smidge of caviar also hit the spot.

Black Angus Beef 

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The next dish is the Black Angus Beef with summer vegetables. The beef, which is sliced, is cooked medium rare and has a charred outer coating and juicy tender middle portion. The beef’s natural flavours are on full display with limited interference and every drop of the juices are worth savouring. The winter vegetables certainly do well to balance the dish with a crispy and pureed textural contrast.

Château Paveil de Luze, Petit Paveil, (2015), Bordeaux, France 

We pair the beef with a beautiful wine from Bordeaux.

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The wine is typical Bordeaux. It’s got beautiful flowy rich red and dark fruit aromas. On the palate it’s quite lush with a mix of red fruits (including some perky cherries) on first sip with some mild oaky bite. There’s some good deep earthy notes, a touch of mocha and mild tobacco which begin to introduce themselves ever so slightly. The wine is nicely balanced with some solid tannins to match with the Black Angus.

A very deep, full bodied alluring Bordeaux wine which could do with a little more age, but still hits the mark. My friend also gives it her seal of approval and we both agree it is an excellent choice.

Vacherin Leger

There is a little issue with the dessert selection as there isn’t a non-dairy dessert option – which is probably something most restaurants should do these days. A bit of discussion occurs with the waiter and it’s clear we have to bite the bullet and choose something with dairy and hope for the best. We share the Strawberry meringue.

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The dish has a French meringue dome, strawberry sorbet and salad, berry water and whipped cream. The crisp creamy meringue crumbles delicately on the tongue while the burst of the strawberry sorbet melds beautifully into the base berry water and strawberries. It’s a finely balanced mix of fluffiness / cream and the fruit.

French Connection

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I also have a French Connection for myself cause I’m on holiday and don’t need to wake up early the next day…. Actually, wait a minute I do; I have an early morning flight!! Oh well, I’ve already ordered it. It’s a “liqueured coffee” which has cognac, amaretto, espresso, Mousse de lait. It’s a mix of awakening the senses and dulling them at the same time. I really do hope the liqueur overpowers the espresso and I can sleep tonight.

Video Diary 

Here is a little video clip of the dinner.

The background tune is “Cargo – Day For Us”
► Cargo – Day For Us : https://soundcloud.com/officialcargo/…
► Cargo – Day For Us [FREE MUSIC]: https://youtu.be/ti_vIQzGeiA
 Download free this song here : https://audiograb.com/YQ08qvUC4

Overall

Park Restaurant is a beauty. It’s a mix of fine Japanese fusion, zen ambiance and creative culinary flare and perfect presentation. Where the theatre of aesthetics meet an assiette of taste; a combination which is so wonderfully interwoven.

The Chef’s Special Maki is just the dream and the highlight of the evening, I couldn’t think of a better sushi experience I’ve had anywhere in the world (even in Tokyo). The service is on point, the culinary skill & produce is top notch and the setting reflects the mood so perfectly. Park will definitely be on my list next time I return to Montréal.

I feel oh so sad to say goodbye and I don’t want my time in Montréal to end! So, I reluctantly part ways with my friend and head off in an Uber to get some sleep (notwithstanding the unneeded caffeine hit in the dessert) before my flight the next morning!