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Sesame:

Pretty but Flawed

RESTAURANT ASIAN FUSION LITTLE BURGUNDY MODERATE <$20

The Pitch

We've been pondering the question of whether or not to review a franchise/chain for a while now.  While we certainly do not do fast food chains, we couldn't come up with a reason not to review a franchise with more ambition, especially if it was born right here in Montreal.  Enter Sesame's fourth location, which happens to be the closest one to where we live.

The Mood

Mood image

Located across the street from Marché Atwater, Sesame occupies a great spot in a gentrified neighborhood with no other restaurants open at night.  The interior is divided into a boutique area, an open kitchen and a small, intimate dining room.  Our evening started on a high note as we admired the appealing, Asian-inspired décor.

The Food

While the menu features both Chinese and Thai dishes as well as a few fusion items (General Tao poutine anyone?), we decided to go all Thai (even with the beer!).  Without going into detail, let's just say the food tasted decent at most (we weren't expecting better honestly).  However, what ruined our evening was related to execution: raw dumplings, cold-ish soups, "al dente" noodles and undercooked rice!

Steamed Vegetarian Dim Sum thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$6.25

$6.25

Zoom icon

Steamed Vegetarian Dim Sum

Shrimp Tom Kha, Small thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$4.75

$4.75

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Shrimp Tom Kha, Small

"spicy thai broth & coconut milk"

Tofu Tom Yum, Small thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$4.75

$4.75

Zoom icon

Tofu Tom Yum, Small

"spicy thai broth"

Thai Basil Beef thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Main

Main

$14.50

$14.50

Zoom icon

Thai Basil Beef

"served with stir-fried vegetables & jasmine rice"

tagged:  SPOTTY

The Service

We can best describe the service we received tonight as amateurish.  Between glasses of wine pre-poured away from the table, long absences by our waitress, and literally watching our main dishes sit forever at the kitchen counter before serving, it was hard to justify leaving much tip (which we didn't, a first since we started the blog).

tagged:  SOMETIME TODAY PLEASE WHERE'S THE WAITER?

The Verdict

What started out as a promising dinner went quickly downhill; the timing errors combined with the lack of professionalism did it for us.  At best, Sesame works as a neighborhood restaurant for people living nearby, given the lack of options.  As for us, the nice décor and budget-friendly prices ($70 for two after drinks, tax and tip) are not enough to bring us back anytime soon.

tagged:  SUBPAR

Price per person:  $19.75

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514eats

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.

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