Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Early last year, I was invited to try a new, casual Thai eatery in the McGill Ghetto. Mae Sri's delicious, heart-warming noodle soups quickly struck a chord with me – especially in the cold of winter – landing it on my "best of 2019" list.
Fast forward to this summer, during which a second location opened up in the Plateau amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This is where I would spend my Saturday afternoon along with fellow influencers for the new entrant's official launch.
Located half a block north of the busy intersection of Saint-Denis Street and Mont-Royal Avenue, this addition sports the same look and feel as the original Mae Sri. The sun-drenched, wood-floored and paneled interior gives off a modern, serene vibe.
A warm, exotic touch is added via Asian accents and colorful plates. For today's occasion, the mood was livened up thanks to a DJ spinning electro-remixes of classic hip hop and R&B tracks.
tagged: GROOVY TUNES
Translating to "Mother Sri", the restaurant is an ode to chef/owner Pamika Sukla's mother, whose cooking influenced the entrepreneur – also owner of her namesake eatery Pamika.
The specialty here is kuai tiao – a Thai street-food dish – but the menu also features rice, noodle and soup-based items. Thai staples such as pad thai and pad see ew are interspersed with lesser-known, exotic options. Asian-inspired cocktails were offered for the occasion in addition to Thai coffees, teas and juices.
Our starters – fried chicken and papaya salads – reflected everything Southeast Asian cuisine is known for; fragrance, flavour and heat. Mains were tamer and milder – we went safe – starting with tender steamed chicken accompanied by Hainan sauce and rice followed by a creamy green curry paired with noodles.
"fried chicken, onion, coriander, lime, chili, rice powder, lime leaves, mint"
"green papaya, tomato, fresh chilies, lime juice, long beans, peanuts"
"steamed chicken served with flavored rice, hainan sauce & chicken soup"
"green curry, coconut milk, bamboo, chicken thighs, chili, basil, rice noodles"
With so many restaurants falling victim to the pandemic and shutting down, what a relief it is to see some activity in the opposite direction. It takes a mixture of savvy and guts to start a venture during these tough times. Yet, Mae Sri's affordable, takeout-friendly comfort food is exactly what people want right now.
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.