Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
One of the fastest-growing trends in new restaurants I have noticed of late are halal eateries. I say this from a purely anecdotal angle without having access to any numbers or statistics. Once reserved to the cuisines of predominantly-Muslim countries or regions such as the Maghreb, the Middle East or Pakistan, nowadays a plethora of sandwich shops, burger joints, fried chicken pushers and pizzerias have adopted the halal label.
Today I was invited to try Yumi Burger, a recent entrant in this space located around the corner from Concordia University's Webster Library. Although this narrow, dim stretch of Mackay Street is not particularly suited for outdoors seating, my wife and I did enjoy Yumi's enclosed, street-side patio on this warm Friday afternoon.
tagged: CATCH SOME SUN
Taking over the spot last occupied by a French Takos branch, and The Halal Guys before that, Yumi left no trace of its predecessors in its makeover. The deep and narrow interior starts off with the kitchen/counter to the left followed by a small dining room at the far end.
The color palette blending black, red and white evokes a Formula One theme, minus the rowdiness of Grand Prix festivities on Crescent two streets over. We did well to arrive early for lunch, as a pack of hungry high-schoolers flooded the place shortly after us.
tagged: STUDENT CENTRAL
A pared-down menu listing a hamburger, cheeseburger, two fried chicken burgers – all halal – and a handful of sides gives a clear picture of what Yumi is all about. Burger patties can be doubled up and a handful of extra toppings are available for personalization.
A delicious and well-assembled burger made with nicely-seasoned beef, fresh toppings and a mildly-spicy house sauce. I found the patties too thin, making the double layers more fitting of a single one. Also, the accompanying crinkle-cut fries were a little soft and lacking a crunch.
Two thick strips of uber-crispy fried chicken sat between more burger buns dressed with the same sauce as before. While the chicken was excellent, I found the toppings a little boring for this type of sandwich; I'll be sure to try their other version – with coleslaw and pickles – next time.
With the increasing population of Canadian Muslims originating from Arab and other countries, the demand for halal options is showing no sign of shrinking. With a simple, affordable but well-executed offering such as Yumi Burger's (despite my minor gripes), these communities have much to look forward to. Yum-i!
Price per person: $13.49
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.