Restaurant: Mauvais Garçons
Restaurant type: tapas, sharing plates
Prices: $5-$19 tapas, $6-$8 desserts, wine bottles starting at $40
Date: Wednesday August 14th 2019
Table of: 3+1
My favorite dishes: tartare + burrata + tacos + mac n cheese
Last month, after checking out Patrice Pâtissier, my foodie friends Stef @smarkfoodie, GK @spoonfulof.chic, and I made our way to our second stop of the evening: Mauvais Garçons! After spending close to an hour discussing over IG DM where to have dinner the day before, we finally settled on Mauvais Garçons for their internationally inspired tapas menu. Mauvais Garçons is located in Griffintown, just off of Notre-Dame and Rue des Seigneurs. Even though GK is a pescatarian, we were able to choose 7 dishes to share (minus the oysters – those were just for Stef and I) that we were all excited about. Here’s what we ate:
- Dozen oysters
- Tuna tartare with sesame, soya, yuzu and fried wontons
- Burrata with roquette pesto, cherry tomatoes and marinated mushrooms
- Tuna tataki tacos with miso, cucumber and spicy marinated radish
- Truffle and parmesan fries
- Ricotta gnocchi with white wine, tomatoes, roquette, pine nuts and parmesan
- Mac n cheese with three cheeses and jerk chicken (on the side)
- Alvarinho, Portugal, Vinho Verde, Muros Antigos, Escolha, 2017
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Jöel Gott 815, 2016
Overall, the food was very good, but a couple of the dishes were misses. My favorites were the tuna tartare, the burrata (you can never go wrong with anything burrata), the tuna tataki tacos and the mac n cheese. Although the presentation of the tuna tartare was a bit odd (it was shaped like a ball, so it looked like a big ball of raw ground pork, which is kind of disgusting mais bon) it tasted very nice (I also flattened it out for the sake of our photos lol). The flavours were Asian – my favorite for tartares – and nicely seasoned and balanced. The fried wontons were a nice crunchy touch too.
The burrata was superb as always and a nice full portion too, which isn’t always the case, so that was extra nice. It was also accompanied with what seemed like warm, homemade bread, which was very good too. I however wasn’t a huge fan of the roquette pesto, as I found it too bitter; perhaps more herbs, cheese and nuts added to the mix would have been better. The tuna tataki tacos were probably the best dish of the evening, in terms of flavours and complexity. They looked great and tasted great, especially with those fried onions added on top. Personally, I very much enjoyed the mac n cheese, although not everyone else did. There was definitely an – or many – interesting spices used to season it, which I found cool, unique and different, but others found it displaced and it reminded them of Indian food lol (to be fair, GK is Indian and Dini, who joined us later, is from Sri Lanka). It was also accompanied by some jerk chicken (served to us on the side, because GK is a pescatarian) which was really good; the chicken was nice and juicy, very flavourful and very well seasoned.
I did, however, find the truffle and parmesan fries, as well as the ricotta gnocchi, to be misses. The fries, although only $5, barely tasted like truffle and you could not taste the parmesan, even though there were some white bits on the fries. I would rather pay double the price, but have a better product, that tastes like truffle and parmesan. As for the ricotta gnocchi, the dish lacked in flavour and was quite citrusy, which was not expected as it wasn’t indicated on the menu.
We also chose to accompany our meal with two bottles of wine – one red and one white – which were enjoyed by their respective parties. I, of course, drank just the white wine, which was very nice. Not like some of the other vinho verdes I’ve had, but very light and easy to drink.
Overall, we enjoyed a very good meal at Mauvais Garçons and had a great evening. The food was good, the wine was good, the company was good and the prices were good too.
So, here is my review of Mauvais Garçons:
Food: 3/5 (good)
Would I go back?: Yes but I’m in no hurry; so many more places to try before coming back to this one!
*All photos and comments are mine