|Montreal Style Restaurant
By Daniel White
Translated by Anna Yang
141, BeiPing St, Puli Township, Nantou County
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5:30-8:30 pm (closed Tue & Wed)
Although Montreal Style Restaurant is a little far from downtown Taichung, it's special enough to warrant a trip out to Puli. And, if you happen to be visiting Sun Moon Lake, you certainly need to stop in on your way home.
This establishment is noteworthy for many reasons but at the top of my list are the fresh, top-grade ingredients and care that go into each and every dish here, from the vegetables to the spices, and even cooking oil.
For my visit, we tried the Quebec Sheppard's Pie (NT$350), featuring creamy, soft mashed potatoes over spiced ground beef and creamed corn, all smothered in a generous layer of cheese and capped with a dollop of homemade chutney. The savory flavors blended well with the slightly-sweet chutney to transform this entree into a sublime experience.
Paying NT$160 extra for the set meal, our dinner started with Cream of Carrot Soup that offered a blend of sweet and savory flavors and provided an excellent precursor to the sheppard's pie. This was followed by a hot cup of herbal tea and homemade French Canadian Sugar Pie. As I took a bite of the pie, the flavors were initially mild with sweet undertones, but then the sweetness of maple syrup emerged in what I can only describe as the best culinary experience I've had in years.
I also couldn't resist trying the Pork Pita Souvlaki with French Fries (NT$320), but upgraded my fries to Poutine for NT$30, because you can't eat French-Canadian food without trying poutine. The souvlaki was amazing; I'd been hoping for something similar to souvlaki back home, but back there they don't use homemade pitas, souvlaki meat or sauce, so my Taiwan version was infinitely better. The poutine featured perfectly cooked fries that were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside while the sauce was savory and sweet with a hint of maple syrup, complimenting the other dishes quite well.
If you are traveling by car, I recommend parking a block east of the restaurant on BeiChun Road. Also reserve a table because the restaurant is pretty small and usually full.