Friday, 18 June 2010
Lunch @ MAS CUISINEFood rating: Exceptional (10), Excellent (9), Very good (8), Good (7), just Ok (6)
Date/Time: Friday June 18th, 2010 12:15
Addr: 3779 Rue Wellington
Location: Verdun, QC
Phone : 514.544.3779
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2010: They do not serve lunch anymore as/per notice on their web site
(English review will follow) - Ce fut un repas vraiment ordinaire. Surprenant, étant donné la popularité de l'endroit et la renommée du Chef. L'on m'a dit parcontre que c'est vraiment mieux en soirée. Pourtant le Chef était là sur l'heure du midi, aux commandes des fourneaux. Bref, allez-y mais ne comptez pas sur moi pour en faire l'éloge!
Mas Cuisine is the stronghold of Chef Michel Ross who has made a name for himself behind the stove of his previous popular Montreal's table, Brunoise. Moving away from the pricey downtown's real estate was a smart move. Verdun, where it is now located, is still not that far from downtown Montreal.
At lunch time, Mas Cuisine offers a prix fixe three course meal menu
For the main course, I could chose between a salad (kill me next time I chose a salad at a restaurant, you will be forgiven! ), or a soup of the day. The soup of the day is a gazpacho on this Lunch:
Gazpacho - The cold Iberic originated soup was nice -> perhaps not as authentic as some purists might want it to be, but who cares: it tasted great, so fresh. Authentic or not, it has the merit of technically be well composed: olive oil (substituted by pimenton oil in this case), pepper, garlic, tomato + an expected vinagary dimension. Good gazpacho (flavorful, zesty) A fair 6.5/10 (would have been a 7/10 with more refinement and better shrimps).
Artic Char Seared on one side (the skin was way too dry!) , it was accompanied by fresh green peas, oyster mushrooms (pleurottes) with an emulsion of tomato and saffron. The fish on it's own --- apart the disappointing texture of it's dry skin -- was just ok (tender, cooked ok) but lacking refinement and depth of taste. The presentation looks cool and modern, but the elements just do not bring excitement: this emulsion of tomato and saffron was a ticket straight to boredom!! 0/10
Vanilla panna cotta with Quebec's stawberries - Enjoyable creamy consistency, balanced sweetness (I do appreciate), with the overall sugar/cream/milk being simmered well. Simple dessert that tasted delicious. The Quebec strawberries were fresh and sweet. Good 7/10
Total cost: $49 (the 3 servings, coffee + 2 glasses of Riesling gunmetal Hewitson 2009's Aussie white wine***), Without the wine , the meal comes down to $49.11 - $18 = $31.11
There are a lot of affordable meals in Mtl: for ie, the low cost lunche at Decca77 and many other top restaurants of this city do offer surprisingly great meals in the $30 price range (of course, wine exclused)! At night, Bistro Cocagne offers a $20 two meal service after 9:30PM, Milos and Lemeac do offer bargain meals too, passed 10PM.
It was packed, especially around 1PM . Most customers seemed to be regulars.
With respect to the patrons, I refrained from taking pictures of the restaurant.
It is a very small room, simplistic, with blond wood floors, tables and dark leather-covered chairs.
Service was attentive, knowledgeable although I would recommend that they formulate some kind of appreciative words when the customer is leaving ..........this should not be an exclusive privilege for regulars.........
Bottom line .... Nah, it didn't do it for me
Overall, this Lunch at Mas Cuisine was just ok.
I was not seduced at all. I expected more gustatory excitement, here, more punch.
Yes the gazpacho was fine and yet not that perfect and the main course of fish was simply u-n-a-c-c-e-p-t-a-b-l-e! (how could one miss such a simple piece of fish??) .
The panna cotta was technically successful and tasty in mouth...but not stellar neither.
Chef Ross was cooking on this lunch. I wish him the best, but it is a NO repeat, for me.
Thanks for reading!
***Riesling gunmetal Hewitson 2009's Aussie white wine - Nice white wine with the usual upfront minerality of most Rieslings. Nice citrus aromas. Personal rate: 75/100