Summer is finally here and what better to do than wine and dine on the many terraces our wonderful city has to offer. The plateau is brimming with delicious food choices that range in flavors and ethnicities as well as ambiance and budget. One of my favorites is Restaurant Hà for its amazing take on South East Asian cuisine and incredible terrace overlooking Jean Mance park.
This eatery was greatly inspired by traditional Vietnamese food culture, moreso the “bia hoi”; restaurants focused on quality food and a cozy atmosphere. For all of those who have had the great pleasure of travelling throughout Asia have likely noted the incredible array of dining options in every nook and cranny, connecting daily life with mouthwatering food. Each spot has their own unique take on local classics and have built a cult following for their specialties, while providing a family-like ambiance. With this in mind, Nicolas Urli (owner of Flyjin, Velvet and Jatoba), Francisco Randez (television and radio host), Flore-Anne Ducharme (PR guru), Simon Morel (Cirque du Soleil) teamed up to re-create the bia hoi à la Montréalaise.
You might recognize the location as it was previously Souvenirs d’Indochine, run by Mr Hà. Being warm and inviting to everyone he met, Hà became somewhat of a local celebrity in the plateau. Not only was the restaurant named in his honor, but he ran the kitchen alongside Laotian chef Ross Loandsignotha. Together, they created a menu full of delectable Vietnamese/Laotian dishes, with a hint of Montreal flare.
I’m addicted to the vegetarian Imperial rolls and the Mama Thipphachanh’s Laksa soup. If you eat fish, you need to try the delicious Mr. Ha's classic coconut salmon, my favorite ! Save some room for desert- try their delicious chaï tea flavoured crème brulée, yummy-licious! Spending Sunday afternoons on the terrace with my hubby and daughters with a view of Mont Royal is really a perfect way to end the week. I’m looking forward to picnics in the parc thanks to their new concept. Just place an order and they will pack everything into a basket for you to enjoy on the mountain !
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It brings me great sadness to write that Mr. Hà has passed away two weeks ago. I offer my deepest condolences to his loved ones and all those who had the joy of coming into contact with him. You were truly an amazing character and your spirit and soul will live on at the restaurant for years to come.
Photography by : Patricia Brochu