Craving for sashimi when you are in Montreal is like a torture. With a student budget and a rather picky palate (inherited from my food-centric family), I find the choices of good, affordable sushi places very limited. And just when I was craving for some glistening salmon and tuna, when I was thinking "Oh well, I'll suck it up and eat something else", Marché 27 popped up on my mind. Thanks to this tartare bar, I have found a perfect alternative - tartare.
Located on the bustling St. Laurent, Marché 27 is a rustic, trendy restaurant/bar that offers an extensive menu of tartare and cocktails. There are 10 choices of meat and fish in total, complemented with 13 different styles of seasonings. The tartare is offered in 100/150/200 grams for each serving so you can adjust the proportion to your appetite. I recommend the 150g serving so you'll have enough room for some appetizers and desserts! My friend Hugo and I had such a trouble deciding what to get since everything sounded so good. The waitress offered us the specials of the day and we ordered a Vietnamese sandwich with white tuna tartare as the appetizer.
Vietnamese sandwich with white tuna tartare The bread was fresh enough to be chewy and the combination of white tuna tartare with pickled carrots is very refreshing. Make sure that the pickled carrots don't fall out (exactly what Hugo did...), you won't want to waste the heart of the sub right?
Red tuna tartare in Indian style: curry, mango oil, chives, coriander and shallots I never thought curry would go well with tartare, but this dish changed my mind. Instead of having the usual thinly sliced toast on the side, this Indian tartare was served with tacos. The meat was tender and blended well with the taste of curry. I personally don't like coriander, but the taste of it was barely noticeable.
White tuna tartare in Japanese style: wasabi, soy sauce, tempura, ginger, shallots and chives This dish is definitely the highlight of our dinner. The ginger gave the white tuna a subtle note of sweetness and the tartare was mixed with just the right amount of wasabi. For those who can't eat spicy food, there is no need to worry about the pungent taste of wasbi. The mini tempura bites gave it a crunchy touch and the mix of shallots and chives just made the dish shine even more. My craving for raw fish was finally satisfied.
Creme Brulee I didn't expect much of the desserts but this creme brulee was mouthwatering. The golden, sugary surface was toasty and the soft custard was lush with the sweetness of vanilla. I savored every bite of it until there was absolutely nothing left.
Even though a lot of reviews online complained about the service at Marché 27, the waitress was helpful in giving us advice and we were quickly served. Our water bottle was refilled once it was empty. Maybe it was because we were there early in the evening, so I recommend to go there at around 7pm to avoid slow service. The bill can come a bit pricey but it's justified with the excellent tartare they serve. Marché 27 is simple and unpretentious, and its convenient location makes it even more hard to resist. I'll definitely come back again for another meal.