The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.27.02


A taste of the East in the West

The Arrival of Kim Loy on the West Island is long overdue. Lovers of seczhuan and Cantonese food no longer need to travel all the way to Chinatown to experience authentic dishes prepared at the hands of an excellent chef who caters to the whims of diners.

You won't find pretentious prices here as the owners have designed a menu that showcases most dishes at under ten dollars.

I confess to having a broad knowledge of most oriental offerings and was impressed by this restaurant's scope.

Attention to surroundings is obvious here in an East meets West contemporary design. Straight lines offset simple curves and all meet in a well-lit setting. The menu here sports no less than 104 items and all are available for take-out.

Fortunately, my partner and I were dining in. Here's why.

Lobster was highlighted as a chef's special and if you haven't tried this crustacean prepared by a Chinese cook, then you are missing out on one of life's truly great culinary experiences.

First, let me tell you about the soup.

There are classics such egg drop with beef and the ever-present wonton along with hot and sour. There is crab and fish maw for the more adventurous.

Let's just say that the chef got it right on the version of hot and sour soup that we sampled.

Just spicy enough, with hints of white pepper and essential ingredients such as tofu, mushrooms, and bamboo shoot. These good-sized portions were steamy and inviting and, as my partner noted, the soup was the perfect consistency. Too often cookie cutter oriental buffets offer a goopy sludge that suffers from the addition of too much cornstarch. Ours was silky and smooth.

I have a penchant for any thing prepared in black bean sauce and as a method of testing a restaurant's ability in the kitchen, I always order a dish of beef with this condiment.

The version here surpassed expectations and I will now be saving much fuel in my search to satisfy my weekly craving. A large, sizzling platter arrived sputtering godly scents and was beautifully adorned with snow peas, green pepper, and crunchy water chestnut. The beef cozies up with the veggies and black bean sauce, allowing bites of meltingly tender morsels. Hints of sesame and garlic made this dish outstanding. A little dipping in chili sauce didn't hurt things either.

Back to the lobster.

My partner and I polished off a gleaming red fellow (or was that a damsel) in roughly five minutes. A crispy, spicy, stir-fried one pounder arrived in its shell and had been tossed in what I deduced as garlic, chili, salt and a touch of cornstarch.

No matter if I was mistaken -- it was simply one of the best lobsters I've had.

We had to try a Canadiana dish, as it would not have been fair to ignore the General Tao's chicken. This popular dish is found on virtually every menu from here to Hong Kong. What I will say is that my partner declared this restaurant's version as the best she's ever had and she's had her share, if you know what I mean.

We enjoyed a traditional tea and sipped a good white wine. Prices seem reasonable for drinks and a simple dessert menu rounds out the menu. We did not sample the fried bananas or the lychee but will attempt to do so next visit.

As mentioned, Kim Loy delivers but I strongly recommend dining in to experience first hand the chef's flare with fresh ingredients. The owners are friendly, too.

Kim Loy is located at 11779, Pierrefonds Boulevard (corner Gouin) right next to the Super C at Sources. Telephone-514-685-6688.