Sunday, February 9, 2014

Restaurant Cho

A few weeks ago I bumped into an old friend standing in line at Wal-Mart. He mentioned to me that his brother had closed his restaurant and opened a new one with a few friends and suggested I check it out. I promised I would and we said our goodbyes as we both headed to different cashiers. Forgetting the name of the new restaurant, my best friend and I decided we had to check out Restaurant Cho. I called, booked a table for Saturday at 8pm and calmly waited for Saturday to arrive.

All week I couldn’t wait to try Cho as I kept hearing how amazing the food was and seeing all kinds of delicious pictures on Instagram. We parked across the street; parking is very easy on Notre-Dame, and trekked through the snowy street to enter the packed small and stylish restaurant. We were seated by one of the owners who turned out to be our waiter as well. I knew immediately that he was my friend’s brother and that we were in for a real treat.

Three of us sat reading the menu while waiting for two more to join. I had a huge problem; literally I could not decide what to order and wanted everything on the menu. Sitting and waiting for our friends, the door to the restaurant kept opening while other diners left and more kept coming in. This was little annoying as we were seated fairly close to the door and the chill from the outside kept creeping up on us. The owner/waiter kept apologizing and even closed the door when people were taking too long to go in or out – we really appreciated that! The rest of our party finally arrived and we all ordered drinks; Jameson and 7Up, gin and tonic and white wine all round.


Ordering drinks was the easy part, deciding what to eat proved a little more difficult. Cho is a Japanese style tapas restaurant and all dished are meant to be shared, keeping that in mind we began ordering everything and anything we wanted. After much thought, we decided on braised beef bao, fried tofu bao, edamames, Cho’s kimchi poutine, lamb chops, teriyaki beef bavette, and salmon tartare. Yes, we were very hungry!

The first to arrive was the braised beef bao. Little folded steamed buns filled with deliciously flavoured braised beef, onions and cilantro. The beef was very tender and melt in your mouth delicious. The onions and cilantro complimented the flavour of the beef perfectly creating a delicious dish. I would have eaten three or four orders, but that would have left me full with no room to try Cho’s other dishes.

The edamames came to the table at the same time as the braised beef baos and we dug right in. The edamames are a simple dish, but at Cho, they spice them up just right. We all really loved the edamames, even though they were a tiny bit greasy.


Kimchi, golden crisp French fries, Quebec cheese curds and a very delicious dark rich flavoured gravy, what more can one ask for? The Cho poutine was a must order, but none of us expected to enjoy it as much as we did. The flavours of the dish complimented each other perfectly creating one of the most delicious poutines I have ever tasted. We literally licked the bowl clean and even considered ordering another, but we knew we had a lot more food on the way.


Next came a few orders of the fried tofu bao. Like the braised beef version, these little pockets of love were out of this world delicious. I for one liked the beef ones better and even wished that they had a pork belly version as well. I mentioned to our waiter that they should offer more variations of these delicious pocket sandwiches, hopefully they will soon.


The salmon tartare was beautifully plated and served with house-made wonton chips. The Asian flavoured tartare was really good but I thought it was lacking something but couldn’t decide what it was. The Sesame flavour of the tartare was delicious, I felt as though a touch of heat was missing though. The salmon was very fresh and the crispy wonton chips complemented the soft tender tartare beautifully.   

The teriyaki beef bavette and tatake lamb chops arrived at the same time. I dug right into my lamb as I was the only one at the table who eats lamb; I know my friends are really lame eaters! The lamb was absolutely delicious. I was so enthralled with the lamb that I totally forgot to reach over and grab a bite of the bavette. From the mmmmms and awes coming from the right side of the table, I knew they were really enjoying the bavette, but I was too into my lamb to care. The lamp was nestled a top delicious Asian greens, asparagus and a delicious chimichurri sauce. I cannot wait to go back and order more of the lamb, besides the braised beef bao and the poutine, the lamb was my favourite of the night.

We ended the meal with Cho’s large chocolate chip cookie baked fresh to order and served hot a gooey with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. The cookie was absolutely delicious, I mean a giant cookie what’s not to love. The cookie was cooked just right and so large that it was the perfect size for five of us to share. I highly recommend this dessert!

Even though Restaurant Cho has only had its soft opening and not even offering their full menu, the food and service was on point – very impressed. At the end of the meal, we chatted with one of the owners who told us that they are adding to the main menu as well as adding brunch on weekends. My friends and I were instantly excited as we love brunch and promised we would re-visit in a few weeks to try out their brunch menu – can’t wait!    

Restaurant Chō on Urbanspoon

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