Saturday, July 10, 2010

Confusion Tapas Du Monde (Montréal, PQ)

1637 Rue Saint Denis
Montréal, Québec

As I mentioned before, the reason for my visit to Montréal was my sister's bachelorette party. As the maid of honour, one of my duties was to organize a ladies' night. Not being the best party organizer (except for dinner parties that is!), we went through various iterations from cooking classes to playing embarrassing games. After a reservation mishap, my sister mentioned she'd like to try tapas and I snagged reservations for 10 at the last minute at Confusion Tapas. Ooof - what a relief!

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On the very busy St. Denis Street. Some tables had swing chairs - interesting!

Confusion Tapas' name is quite telling: they offer a medley of small plates that originate from all over the word. I thought it a bit odd to have the word confusion since it often isn't a positive attribute for restaurants. The restaurant's menu is divided into 3 sections: veg out, thalassa (seafood) and for carnivores.

They also offer menus for groups ranging from $35 to $60 per person. We decided to share the $35 menu that consisted of a soup and 10 dishes: 3 vegetarian, 3 seafood and 4 meat. Having a few girls who did not eat meat, we asked to switch the confit duck wings for a vegetarian item. After some back and forth with the kitchen, the waitress offered to replace it with the goat cheese crumble.

We were first served baskets of bread, with olive oil and vinegar to dip in. Next, shots of the soup of the day, which was potato leek cream, were brought out. I enjoyed dipping my bread into the soup.

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Bread and soup to start with.

Interestingly, the food came out as the same groupings from the menu. First, the vegetarian dishes, which consisted of 1) a sheep cheese & smoked red pepper dip, served with naan bread, 2) Hung Quê green papaya salad and 3) saghanaki. We all enjoyed the dip and especially the bread, even though it wasn't typical naan bread. The papaya salad, dotted with dried cranberries and dressed with maple syrup, was good but nothing like any papaya salad I've had and nothing like the Vietnamese origin the name suggests! Finally, the saganaki was quite tasty - what else can I say, other than "fried cheese"? If anything, it was a bit too much of a good thing. We got two large flaming pieces, which was too much for the nine of us!

Red Pepper Dip with naan bread and Papaya Salad in the background.

Saganaki: flaming Greek cheese!

Next were the seafood plates. We each got a spoon full of 1) salmon tartare with wasabi crunch.
It wasn't bad but it seems salmon tartare is always done, non? The wasabi crunch gave it a good kick. There was a 2) Matane shrimp salad, served with foccacia sticks. The shrimp salad, consisting of little shrimps with dill and pineapple, was a bit too mayonnaise-rich for my taste. The three breadsticks were quite good but rather awkward sharing between nine people. I think they could have made smaller ones and served more of them! Finally, a large plate of 3) fried Cajun calamari with cumin mayo was quite. It was hot and crispy, and the serving quite generous!

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Top: salmon tartare and shrimp salad. Bottom: fried cajun squid.

To start out the meat plates, we got our replacement vegetarian plate: the goat cheese crumble. Think of a savoury crumble made up of a rich tomato sauce with rosemary and a goat cheese crumble on top. Awesome! It tasted like eating lasagna without the noodles! We had to ask for more bread to dip. This was definitely one of the favourites of the night!

Goat cheese crumble.

Finally, a large serving tray of the meat items came out: 1) grilled Hungarian chorizo served with tomato jam 2) bison mini burgers and 3) confit quails. Honestly, by this stage, we were all quite full. However, I did want to try the dishes. I really like the spicy chorizo, and while some thought the jam too sweet, I liked its sweetness against the saltiness of the sausage. The bison burgers were cute but rather bland. The quails - I don't really remember: I think they had a sweet coating.

The meat platter.

As you can see, for $35 each, this was a lot of food! I love sharing different dishes and Confusion Tapas delivered on variety. Unfortunately, there was maybe a bit too much confusion, with some definite highs, and a few lows. I think it's great that their menu caters to different food taste. However, the grouping of the food made little sense to me. A real vegetarian would have only eaten at the beginning, and a pescatarian for ⅔ of the meal. My suggestion would be to serve food that includes each grouping so everyone can eat throughout the meal!

My sister in the requisite bachelorette attire!

We were much too full for any dessert and just finished our night out dancing, to burn off all of the food we ate. Now that the bachelorette post is written, the wedding post will come soon enough!

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