Thanks to some great friends and a birthday to celebrate, I was the lucky recipient of an all-paid dinner at Bouillon Bilk.
And what a treat! OMG, the food in this Montreal restaurant was out of this world.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into creating a multi sensory dining experience. Not only in the astounding combination of flavors, but also in the elaborate and artistic presentation that makes every dish look like a masterpiece on a plate. And I usually tend to be skeptical with this fancy nouvelle cuisine, as I find mixing too many flavors often results in loosing the taste of the main ingredient.
But you know what? At Bouillon Bilk that’s not the case. The additional flavors in every dish all have a reason to be, creating perfectly balanced plates. The creative combinations complement and amplify the taste of the dish without diluting the flavor of the core ingredient.
We started off by trying the Hamachi, a Japanese yellowtail fish, served sashimi-style with yuzu, grapefruit, fennel and cucumber. Although it was tasty and fresh, the Hamachi didn’t compare with the salmon starter we also shared.
The smoked salmon with rutabaga, asian pears, mustard and wild rice was incredible. A fresh explosion of flavors creating an AWE moment with every bite.
Main courses were all fantastic. All had mushrooms in their combinations, which makes me think the chefs play on what’s seasonal. Not sure if that’s always the case on the menu or if it was a reflection of mushroom seasonality but anyways, it was delicious.
The bar was the best, hands down. Crispy on the outside and tender inside, the fish was cooked perfectly. Served with carrot puree, pistachios, Brussels sprouts, cumin and onions, the dish was a delight for the senses…
The scallops were good, served with cabbage, shiitakes, pear, & greens. Well served and tasty but not as original as the bar.
The guinea fowl was really nice as well, accompanied with lentils, radish, chanterelle mushrooms and cherries.
5 Quebec cheese – A pretty assortment of local cheeses from Quebec. Served with amazing grilled bread and jam… it disappeared in no time.
Yogourt with white chocolate, passion fruits, pineapple and macadam nuts. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, trying Bouillon Bilk’s desert menu was too tempting. And no regret. The sweet yogourt was served with a sour fruity sorbet and crunchy nuts. A great way to finish off a perfect dinner.
Located on a grungy block of the Main, between Ontario and de Maisonneuve, Bouillon Bilk is not where you’d expect a fancy restaurant to take residence. But with the Place des Arts nearby I guess it makes sense from a business standpoint.
Unfortunately for Bouillon Bilk, the vibe doesn’t really match the food. Beyond the awkward location, the decoration inside is a bit dull (although they just renovated to expand the restaurant). Apart from 3 or 4 high wooden tables in the window (which we were lucky to be sitting at) the seating consists mainly of rows of tables and chairs with little character. The walls are white, the tablecloths are white and there is no art on the walls. I believe this is a conscious decision from the owners to be minimalistic so guests can focus on what’s in their plates, but I personally feel that a warmer vibe wouldn’t be distracting from the prodigious food.