I just came back from my run and ended up hiking to this beautiful mountain of trees, Mont Royal (a volcanic complex which was active 125 million years ago according to many sources), which is one of the landmarks of Montreal. It is actually quite near from the place I stay. It took around 20 minutes if you jog to that place. I reached the base of Mont Royal around 10.15am. If you are in Montreal please do not miss this place. Nature, beautiful landscape of trees and tranquility. Walk and hike to the top of the mountain. It is very accessible and not that far. You can use GPS to give you guidance to reach to the top or ask around which I did most of the time. Apparently there are several spots and peaks and several entrances. I went there alone and it is safe as there are a lot of joggers, hikers and tourists especially at the summit where the chalet is. The view of the city from the peak is stunning although there are lots of people. Plus minus I spent about 2 hours in Mont Royal. Since it is the Fall, the beautiful greens are starting to turn into tints of Autumn.
Right after that, I drop by McGill University’s Le James bookstore to shop for McGill's merchandise. As most of you may already know by now, I love merchandise of shows or people I like. Most of my clothes represents ships in TV shows and movies, fandom related such Taylor Swift, Orphan Black, Taylor Swift, the university I went to, NYU, Taylor Swift and so on. I am not a fan of branded stuffs but a fan of these kind of stuffs. Sometimes I purchased stuffs that could be a metaphor of situation or even to remember a place or person. I ended up spending quite ehem $$$ at McGill Le James.
Quickly, I head my way to Sho-do to meet J for lunch. She said her friend recommended this Japanese restaurant as it seems to be one of the good ones there. According to J, the sushi we had are Canadian produce. Also do not compare the ones here and Japan’s sushi, alright. Japan’s is definitely tip-top. I have not been to any places which matches their quality. But the ambience and service in Sho-do were good. After that lunch, J brought me to that French bakery, Maison Christian Faure which she got for me the birthday pastries. Oh my..I walked pass-by this place several times but didn’t know this was the one. She had to buy for me a pastry because she said she felt bad that the lunch wasn’t really satisfying. And well I had this pastry by myself, it is super nyummy. Next time if ever I find this thing again in other parts of the world, I am gonna buy at least one.
TIME CHECK - 6pm
Heheheh I played cheat and took a cab to Old Port of Montreal so I can reach as soon as possible. If I take the train, plus minus with me losing my way every time and the train schedule, I guess it will already be dark. Wow ... guys this place looks extremely spacious. Especially that view there of the St.Lawrence River. Apparently, most of the stalls are already closed. I am walking around here and most of the time taking pictures of myself with my new McGill hoodie. I am going to just stand here for a moment to take in the view of that observation wheel, Le Grand Roue de Montreal from here and observe people. The air is fresh here so I should not waste that moment. After this I am going to find that French pastry again. J said that there should be more choices at this outlet, but most of the pastries will be gone before end of the day compared to the one at downtown.
Oh well, yeah she is right. That favorite pastry of mine, the one I just had after lunch including the raspberry passion birthday tart are not there anymore. These 2 pastries is making me don't wanna look at anything else now that I saw you. Only left with a few of others which actually looks good. I am gonna surprise her with some of these. When I said some means like four gorgeous pastries.
Wow the beautiful lady who served me is so nice. I bought a fresh from the oven chocolate twirly croissant (I cannot remember the name of it) and she gave me another one for free. Woot woots... Gonna give to J one of this. Anyway, I am alone and will be leaving tomorrow to Toronto. Who wants to eat so many? I love to buy pastries but in reality I prefer to give it as gifts.
I am now heading back to the apartment. It is already getting dark. Planning to buy some groceries to surprise her again hahahaa… and wanna try the Briyani at this place which I passed by a few times near Concordia University. The briyani aroma gosshhh. Anyway, I need to try the Indian food here and see whether is it nice. I love Indian food especially Chicken Tikka Masala (it became mine and Hans favorite since we had it at Neha's party years ago) and also my all time favorite Briyani rice.
I ordered a chicken briyani and the staff at Bombay Mahal Thali asked whether I want to choose some gravy. So I did. I remembered selecting only one which I thought is common to be served in a small serving to have it with the briyani. I ended up bringing back a pack of chicken briyani, 3 gravy with another set of white rice where they placed the gravy and a naan. I did not order those. It costs around CAN$21. Who wants to eat so many? Are you kidding me??!! I managed to eat only half the chicken briyani and decided to bring to J so she can at least have it tomorrow or whatever. Furthermore, I have to make sure I am not too full.
I am meeting J at her house for my last dinner in Montreal, with her. I don’t know why I am kind of sad. Or maybe not. I am. I don’t know. I mean like, I counted days, I counted miles to come and meet J here and I have never done that with anyone. Oh wait, I mean I did once in 2013 to UK. So, I don’t enjoy this type of moment like saying goodbye to someone who has a place in your heart. That feeling is like death by a thousand cuts especially if it is different. Okay, I guess as usual I should be able to handle this. Manage it. It will be fine.
She said she is making pancakes for me. Heading there by cab again although it is only like 20 mins walk. Flag a taxi which I have never done for years in Singapore since the existence of Grab. I didn’t use any app since it was just a short stay. Maybe Montreal has some taxi app you can try to check if you guys come here. It is drizzling quite heavy actually. But really with those groceries, pastry and the Indian meals, I cannot handle all these by myself walking even though if it is not raining.
For info, the cab fees is considered not bad if you are comparing apple to apple. Somewhat similar like in Singapore, Example 17km about S$18-$20. In Montreal, the cab fees is roughly like this. And again, I am very bad in measuring distance so this info might not be accurate.
The last 2-3 days, the weather in Montreal already started to change from scorching sunny to rainy. A cab driver told me it is supposed to be turning from Fall-Winter. But luckily it did not affect any of my activities. Most of the time, the weather provides me with good lighting for my selfies.
I am now in J’s apartment. She is making the pancakes batter by herself. As you know, I am not the type who help people in the kitchen to cook that includes not helping my mum. So, I had to offer my help after battling with my inner thoughtfulness.
After helping her to peel the green apple skins from the groceries which I purchased for her, now I am standing in her kitchen stirring the apple with sugar and something else (she told me what it is but I cannot register it in my brain). Guess what I am making? Caramelized apple for the pancakes. And also she said with excitement that she will be making for me apple cake, so I can bring for my trip tomorrow. What the hell?! I have tried convincing her there is no need for the trouble. Making a cake from my imagination and many years of experience (less than 10 times baking a cake), I projected it will take 4 to 8 hours. But she insisted. For her it is common and a culture to make for someone an apple cake as gift. Alrighty then.
While I am stirring now, she is making the pancakes and the butternut squash soup. The aroma of the baked butternut fruit and the pancakes are enticing my appetite. The butternut squash soup is the one she promised to make for me when we were in Ottawa shopping for a butternut at Whole Foods. I have no idea how this thing taste or looks like. Let’s see later and will keep you guys updated. It is already 9.15pm. J’s friend, Z who was introduced to me on the first day I was in Montreal if you remember, will be here too later.
Okay, I need to sign out for awhile. J dropped a bottle of her coffee powder. I am going to help her to clean it up. This reminds me of a symphony in a fiction.
Guys, the butternut squash soup is heavenly creamy! I have never tasted anything like this. And the caramelized apples with pancakes are compatible with each other. I also learnt to make whipped cream by shaking it in a closed bowl, shake hard. I was like wow it can work like this? I mean she shakes it better than I did, that is definite. We are having our dinner with Z.
For food wise, in conclusion I can say that although I did not try so many food outside in Montreal, I literally had the chance to have meals cooked by a very skilled Canadian. Consider it the true blue local food. I cannot thanked J enough for her time everyday making meals for me. I was not expecting that she spends her time with me throughout this one week, day and night. And cook delicious meals everyday for me. As you guys already know by now that I am not the type who likes to bother people, so this was unexpected. She treated me so well, like extremely well. And she deserved all the great things there are in this world.
I have to end this part cos I am sad to leave. I have the sense that this seems like our last and we will not have that opportunity to meet again in a very long time. Most of the time my senses are 99% accurate. But these moments in Montreal and Ottawa, personally are very special to me.
PLACE TO STAY IN MONTREAL
Pierce Boutique Hotel by Simplissimo
PLACES TO EAT IN MONTREAL
Abe and Mary's
Maison Christian Faurie
Bombay Mahal Thali
Shish Taouk AlThaib
Blog Posts on -
Maple Ridge/Silver Valley
Mozio via Agoda