the world isn't round… it's a platter
After hearing ravings of Martin Piccard’s Au Pied de Cochon ever since I first set foot in Montréal 2 years ago, I finally had the opportunity to dine here when an exchange student friend of mine from Australia was in town. Located on a street with unique restaurants, one might have to open their eyes slightly wider when hunting for this place as there is no signboard.
We started off with a bowl of Onion Soup(top) and Foie Gras Cromesquis(bottom). Covered with a layer of cheese, one could find well-caramelized onions and chunks of pork meat in the broth. As for the cromesquis, we were told to wait for 2 minutes before indulging in them as a whole. As I bit into that deep-fried, crispy-exteriored ball, warm foie gras ‘juice’ oozed into my mouth and the rest was paradise. If you ask me to compare the cromesquis to a Malaysian dish, I’d definitely say it’s similar (in terms of concept – the liquid-oozing part) to an all time favorite kuih – Ondeh-ondeh.
For mains, we had the Foie Gras Poutine. Thick fries coated with thick foie gras sauce topped with chunks of foie gras and squeaky cheese curds. My friends and I literally cleaned the leftover sauce with the complimentary oven-baked bread. (O yea, that was how good it was.)
Next was the Duck in a Can. We watched in awe as our waiter opened the tin can, turned it over a cauliflower-purée smeared plate and voila! Out went the duck breast swimming in duck fat accompanied by a huge piece of foie gras. This dish was rich and heavy but at the same time satisfying.
Our last main was the Braised Piglet Shoulder (an item on the Menu of the Day). Fall-apart-tender meat accompanied by slices of carrots and potatoes, which helped balance this meaty dish. I find this dish to be a little salty though.
Although the 4 of us were somewhat full, we couldn’t miss out on dessert. As the saying goes, dessert is the grand finalé of a every meal and I totally agree with that. We had the Créme Brûlée (top) - a smooth creamy custard coated with a crisp shell, Dark Chocolate ‘Pot de Crème’ (middle) – a rich dark chocolate mousse topped with ground graham crackers, and Sugar Pie for 2 (bottom), which was served with 2 generous scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream. Sweetness of the Sugar Pie was bearable for me and the vanilla ice cream was oh-so-good creamy.
O Faint-Hearted fellows, Beware! Dishes here are on the heavy side and greasy BUT you gotta try the foie gras poutine. Unless you’re against eating foie gras, then that’s another story… Would suggest going with a group of friends as the portions are huge and quite filling. (FYI: Foie gras poutine is served occasionally at Au Pied’s own food truck now in a smaller portion. Go try them NOW!)
P.S.: Don’t forget to make a reservation, this place gets crowded often.
P.P.S: Might not be the ideal place to bring your date (if you wish to have a more private, quiet session)