“Haca Quattro Chi” as I have re-christened it, is an isolated but popular restaurant in Montreal. It made several lists of best restaurants in the city and the Chef Dany Bolduc seem to be a regular of the Montreal food scene.
The restaurant stands in a former bank and the location has been well used. You can still see by the kitchen the massive vault doors, with Chef Bolduc leaning on them overseen the action from this privileged vantage point. The restaurant is small and offers table sitting as well as bar sitting. We opt for the bar with its view on the kitchen and the little mixology corner with fresh cocktail making ingredients.
At first glance the menu is intriguing, full of worldly flavor that you do not often see on the menu of mainstream restaurants in Montreal. Tamarind, curry, coriander, coconut, tandoori, kefir all made appearance on the menu next to octopus, carpaccio, gravlax etc. We feel adventurous and ready to explore the concoctions on the menu.
As starters we opt for the veal carpaccio and the Gravlax with yogurt and curry. The carpaccio was placed on a poppadum and is complimented with lime, curry, onions, tamarin and coriander and the gravlax also has some curry and yogurt.
We excitedly try our dishes but are right away a bit disappointed; our starters were both, not very well balanced: inadequate acidity level and overly salty (to the point of being unpleasant to eat).
Following, we have the quail with strawberry and tamarind again and chili and the tandoori octopus with yogurt, rice and some crunch given by cashew and coconut (this is the start dish of the house we are told). The main are more balanced but all those exotic flavors still don’t quite balance. The quail needed more acidity and more chili and the octopus and rice did not make for a happy marriage with the curry spices.
From my dining experience, it is clear that Chef Bolduc knows about food and flavor balancing. Each ingredient on the plate seems to have been carefully thought out to create the perfect dish with the right level of sweetness, acidity spiciness. Each dish is a delicate assemblage that unfortunately, does not quite stands on its own with, each dish missing something or having a little too much of something.
That said H4C is definitely some uniquely creative cuisine and seems to be a lot of fun to put together. We also must absolutely mention the service at H4C which we really enjoyed, it was professional, yet casual and cordial!
Rating from 1 to 10:
Wine selection /advice:7.5
Cost:7 ($93 per person before tax and tip 2 course and 2 glasses of wine)
Address: 538 Place St-Henri Montréal, Qc, H4C 2R9