Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Very few restaurants in Montreal are known for its seafood. One of the most anticipated restaurant run by Daniel Notkins, founder of Oysterfest, has finally opened its door to the public. Notkins is a raw bar serving at least 10 varieties of oysters on their menu. In addition to oysters, there are lobsters, scallops, ceviches, tartares and some hot seafood dishes. 

Sunset Beach, Belon and Wild Wellfleet Oysters
Each type of oyster is characterized by its terroir that gives its distinct texture and unique taste. The jelly-like texture and the liquor are what makes them enjoyable to slurp. My friend Zhen is a fanatic of seafood, but she never tried raw oysters in her life. So we started off with Fortune Bay oysters which originates from Prince Edward Island. This oyster is considered as a beginner oyster. It is mildly briney, crisp with an ocean taste. 

Fortune Bay Oysters from Prince Edward Island
My friend enjoyed her first experience with oysters that we opted for advanced oysters. We asked our knowledgeable waiter to go through the flavour profile of each oyster of the day. When ordering oysters, it comes with a mignonette sauce, fresh horseradish, wedges of lemon and jalapeno sauce that comes in a drop bottle. We chose a platter of 6 oysters. We had the belon oyster, a rare oyster from the coast of Maine - only 5,000 of these oysters can be harvested per year. It's creamy, not very briney with a metallic-mineral finish. If it's available in the menu, order it without any hesitation.

Belon Oysters from Maine
The Wild Wellfleet oyster from Massachusetts is briney with a seaweed finish.

Wild Wellfleet Oysters from Massachusetts 
Finally, the Sunset Beach oyster from Washington State is plump, sweet with a cucumber finish.

Sunset Beach Oyster from Washington State
The scallops are thinly sliced to be enjoyed with their condiments. They are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, heavenly... so many words to describe the raw taste of fresh scallops.  

Fresh Raw Scallop
I highly recommend ordering the seafood fettuccine. It comes with a good quantity of seafood - two large lobster claws, two pan-seared pieces of shrimp and scallops each. Seafood properly seasoned, but the pasta needs a bit more salt.

Seafood Fettucine - Scallops, Lobster Claws, Shrimp
Finally, we ended our meal with on pie-with-pie dessert. It's a strawberry-rhubarb pie with an apple pie ice cream from Les Givrés. What can I say? Nothing beats a piping hot pie eating with a cold ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with an Apple Pie Ice Cream
Notkins receives oysters on a daily basis. The kinds of oysters change seasonally. I recommend going often to discover the different liquor and texture of the oysters - a good location to culture yourself about oysters.

1101 rue de Bleury
Montreal, QC
H2Z 1W1
(514) 866-1101
Notkins Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon


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