Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saint-Henri was once the home of a bountiful number of bars and fast-food joints. In recent years, an emerging number of eateries are opening their business to bring some lights in this depressing area. Sumac is the name of a Middle Eastern spice, and its colour is transcribed into their logo. It is co-owned by Raquel Zagury, formerly at Prohibition and David Bloom. You might or might not know this. The two other Bloom brothers owned several businesses further west of Sumac - Rustique Pie Kitchen, Tuck Shop, Tejano BBQ Burrito, to name a few.

I had lunch with my friend from Un Voyage Gastronomique. We arrived just after opening, and we were first one to order. The menu is simplified into three categories - pitas, platters or family-style plates. You can either order falafel, chicken shawarma, beef kefta or sabich. Both of us opted for platters as they come with two choices of salads, pickled radishes, hummus, tahini and pita bread.

Sabich Platter with Spiced Carrots & Red Cabbage Slaw
I had the sabich with spiced carrots and red cabbage slaw. Sabich consists of chunks of roasted eggplant and hard boiled egg, combined with pickles, tahini and amba (mango condiment). The eggplant was soft and flavourful, not at all watery. It complements well with the sweet flavours of the mango and honey from the amba. The spiced carrots provide loads of flavours with the cumin, currants and parsley. The pita was warm and pillowy, spiced with a kick of za'atar. Hummus is difficult to criticize because we have our preference of what a good hummus should taste like. I have eaten several versions of hummus prepared by my Middle-Eastern friends, all of them are unique. The one at Sumac was thick and granular for my taste. I prefer smooth with a touch more acidity.

My friend opted the falafel platter with cooked salad and quinoa. The falafel is made of chickpea mixed with herbs and spices. An ideal falafel should have a crispy-thin exterior crust, and the interior is light and moist. The one here is not the best I have eaten. The exterior crust was quite thick, and the interior was dense. The cooked salad comprises of slow cooked tomatoes mixed with roasted red peppers. It was naturally sweet and addictive. The quinoa was fragrant not at all bitter, but it was a bit underdone. We were offered a Yemenite hot sauce called s'rug (or shug), it's made primarily of hot peppers, coriander, garlic and other spices. 

Falafel Platter with Cooked Salad and Quinoa
Sumac is a nice addition to Saint-Henri providing Middle-Eastern fares to locals and workers. Be sure to arrive early, because at the stroke of noon, the place is packed, you might have a hard time finding a seat as it is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Take-outs are welcome.

Sumac Restaurant
3618 Notre-Dame O.
Montreal, QC
H4C 1P5
Click to add a blog post for Sumac Restaurant on Zomato

Opening Hours
Sun-Mon: Closed
Tues-Fri: 11:30am-10pm
Sat: 3pm-10pm


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