Restaurant review | Irresistible Teta

Through the good shots and, sometimes, the not so good, our restaurant critics tell you about their experience, introduce the team in the dining room and in the kitchen, while explaining what motivated the choice of the restaurant. This week: Coffee at Téta.

Posted yesterday at 11:00 a.m.

Iris Gagnon Paradise

Iris Gagnon Paradise
The Press

Why talk about it?


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Chez Téta is located in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal.

There are places you never get tired of. Café chez Téta could well fall into this category. We could qualify as frequent our desire to sink our teeth into one of its delicious manouchés, the signature dish of the Lebanese restaurant, which opened in the fall of 2020, in the Plateau Mont-Royal. Whether it’s for a casual meal in the cute dining room or grabbing a picnic for the park, Café chez Téta does not disappoint.

Who are they ?

  • Owners Mélodie Roukoz and Antoun Aoun

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

    Owners Mélodie Roukoz and Antoun Aoun

  • Maria Hallak, pastry chef

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    Maria Hallak, pastry chef

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Of Lebanese origin, chef Antoun Aoun has already had his own restaurant in his country, and toyed with the project of doing the same in Montreal. His spouse, Mélodie Roukoz, a trained nutritionist who also has Lebanese origins, followed him in this adventure which was not easy, with the ups and downs of the pandemic. Fortunately, the café menu lends itself perfectly to the “take-out” formula, allowing the trade to make itself known through the various delivery platforms. A small team supports them on a day-to-day basis, including Maria Hallak, the café’s resident pastry chef.

Our experience

  • The manouché, the star dish of the coffee

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    The manouché, the star dish of the coffee

  • A refreshing beet and quinoa salad, served on a homemade labné with pomegranate and sunflower seeds

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    A refreshing beet and quinoa salad, served on a homemade labné with pomegranate and sunflower seeds

  • For the aperitif, we order a selection of spreads with homemade zaatar pita chips.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    For the aperitif, we order a selection of spreads with homemade zaatar pita chips.

  • Manouches are cooked in a traditional Lebanese oven.

    PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

    Manouches are cooked in a traditional Lebanese oven.

  • Brownies with halva, turmeric or carob cake: the desserts are fragrant and original.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    Brownies with halva, turmeric or carob cake: the desserts are fragrant and original.

  • The dining room is tastefully decorated.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    The dining room is tastefully decorated.

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“Téta” means “grandmother” – it is a photograph of that of the chef, a fine cook, which served as inspiration for the restaurant’s logo. So here we are in the realm of comfort foods, comfort food Lebanese style: manouchés (we will come back to this), salads and dips make up the main part of the menu.

Café chez Téta isn’t the only place in town to serve zaatar manouchés, fattoush salads or hummus. It is distinguished by the quality of the ingredients and the preparations: everything is homemade, from the manouché dough, kneaded every morning, to the zaatar mix, so deliciously flavored, through the labné cheese, used in particular in the fresh and vitaminized beet and quinoa salad. And, something extremely rare in the metropolis, the presence of a traditional Lebanese oven to cook the manouchés, but also to roast the aubergines of the baba ganoush or the red peppers of the muhammara, a typical textured spread from the Middle East.

All this gives dishes an incomparable flavor: it is fresh and tasty. Particularly, the manouchés, these Lebanese flatbreads cooked by the minute with various toppings, which can be eaten either open, like a pizza, or rolled up like a pita, garnished with your choice of tomatoes, cucumber, mint or labné cheese. They are served still hot, the dough is soft, it melts in your mouth! Sonny devoured the bacon and halloumi one in no time. The traditional version, half cheese, half zaatar, seduced us. The kafta and cheese, with its mixture of ground lamb and veal, topped with aioli sauce and fresh tomatoes, is another safe bet.

To end the meal, small traditional sweets that are not too sweet are offered to you: vegan cakes with turmeric (sfouf) or carob, brownie with halva.

In our glass


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

The cardamom latte: to try!

Coffee lovers are well served here. Try the latte (hot or iced) with cardamom or halva (a sweet sesame paste), they are excellent. Or the traditional Lebanese coffee – comparable to Turkish coffee – plain or with cardamom (also in the ” cold brew “). During the summer, you can sip a homemade lemonade or iced tea. The place also has a short alcohol menu: Lebanese beer or wine, or a cocktail with arak, an eau-de-vie made from fermented grape must and anise, and blackberry syrup.

Good to know


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Café chez Téta is in action from Wednesday to Sunday.

As its name suggests, Café chez Téta is a café and is therefore open during the day. Few people know that the place is also open a few evenings a week, and that you can order a selection of spreads with grilled pitas for an aperitif. Several vegan options are on the menu. The place is easily accessible for people with reduced mobility.

Price

Between $5 and $12 for manouches, around $10 for salads and dips, and between $3 and $5 for desserts.

Information

Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m., and until 9 p.m. Wednesday to Friday.

227 Rachel Street East, Montreal

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