Jul 8, 2013

BarBounya: A new fish in the sea of Montreal restaurants!

 By Andrea Doucet Donida

Montreal has many restaurants, so what would this new one bring to the plate? The answer after tasting a few dishes was clear: originality, inspired from Turkish cuisine infused with local ingredients and taste.

BarBounya is the creation of two very talented people that have a great deal of experience as restaurateur and chef, the chef and owner of the praised Su restaurant, Fisun Ercan, and the owner of both successful restaurants Chez Victoire and Confusion Tapas, Edward Zaki. Barbounya is the Turkish name for the fish red mulletfish. But the ‘bar’ in ‘BarBounya’ also echoes well with the seating arrangement of the space, where everyone is seated at the bar. I personally love being at the bar, you can see the kitchen, talk with the bartender, get a more dynamic feel of the place. For those who prefer a tête-à-tête, don’t worry, a couple of seats have been reserved for you. The majority however would be on a very comfortable bar-height chair, either sharing the table-bar with strangers, or with your group of 8 or more (new) friends.

The seating is not just an afterthought; it goes with the whole concept of this new restaurant that offers mezze, a Turkish variation of Tapas, which are meant for you to share translating into a very friendly and convivial atmosphere.

The supper I went to was offered by BarBounya during their media launch where we had the chance to taste most of the menu. The only sour note of the evening was the music reminiscent of a playlist from the 90’s!  I hope that since then they changed that to some 2013 Turkish music, more fitting with the menu. A menu that offers a large variety of mezze that you can select by checking the box, similar to a sushi menu, a nice touch!

Below are a few examples of the mezze in question. A great place is given to vegetables which I enjoyed a lot. All mezze, with meat, fish or veggies were accompanied by a thoughtful wine selection, from either Turkey or Greece. Impressive.

Barley salad, herbs, zareshk (a small Turksih berry) - a salad to try to imitate at home, it was amazingly fresh tasting

Definitely a must try: Quebec salicornia, verjus, toasted almonds 

Smoked foie gras terrine, figs, walnut - maybe the best example of the Quebec influence in this Turkish based menu

Phyllo cigar, Friulano, pastirma

The famous Barbounya fish, served seared with olive relish, pistachio and fava bean purée

Braised artichokes - one of my favourites of the night

Delicious and fresh walnut baklava

So for a different night out on Laurier St., with good food and friends, BarBounya is a great choice!  

For reservations: (514) 439-8858
234 Laurier Avenue
H2V 4J8

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  1. As far as I heard, Montreal is really one of the best cities to go out for dinner. The dishes look great, a very decent variation of different Turkish cooking styles. I'm planning a trip to Canada and search a good hotel in Montreal, so I'm currently searching on trivago and other sites. Can you recommend any accommodation? And should I stay more days in Montreal or Toronto ;)?

  2. Montreal of course! ;-) Plenty of great hotels, boutique hotels in Montreal. Difficult to suggest because depends a lot on your budget and requirements. I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay!