Octo: fusion bites for night owls

Are you coming out of a show or a play and looking for a place to grab a simple, but just refined enough bite? Add this address to your book: Octo, on Promenade Ontario, has everything you need. Even the atmosphere and something to pleasantly quench your thirst.


On the menu of this new restaurant, open this winter, are small dishes of Asian inspiration, but not only that. Think revisited street food with a Montreal touch here, a wink there. With some popular classics: oysters, or why not imperial rolls, fries (okonomi sauce) or lamb dumplings, for small appetites, at low prices (from $4 to $27 per plate). Note that big appetites will easily find what they’re looking for at an average price.

  • Grilled octopus and ponzu sauce, by Octo

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    Grilled octopus and ponzu sauce, by Octo

  • Beijing-style duck and sesame pancakes

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    Beijing-style duck and sesame pancakes

  • The Montreal hot dog is revisited here with chicken pudding, sesame mustard, all in a bao bun.

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    The Montreal hot dog is revisited here with chicken pudding, sesame mustard, all in a bao bun.

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The short menu includes a few more robust dishes, always to share: grilled octopus, Peking-style duck, Vietnamese-style carpaccio (bò tái chanh), revisited hot dog (in a bao, in a nod to that of the Harmonie pastry shop, in Chinatown), without forgetting the Chinatown squid, a “legacy” dish that was previously found on the menu at Chien Fumant.

It is up to the owners of the beloved neighboring Flamant (next door, which will rise from its ashes soon, with a new name and in wine bar mode, we will talk to you about it again, that’s for sure!). We owe this new haunt, which was teeming with people one late Tuesday evening when we visited. Great fans of Asian food in general, and street food in particular, David Hibon and Pascal Bolduc, the two co-owners – who happened to know each other at Chien Fumant in another life – jumped at the chance when this place opened. released. “The idea is to allow people to go out at a low price,” explains David Hibon, in the kitchens. The theme is Asian, but it is not 100% Asian, it is more of a dim sum style formula, to share, with continuous service. » And a nice roll, without reservation, you know.

  • The dining room with its “dark” atmosphere, with its high ceilings and kitchen at the back, was designed by the Blazys Gérard studio.

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    The dining room with its “dark” atmosphere, with its high ceilings and kitchen at the back, was designed by the Blazys Gérard studio.

  • The Octo and its wall decorated with a giant octopus, creation by Rebecca Guinard

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    The Octo and its wall decorated with a giant octopus, creation by Rebecca Guinard

  • It is to David Hibon and Pascal Bolduc, formerly behind Le Flamant, that we owe the concept of Octo, a new hangout for night owls on rue Ontario.

    PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, THE PRESS

    It is to David Hibon and Pascal Bolduc, formerly behind Le Flamant, that we owe the concept of Octo, a new hangout for night owls on rue Ontario.

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To drink, again, the menu is rather short, but effective, with a selection of a few wines which pair skilfully with the small dishes offered. As for cocktails, Pascal Bolduc had fun concocting a more elaborate, “Japanese-style” menu, with more minimalist presentations, and always an Asian “twist”. Let’s highlight the ti-punch with jalapeño (and mirin), the Vesper with pandan (and sake), the Cherry Lover (with Sichuan pepper), and why not a spritz (with Chinese Tsingtao beer).

Why “Octo”, exactly? For “octopus”, a marine animal which fascinates its owners and which joyfully adorns an entire wall of the restaurant, courtesy of tattoo artist Rebecca Guinard. But also for “eight”, a number which brings luck in Chinese culture, as well as for “octagon”, a geometric shape found on the right and left in the dark purple dining room, rather concept, designed by the Blazys Gérard studio. “We wanted a dark atmosphere,” says David Hibon. There aren’t many purple restaurants, I know, but it’s the color of the octopus, and it’s my favorite color! And then it reflects our personalities…”

Open Tuesday to Friday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., closed to the public on Saturdays, but open to private events

4045 Ontario Street East, Montreal

Visit the Octo website


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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