The Divas’ wishlist is long, we cross one place off and add three. One restaurant that the Divas have been hearing about and wanting to visit is SuWu and we finally found a Thursday to check it out, along with Sweet Pea and Bellatrix.Located on St. Laurent, at the corner of Prince Arthur, SuWu has an interesting crowd – think along the lines of hipster/university student/white person hip-hop chic. Though the restaurant doesn’t have a sign, the inside is fabulous and can easily be described as eclectic. Various empty bottles line the wooden shelves, plants are hung from the ceiling, half of a horse from a carousel is mounted on one wall, mason jars and industrial lights hang from above, the bar is large with wrap-around seating and amongst the high tables are couches to lounge on while listening to the DJ.
Zeus was set to join the Divas, however, an urge to support some of Montreal’s finest exotic dancers won out on this night (or maybe he’s still a bit traumatized from a previous night out with the Divas)…men! In any case, we were ready for another great night and started with some of their fun cocktails.
Sweet Pea ordered the Big Booty Ho and we’re convinced it’s only because she could say “I want a big booty ho” but we don’t judge her. It was a little sweet but had a refreshing tropical taste. Diva #2 had Brooklyn’s Finest. A sucker for gin-based drinks, this one had grapefruit and mint and was delicious. The drinks are dangerous – you can have several without realizing that they are affecting you. Diva #1 had her dirty gin martini which was served with olives and a slice of cucumber intertwined on a stir stick. Bellatrix chose a 2006 Malbec red wine from the menu but the waiter brought us a 2010 because that’s all they had. It was a full bodied wine but Bellatrix was displeased that he didn’t warn her of the change; instead she caught him pouring out of the bottle. If Bellatrix got her way, he is suffering as you read this.
It’s possible we scared our waiter when we ordered 6 dishes plus their truffle popcorn snack. The popcorn arrived served in a can, which was heavy on the truffle oil (as it should be) but you didn’t hear us complaining. As Diva #1 listed the menu items and paused to take a breath, the waiter curtly responded with a “is that all?” JERK! No we weren’t done ordering. The truffle oil popcorn was heavenly and Diva #1 hopes that Diva #2 recreates this for snack time in the office.
The tartares, and most other dishes, were served on tiles. The beef tartare was good but a little on the bland side on its own. It really woke up when you ate it with the beets. The salmon tartare was really good. Well seasoned and mixed with cranberries, we really enjoyed this one, especially with the small side salad of radishes and other veggies. The side salads were good for both tartares, but it was hard to get a bite of both all the time. And both were served with thin slices of pumpernickel bread. Served in a messy fashion, strewn on the tiles, the tartares were tasty but by no means the winners of the night.
The pogos were next, served on a block of wood with a side of ranch dressing for dipping. Diva #1 loves pogos so she was happy. She is happy to see homemade pogos showing up on menus in the city! Five to a serving, the outside coating was light and perfectly golden. You could tell that they were homemade because they were messy looking. Definitely makes you feel like a kid again! They were so much fresher and lovelier than the typical deep fried pogos.
The mac and cheese grilled cheese was excellent. The right amount of cheese, perfectly melted, the mac component was not mushy and the bread was very crispy. And surprisingly, the sandwich was not squished down. It wasn’t as messy to eat as we thought and this was definitely our favourite appetizer of the night. Our love of cheesy goodness made this something to come back for ASAP.
If there’s a mention of meatballs on a menu and Bellatrix is with the Divas, you can be sure it’ll be on our table. One of the best dishes of the night, the meatball taco had a bit of spice, a nice sauce, rapini was an added surprise (and welcomed) and the meatballs were moist and very flavourful. The taco shell was soft so no big messes and though this was a hard tapas to share, somehow we managed and enjoyed it. The veal meatball tacos also came with a side of wild rice which was delicious and an interesting combination with the tacos. Once again, Bellatrix got her wish and we ate meatballs at another Montreal eatery.
The chicken and biscuits was hard to resist and we were happy with this choice. The chicken was crunchy and juicy, and the biscuit held together nicely. These two little biscuit sandwiches were perfect Southern comfort food. It was served with a side of coleslaw which was a little too wet and wilted for our liking and the kimchi wasn’t very present but you can’t win them all. Tapas like tacos, grilled mac n’ cheese and deep fried chicken in between biscuits aren’t ideal for sharing, but we nonetheless made a mess and really enjoyed these interesting dishes that went perfectly with the hip hop music and casual cocktail atmosphere. Sweet Pea was soon wiggling her big booty in tune with the music as she ordered another Big Booty Ho.
We almost didn’t order the lobster rolls because upon listing our menu items our waiter had implied that we had ordered too much. Not easily deterred, and after Diva #2 glared at Diva #1, we threw in the lobster roll. They arrived with a side of rosemary fries instead of the advertised sweet potato chips (which Sweet Pea has had before and claims are delicious) but we managed to finish them just the same! Once again, he should have told us that fries were replacing the chips but we were in a good mood and didn’t sacrifice him. The lobster rolls were full, though there wasn’t as much lobster chunks as we would have liked. The pieces of celery seemed to be just as big and present and celery is a filler. But overall, the bun was toasted which we liked, ensuring that the roll would not be soggy and the dish was fresh.
At this point, some of Les Cousins joined us for drinks. Naturally, we couldn’t let them drink alone so another bottle of Malbec was ordered. We also ordered their only two desserts. The Rice Krispie Panini was not what we expected (according to Sweet Pea, it used to be thinner and better). Both Divas are not fans of peanuts on desserts so already this was a tough sell and Diva #1 hates rice krispie squares so strike 2 right off the bat. So when the rice krispie square itself turned out to be stale, it was not a winner in our books.
We also had the butterscotch pudding which was very smooth and tasty but once again, it was not spectacular. The oatmeal cookies it was served with were crispy and a good vehicle to scoop up the pudding. That being said, the desserts at SuWu were decent at best and it is better to come and enjoy the comfort food rather than their sweets.
At some point during the night, one of Les Cousins asked the girls “you’re all single, how come you’re not mingling?” People ask us this all the time and to be honest, we always have so much fun together that we hardly notice the people around us unless they are exceptionally delicious looking. In those cases, we get distracted 😉
Open late, SuWu is quickly becoming a go-to on the popular St. Laurent strip. The Divas enjoyed the food, the drinks, the atmosphere and of course, the company. And though we had the majority of menu, we’ll be back to try out the rest in the near future. We loved some dishes but unfortunately others were average and their desserts were meh! They have a few things to improve on but we would definitely return for their comfort food and for Soul night on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays you can listen to soul music and enjoy 2 for 1 wine and bourbon, which will only lead to disaster and a hungover Wednesday morning.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 3581 St-Laurent, Beef Tartare, Big Booty Ho, Biscuits, Butterscotch Pudding, Fried Chicken, Grilled Cheese Mac and Cheese, H2X 2T6, Hip-hop, Hipster, Lobster Roll, Lobster Rolls, Meatball Taco, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Nathan Gannage, Plateau, Pogos, Prince Arthur, Reservations Needed, Rice Crispies, Rice Krispie Panini, Rosemary Fries, Salmon Tartare, St-Laurent, SuWu, Suwu Hip Hop, Suwu Montreal, Suwu Plateau, Suwu St-Laurent, Sweet Potato Chips, Truffle Popcorn, wine, Zach Macklovitch