Oncle Lee: Bouillon Bilk’s Little Chinese Cousin

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As many restaurants are closing or on the brink of closure, the emergence of a new restaurant in our landscape is always reassuring news. Oncle Lee is sure to make many friends in the city, especially in this neighbourhood where it stands out for its originality; Laurier Avenue West is not particularly known for its Chinese culinary stops.

To the Chinese,”Uncle Lee” is somewhat equivalent to ‘Mononcle Réjean,’ a kind character that one always enjoys seeing. This character comes to life through the combined efforts of young chef Andersen Lee and the team behind Bouillon Bilk, Cadet and Place Carmin (Mélanie Blanchette, François Nadon, and Émile Collette), where the Brossard native earned his stripes.

Chinese Chic

The modest space on Laurier Ouest has had good and less glorious moments. The new occupants have succeeded in creating a warm atmosphere, where nods to Middle Kingdom happily cohabit with Montrealais culture. The decor is simple but well executed, with sleek black leather banquettes and exposed brick walls, softly bathed in the incandescent tones of Chinese lanterns. “I had to do a lot of research on my culture, even for the decor, because I wanted, for example, to find the best lamps to create a warm and ‘late-night’ ambiance,” explains Lee.

Chinese fare with a Montreal flavour

The dishes on the Oncle Lee menu confirm that you are indeed in a restaurant where the chef and his team draw inspiration from the rich repertoire of Chinese cuisine. Chow mein, wonton soup, and other five-spice ducks are present, but you will also find tasty modern dishes such as tofu dip or steamed oysters with black beans as appetizers.

Among the four or five vegetables on the menu, you will undoubtedly enjoy the delicious grilled mushrooms in a white butter and miso sauce. Two standout appetizers are the sweet and sour ribs and the plate of squid and shrimp in a very light fryer. The menu features Chinese classics intelligently revisited by Andersen with a local twist and offered at fair prices.

To quench your thirst, accompany your plates, or simply put you in a mood of total indulgence, Oncle Lee offers a rich assortment of cocktails, both house-made and classic, as well as a lovely selection of wines, sakes, or sparkling wines by the glass or by the bottle, catered by sommelier Alexandra Doyon, whose work can also be appreciated at Bouillon Bilk. The people working at Oncle Lee seem happy to contribute to pampering you. We are just as happy to recommend this establishment.

This address comes at the right time on Laurier Avenue West and brings a breath of fresh air to the neighborhood. With one of the most beautiful terraces in the city, a strong team in the kitchen and dining area, and a very good menu, Oncle Lee is sure to be a success, earning a place on our list of the best restaurants in Mile End and the best Chinese restaurants in Montreal. Enjoy!

Photography by Mikael Lebleu

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