Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun borough]

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

It’s easy for me to compare people’s Cambodian dishes to my mother’s; we’re all a little biased when it comes to mom’s cooking, right? I can be particularly picky because she really does makes the best food in the world šŸ˜‰ This however didn’t stop me from checking out Montreal’s newest and hottest spot: Les Street Monkeys, located specifically in Verdun.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

I first dined a few weeks ago when they were still in their soft opening with only a few items available as a teaser. The official menu lists a great amount of traditionally Cambodian dishes in tapas style, and I had the chance to go back a second time for their official launch party. My friends and IĀ aaalmost ordered everything on the menu. Don’t know why we didn’t…

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

We started off with theĀ papaya salad. The flavour was certainly there, it’s really all about the fish sauce and chili – which you can order without if you don’t like the heat. However, without the chili, it’s just not the same. The plate is accompanied by crispy ChicharrĆ³n (crispy pork skin), a very nice touch for added crunch.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

TheĀ beef skewers is one I can’t help but compare to my mom’s. Traditionally marinated in Kroeung (a Cambodian paste), the skewers ooze out a sweet and savoury flavours thanks to the gazillion herbs and spices that go into making the traditional paste. Les Street Monkeys’ version is no exception. The skewers were flavourful, however I needed a bit moreĀ oomf in my bites. Next time, I’ll ask for chili paste.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

Next up are theĀ stuffed chicken wings. I was really excited for these which weren’t available during the soft launch. For anyone who’s boggled by the idea, you (or realistically, your mom) take a chicken wing, carefully debone the lower wing, take out the meat so only the skin’s left, and then stuff it with whatever you want. In Les Street Monkeys’ case, they used Thai sausage.

I could have eaten a hundred of those. The bites were satisfying. You had the sourness from the sausage and the sweetness of the marinated skin coming together in your mouth like some sort of Janet Jackson party.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]The Beef Laab was a bit hit with my friends. With every bite, the tender cubes of beef exuded a flavourful mix of galanga, the lime, and chili. My girlfriend particularly loves drizzling white rice with the sauce mix.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

I hate fish. The only kind of fish I like are fried, raw, or dried. Thankfully, theirĀ pan-fried trout with a Khmer salsa fits my criteria. It’s also my girlfriend’s favourite. The crispy fried skin and tender meat compliment the citrusy salsa (Salsa? ChicharrĆ³n? I see a pattern…)

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

TheirĀ mee siam is different from what I’m used to (usually tossed in a sweet tomato sauce with meat). Their version had a nice sweet & savoury flavour. My only complaint is how the noodles seem to be purposely crushed which makes it hard to pick up with the chopsticks. I would have loved a bigger bite of the crispy noodles instead of scraping for small bits.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

TheĀ fish amok is another one I’ve been anticipating. Les Street Monkeys managed to transform this traditional dish into something completely different. Admittedly, I was a little wary of it, but one taste of the sauce and I was hooked. The slices of fish were perfectly fried, however the first time I tried this, I found it dry. So I’m glad this time around, they’ve managed to get their cook right. I loved the heat of this dish. Hats off on this one.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

Oh.. Forget what I said above, this was the dish I was most excited about (yo, it’s hard. I just love Cambodian food). TheĀ Saiko Teuk Prahok which translates to beef with.. teuk prahok (I tried.) If you’ve ever had the real thing, prahok is pretty funky – the smell isĀ strong and the taste packs some punch. There’s a reason why it’s called the Cambodian cheese. Traditionally eaten with raw vegetables, it’s a big staple in Cambodian households.

Les Street Monkeys version managed to once again make it their own. The flavours a lot less strong than the real thing, but remains just as good. The prahok is drizzled over slices of medium rare beef which to my surprise is a great pairing. I’m salivating as I’m writing this.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

Look at it.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

To finish it all off, theĀ chicken curry soup. Compared to our Thai neighbours, our most common curry is a lot less rich and is slightly sweeter. I love eating my mom’s curry with slices of baguette, so I was excited when the soup was accompanied by the French loaf. To be honest, it was okay. There’s a bit of a heat & sweet flavour missing. Perhaps it was because I have eaten so much at this point, my palates was over-stimulated. Nonetheless, it’s great that Les Street Monkeys has introduced this dish on the menu.

There were other things we tried but I don’t have photos of. TheĀ mom’s imperial rolls were a’ight. Nothing exceptionally special. In my opinion, what makes them good is the fish sauce, and that part was a miss. TheĀ lamb chops were also a big hits with my friends, the meat was tender, with a honey, coconut, and mint marinade that really brings joy with every bite. And theĀ wasabi shrimp ceviche packed some mad punch. If you like having heat go up your nose, that’s the dish for you.

The drinks menu also has a variety of funky cocktails ranging from a margarita with crushed cricket and red worm salt adorning the rim, and a boozy bubble tea for those who are 18+.

Conclusion

All-in-all, Les Street Monkeys have brought a lesser-known Southeast Asian cuisine to the scene and this excites me very much.

Don’t expect this to be your typical mom & pop spot. While the dishes aren’t prepared the traditional way, they have managed to transform Cambodian cuisine into something accessible to everyone at very reasonable prices. Ā This will certainly be a spot I’ll take my friends looking to diversify their palates and discover Cambodian food.

In the near future, they’ll be serving up lunch and brunch. I can’t wait to go back and try everything out then.Ā The service is excellent and I appreciate everyone trying to make our experience at the restaurant a great one. Big thanks to the staff.

BONUS

It’s no Cambodian celebration without classical dance.

Les Street Monkeys bringing on Cambodian heat to Montreal [Verdun neighborhood]

Restaurant Les Street Monkeys
3625 Wellington St, Verdun, QC H4G 1T9
(514) 768-1818
https://www.facebook.com/pg/lesstreetmonkeys

Sunday 5:30PMā€“10PM
Monday CLOSED
Tuesday 5:30PMā€“10PM
Wednesday 5:30PMā€“10PM
Thursday 5:30PMā€“11:30PM
Friday 5:30PMā€“1AM
Saturday 5:30PMā€“1AM