Restaurant Review |  Pikliz: dad's kitchen

Restaurant Review | Pikliz: dad’s kitchen

Through the good shots and sometimes the not-so-good ones, our restaurant critics tell you about their experience, introducing you to the team in the dining room and in the kitchen, while explaining what motivated your choice of restaurant. This week: Caribbean dishes from Pikliz.

Posted at 11:00 am

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eve dumas
Press

Why talk about it?

Haitian specialties are part of Montreal’s culinary landscape. When curious gourmets move away from the metropolis to make a living in Charlevoix or Gaspésie, they are nostalgic for the griot and the heavy banana. So it’s always nice to see a new Caribbean address spring up in corners where you least expect it, like around the Place-Saint-Henri metro station. Pikliz has been open since November 2019, which in the age of COVID-19 still makes it something of a novelty. We wanted you to find out.

Who are they ?


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Brothers Akim and Abdel Acacia opened Pikliz in November 2019.

Brothers Akim and Abdel Acacia grew up in Montreal. They owe their childhood culinary memories to their father. “His cuisine was Haitian based, but with modern touches,” says Akim. The two men cook, but at Pikliz, it is Abdel who reigns over the stove. Before the restaurant opened, he prepared meals to take home. Akim had a tourism project in Haiti that was floundering, due in particular to the political instability in the country. His last trip there was in June 2019. Within months, the brothers who had been estranged for many years before found each other and started a restaurant. They moved into a room that served as a cafeteria during the day. Of the two businesses, only Pikliz survived the pandemic. Therefore, the decoration has been updated to create a beautiful Caribbean atmosphere.

Our experience

pikliz

  • The Ti Plézi feeds two people.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    The Ti Plézi feeds two people.

  • The griot, these cubes of pork cooked for a long time in a sauce and then fried, is inseparable from the Haitian culinary culture.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    The griot, these cubes of pork cooked for a long time in a sauce and then fried, is inseparable from the Haitian culinary culture.

  • Abdel created this fashionable poutine griot.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    Abdel created this fashionable poutine griot.

  • Wraps are perfect for a lunch on the go.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    Wraps are perfect for a lunch on the go.

  • The tiny dining room is very cosy.

    PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

    The tiny dining room is very cosy.

1/5

There are several ways to eat Pikliz: in a hurry, going out with the griot under your arm, or taking your time on the spot, in the very small but very cozy dining room. The last visit took place on a Sunday night, without press, with a menu to share: the very complete Ti Plézi.

For $45 (10% off on Sundays), two people are entitled to heavy plantain snacks to dip in guacamole and puff pastries (one with cod, the other, tastier, with beef). Then come the chicken wings (the wangs) and the battered prawns (the prawns), the unmissable griot, the sticky rice and the macaroni salad. All to wash down with a homemade hibiscus lemonade. Of course, there is also the pikliz, that spicy condiment made from cabbage, carrots and peppers, among others, which gives the restaurant its name.

If we had to do it over again, we could add a fresh salad or vegetable dish, to offset a bit of the frying, even if it means leaving with even more leftovers!

While we work on the composition of the perfect bite —rice, sauce, griyo, pikliz… heavy plantain, homemade alioli, griyo, plikliz…— other diners settle in the tiny restaurant. Others come to pick up their takeout order, a gesture that is still very popular here.

Like all restaurants in Quebec, the Pikliz was suffering from COVID-19. But the post-COVID-19 era also suffered. When everything reopened in June, Montrealers wanted terraces and busy streets. It was not a very festive summer at the corner of rue Saint-Jacques and rue Saint-Ferdinand. Also there is now a DJ on Saturday nights and different “specials” every day of the week. “He saved us,” says Akim.

What are we drinking?


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Homemade lemonade is hibiscus.

Here we drink lemonade, soft drinks, Cola Couronne. Akim has been trying to get a liquor license from the city of Montreal for a year and a half. We can only wish you good luck.

How much is it ?

Our feast for two, with leftovers for lunch the next day, was about fifty dollars with tax and tip. Hard to find cheaper these days. Generous entrees for one person, with two sides, average $18. Someday we will try a Pikliz poutine for $12, with griot and creole sauce!

Information

Pikliz is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12pm to 9pm.

4206 Saint-Jacques Street West, Montreal


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