La Sirene de la Mer – Love the Octopus!

La Sirene de la Mer on Jean Talon West in the Outremont area has been the go-to option for my family for years. So imagine my surprise to discover that it’s not on Jean Talon. It’s officially on Dresden Ave. Who knew?

But GPS location aside – La Sirene has always been one of my families favorite dining destinations. I adore the Fatoush salad (for those who don’t know – it’s a pretty standard salad with freshly fried pita chips. Just delicious), and we always get the Octopus – and have never been sorry.

Last night (2/28/2013) we took my daughter’s visiting British boyfriend there for a quick dinner before the theatre – and discovered two complete new (to us anyway) dishes. Sometimes you just have to branch out.

In addition to our staples – we ordered the Friture de Sirene – quickly fired thin slices of Eggplant and Zucchini served with yogurt – and deep-fried Scorpion Fish. Oh my – were both totally yummy. The ‘chips’ were piled high – definitely only extremely lightly battered before they were fried – and so delightfully crisp that the entire order disappeared before we finished eating the pickled turnips. Oh were they good.

The deep-fried Scorpion Fish was a fabulous discovery. I don’t think I’d even have thought to taste it without the British curiosity of my daughter’s friend. The meat was white, in big easy to eat chunks, and the fried fish itself was both crunchy and tender. It was served with an entire pita bread that had been similarly fried – oh man was this a dish to savor. There’s not a lot of ‘meat’ to a Scorpion Fish – so it really about cool presentation and a bit of fiddling, but it was fun.

Complaints – well – service got distracted as the restaurant filled – and we ended up having to wave madly to get our check, and I dearly wish they’d offer seconds of the pickled turnips – and I wish that the Fava beans came with the main courses and weren’t an expensive add-on, but this is being pretty picky. It was a good value, a fun and delicious meal, and we got to really chat up the new boyfriend. It just doesn’t get much better than all that.

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