HappyCow is loading...


  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 49 reviews )
Contact 514-843-4194

4088 rue St Denis (at Duluth), Montreal, Quebec, Canada,

Fine dining Thai vegetarian restaurant offering many choices, all of which are now fully vegan (since spring 2013). Prices moderate to slightly expensive. Their less expensive version of the same food, Chuch (lunch express style), had shut in early-2014. Tue-Sat 11:00am-2:00pm, Tue-Wed 5:00pm-10:00pm, Thu-Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm

Category: Vegan, Organic, Thai, Beer/Wine, Asian

Reviews (49)

First Review by tragedia

Loved! - Edit

We were 2 couples, sharing starters and mains and it was all amazingly good food, nice cocktails, and attentive staff. While we were raving about our meals we over heard a woman at the next table raving about her desert which looked like a chocolate tart, unfortunately we ate so much that desert was going to be impossible. It ended up being a bit pricey but SO, SO, SO worth it!

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Always delicious - Edit

I'm never disappointed by Chu Chai! Although I've moved away now and can only get there once in a while, it is worth the trip. Highly recommend the crispy mock duck and the pad thai. Cocktails are extremely good as well.
Sit on the patio if the weather permits, and watch pedestrian traffic flow by.

Pros: Excellent food, Nice vibe, Attentive staff

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great Thai food - Edit

The food at ChuChai was delicious. We got a mock chicken curry and a mock shrimp dish. Also got the chocolate avocado mousse which was delicious, and ordered some of their drink specials which were excellent.

Pros: Good food, Good service

Cons: Expensive, Not very hot and spicy for Thai food.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

so expensive but so good (4.5/5) - Edit

best vegan thai food.
its my go-to if ever i want to show a friend a pricey but next-level veg restaurant in montreal.
you can get it delivered by separate company which is nice
nice location and, as far as i can remember, nice patio
i get the mango salad and red duck curry usually. a couple of years ago i had a thansgiving (?) special containing duck and cranberries and oooooomg that was it for me
ive tried to find recipes that imitate the red duck curry and im still working on it. kefir lime leaves are a must to replicate it (to any minimal degree) at home.

Pros: so, ah, mazing

Cons: wishing they offered a student discount, expensive, portions medium to small

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicious and great service - Edit

Came here on a quiet Wednesday night. Excellent and friendly service and delicious food. Enjoyed my tasty General Tao tofu dish and my omnivore boyfriend LOVED his 'duck' dish, he was very impressed. Recommended!

Pros: open late, location, yummy

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegan Thai fusion - Edit

Chuchai will always be a staple for me when I feel like spending money. The duck (soy sauce or black pepper) is a must and I got the beef in curry sauce last time I went which was to die for. It is not cheap and the plates do not have a wife variety of ingredients (many menu items come with just what is written ie just the mock duck, no veggies or rice). Great if you are going to share because you can order a side of rice, a couple of mock meat dishes and a veg dish.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Excellent! Always enjoy coming back - Edit

Having travelled to Thailand a few times, I can say that this place is doing it right. The food has always been fantastic, with a layering of flavours (good counter-point of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy). The mock meats are well executed, especially the 'duck'. If mock meat does not float your boat, there are a number of tasty items on the menu.

The cocktails are fantastic...especially the MK2 (loved it!!!).

And then there's the ambience - a perfect night out in a sophisticated restaurant with good customer service. All of this said, you will pay for the experience, but it's worth it, in my books at least.

Pros: Food , Choice, Ambience

Cons: Price

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Sophisticated Thai Food - Edit

We really enjoyed eating here! The food was really interesting, and exciting - especially if you like mock meat! We started off with two delicious starters, of mock 'chicken' skewers and tofu pocket that were filled with ingredients which made them look like dainty cucumber sandwiches! We felt the tofu was definitely one not to miss! The mains were great too; we shared crispy 'duck' and a dish with mock prawns, and had rice between the two of us. Some people might find they need extra rice, as the portion wasn't massive, but we felt it was just right for us. The service was absolutely impeccable too. All in all, a great meal and we felt the price was reasonable for the quality.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

so bad we walked out - Edit

I had heard good things about ChuChai so decided to try it out. We sat on the front patio and ordered the chicken skewers in peanut sauce, lemongrass shrimp salad, and beef in Penang curry.

Service and atmosphere were fine. But the food was gross. The peanut sauce tasted like sickeningly sweet peanut butter (no tang or other flavor at all) and the shrimp tasted just like soap. The texture was revolting. We couldn't eat them. We canceled our main dish (the beef) and left. They charged us for just one of the dishes, and the waitress seemed upset that we were so displeased with the food.

We found this to be bad vegan food and bad thai food - just bad food all around. Such a disappointment because most of the vegan food I've had in Montreal has been great.

Pros: nice atmosphere, decent service

Cons: unbalanced flavor, tastes like soap, too sweet; appetizer tasted like dessert

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Asian option - Edit

Having marketed itself as fine dining, I was a little disappointed. The water was tap water with quite a profound odor and taste and the napkins where disposable. The ambiance was dark but the staff was attentive and very helpful.
The appetizer (fresh spring roll) was excellent. The meals were all tasty - on person had a green curry, one the pad thai, and the other the duck. One person accepted rice, and was surprised to see a $3 charge on her bill, although I had seen it on the menu. My dish was the pad thai, and it was sweet. I was thirsty later, and I'm not sure it was because I couldn't drink the water or because in typical asian fare there is salt and sugar in the dish. The portion looked small, but I was absolutely stuffed even after skipping lunch to do a 50K bike ride.

Pros: Tasty!, Excellent service!

Cons: not exactly fine dining

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Bye bye, would never go back. - Edit

i really wanted to love this place. I am not Thai but grew up around the same region. i really wanted some "taste of childhood". So i went back here after 6 years, after reading so many good reviews at happycow. Again, i am disappointed and i guess, i would never go back again! For me, food was not great and for the same price,i could eat something more hearty some where else!
i went alone for weekday lunch. Had Tomyam soup. Tasted sour only, not a remote taste of spicy at all! i was shocked as this was not really the kind of Tom yam soup i expected! Not a single things except for a few floating mock shrimps and 2 ,ok, may be 3, quarter mushrooms.($6) On top of that, i ordered from the set menu. Since someone mentioned that the sweet spinach was awesome, so i wanted to give it a try. i had rice with peanut sauce mock chicken and sweet spinach. The set meal ($15) came with wanton soup or 2 spring rolls. Spring rolls were so so. Spinach wasn't any superior than any other chinese restaurant. Mock chicken peanut rice came with really just the chicken in sauce, not a single other vege (i thought i could cook better than this!). Rice was small. The only thumb up was the big pot of Thai tea (included in set menu) at the end of the meal. The tea was the only thing in the correct portion for the price. :)
Waiter was ok, no complaint.


i went there with my boyfriend and his mom. His mom loved the food, eventhough it is rather pricy. 2 starters, 2 curries, a fried rice and 3 desserts at more than 100 bucks.
As an Asian, i am very very disappointed as the food is not authentically Thai. The typical modified version of western kind of Asian food.
The curries tasted SWEET (!) instead of spicy or hot. Every food is kind of sweet.
The waiters/waitresses were friendly but not attentive. Too eager to get the table clean eventhough we haven't finished the food yet.
With the restaurant less than half filled and more than 5 waiters, they even did not notice that a guest spilled her drinks and got wet.
If you like western kind of Thai food (the authentic Thai food might be too hot to many), then this restaurant is kind of serve 'good food' then. It looked nice, clean and western too (decoration).
By the way, every dishes were 'designed' for single serving. So the portion was very small and if you intendws to share it, then order a few more dishes!
Updated from previous review on Saturday May 31, 2008

Pros: clean

Cons: Food, Service, price

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice food but high prices and small portions - Edit

I went there for dinner with maybe too high expectations. I've found the food relatively good but not really amazing in comparison to its price and the small quantity. However, it's great that the restaurant turned completely vegan. I would recommend it to discover thai food but I won't go back in priority when back in Montreal.

Pros: nice Asian food, 100% vegan

Cons: pricey and small portions, busy place

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Tasty, nice atmosphere, but expensive for the quality, - Edit

Came on a busy Saturday night, staff were great and all spoke English. Had sake, fried dumplings, pad Thai, and fried veggies over rice. Quality was very good, and the vegan meats were eerily realistic ( a good thing). Altogether we really enjoyed it here, but it was a bit pricey ($55 after tax).

Pros: staff, quality, atmosphere

Cons: price, only 1. beer

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegan Thai Food - Edit

Excellent thai food. You can choose from a variety of deliciously prepared mock meats, but there is also a wide array of tofu and veggie dishes.

Pros: Terrace, Upscale dΓ©cor, Friendly staff

Cons: Expensive, Small portions

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing Asian-style Vegan food - Edit

So glad we decided to stop at this place- definitely one of the food highlights of a trip to Montreal. The atmosphere was pleasant, with a nice outdoor seating area. We got a stuffed tofu appetizer, which was spicy and delicious and then had hands down the best Tom Kha soup EVER. The pad see ew (I think that's what it was- broad noodles with a sweet, spicy sauce) was really flavorful. The tapioca pudding dessert is one of the best things I've ever eaten. I ordered it reluctantly, never having been a big fan of tapioca pudding, but our waiter recommended it and it was fantastic. Definitely don't miss that pudding! The service was pleasant and efficient.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Always deilcious!! - Edit

I've been going here for quite a few years, and it's always sooo good. my favourite entree is the breaded seaweed that has a sweet and tangy sauce. Like a lot of places, it's always so hard to stray away from my favourite dish, simple deep-fried tofu with peanut butter sauce and crispy spinach. Their crispy spinach is better than any other asian restaurant that I've tried. There's also a wonderful duck dish with coconut milk curry, pineapple, and other veggies. The only thing I wasn't so crazy about was the shrimp, but that's just me as the others liked it. The pad thai also isn't one of their stronger dishes. For dessert, the coconut tapioca pudding is really delicious. Yes, it is more expensive than a veggie burger, but not any more so than any thai place that isn't take out.

Pros: great sauces, delicious entrees

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The best! - Edit

I am a thai girl who has been vegetarian for over 20 years. I can say that the food in this restaurant is really thai because all the staff in the kitchen are thai.my husband and I really love eating here. The owner is really nice.

Pros: Amazing food , Nice restaurant , Nice staff

Cons: Price, Often full

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Good - Edit

I went to a wedding that was catered by chuchai, it was my first time eating their food and I have to say it was really good. Most people at the wedding were meat eaters and they didn't even realize that they were not eating meat.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Contemporary, expensive, good - Edit

Get a reservation for the weekends for this uptown restaurant. The food is mostly organic, a good thing. This makes the price a little expensive.

The flavors are good, but not enough to send you to the moon. The portions are true French portions, although the food is mainly Thai. When it says spicy, it is not that spicy. We ordered the medium spice and could have gone up a notch.

For three people - 2 appetizers, 3 main course, 2 glasses of wine, soda was over $100 and we were hungry an hour later. But it is a great date place and the food is clean without a lot of oil. Service was very good.

Parking is REALLY difficult on a weekend, so take a metro or cab and save yourself the headache.

Pros: Fun atmosphere, Clean food, Nice flavors

Cons: Pricey for portions , A little loud, No parking

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Thai food for vegans and non-vegans alike - Edit

I took my fiance here and he actually liked the mock pad thai. I avoid gluten and was skeptical of seitan in some of the mock meats so I have the green curry and it was good. The food stayed nice and hot. The atmosphere was nice. The service was very good. My only complaint would be that the vegetables in the curry were not fully cooked.

Pros: location, menu variety, appeals to vegans and non vegans

Cons: gluten frree menu would be nice

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicious Asian food. - Edit

Some people say it is not authentic Thai food. Who cares? Thai food is full of fish sauce and shrimp paste anyway!
We went to Chuchai on our last night in Montreal. It was no cheap but it was really tasty and a great experience altogether. They have menus in English and French which were very convenient for us.
We started with the curry puffs and the deep fried seaweed in a sweet and spicy sauce. The curry puffs were nice enough but looked and tasted more or less like samosas. On the other hand, the seaweed dish was amazing!
Then we had the fake chicken with peanut sauce and fried spinach. That was so delicious. The spinach was also a bit sweet and unlike anything I tasted before. Very delicate flavours. We also had some red curry which was great too. The sticky rice is absolutely perfect. Our dishes rated 2 on the scale of 3 for spiciness but we did not find then spicy at all.
We were told that they do not use dairy or eggs in the cooking, but still use milk in coffee and honey in desserts so it is not yet a vegan restaurant but hopefully they will move to.
Totally worth trying in Montreal.

Pros: Mostly vegan, Attentive service, Great food

Cons: Not spicy enough, Pricey

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Awesome gourmet food - Edit

Atmosphere is upscale and lively. Always packed. Selection of food is extensive and the quality of the food is great. Nice place to go for dinner.

Pros: excellent food, excellent selection, lively

Cons: noisy, expensive

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing Mock Meat Fare - Edit

For the two nights I was in Montreal, I went to ChuChai, a Thai vegetarian restaurant. This restaurant is a bit pricey, but worth it! They have a whole line of mock meats including shrimp, fish, beef, chicken, and duck. They also have only vegetable dishes and vegetable dishes with tofu. The menu is truly extensive. Since it is Thai, most of the dishes are influenced by the cuisine. For example, they have several varieties of Tom Yum soup with various types of meat and/or coconut milk, several types of dumplings and spring rolls, and each section of mock meat has their own specialty entrees.

My favorite dishes were the wonton soup and the vegan duck. The duck surprisingly tasted a lot like real duck from what I remember... which was odd, but interesting. Other dishes we tried were bok choy with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese chicken salad, pan fried dumplings, and lychee for dessert. Overall, I am excited to go back to Montreal and try new restaurants!

For a complete review, please see my blog here: http://veganmiss.blogspot.com/2010/08/vegan-montreal.html

Pros: extremely vegan friendly, great food, mock meat fare

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Asian inspired Veg Restaurant - Edit

Most items vegan but watch out a few contain milk/eggs... The peanut dumplings on brown rice are a particular fave (a meal in itself). Traditional Thai dishes don't taste patricularly Thai so beware of that but putting that aside will allow you to enjoy a great Asian inspired meal.

Pros: consistent quality, peanut dumplings, Take-out options

Cons: price, a little light on spices

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Thai Restaurant with Excellent Mock-Meat Offerings - Edit

ChuChai is one a of a very rare breed in Montreal: a vegetarian dining establishment that is rather formal. From the white-on-black decor to the attentive wait staff to the inspired menu, this is fine dining.

The menu, offering plenty of moderately priced options, while arguably mock-meat heavy, has something for everyone. Among the starters, the fried mushrooms are out of this world and, eating them, even mushroom lovers like myself and my dining partners would never know what they were. Try them!

Serving sizes are very reasonable - nobody eating an entree should be going home hungry. Soups and salads are non-traditional and each sound very appetizing. The wine selection is limited but very good; is usually quite pricy, even by the glass.

Not much more to say about ChuChai than it is Montreal's #1 fine dining vegetarian restaurant. The food isn't necessarily any better than at a handful of other veggie hangouts in the city but, for the most part, you get what you pay for at ChuChai.

Pros: Nice atmosphere, Good food, Love the mushroom appetizer!

Cons: Somewhat expensive

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

This is NOT Thai food, bland and nothing special - Edit

My husband and I have been to Thailand and eaten Thai food all over the world and Canada, and this is by far the WORST imitation of Thai food we've ever tasted. I'm very disappointed that people give this place good reviews, you must really not know what Thai food is supposed to taste like.

Thai food is supposed to have 5 flavors, sweet, sour, salty, spicy and tangy and this food had hardly anything about sweet and salty.

It tasted like chinese inspired Thai food, nothing special and their portions are very small.

We ordered: Won ton soup - bland the wonton filling tasted like nothing, broth very bland

Peanut Sauce Dumplings - just tasted like dumplings in peanut butter, no tangy thai spices

Massaman curry - my all time favourite curry I have had many places and this tasted nothing like Massaman curry, it was a little salty and coconutty and not delicious at all, they also only give you 3 different vegetables in small quantities... not worth it.

Crispy duck - was ok, but tastes like American barbecue sauce is on it, and no thai flavors at all

We paid $60 for the most disappointing Thai meal we've had. My husband has has their pad thai before and it's not even the right noodles, they use thin little noodles and so much peanut butter it's like peanut butter noodles. Gross.

I have no idea how this place can stay in business so long making such a shadow of Thai cuisine. Surely people in Montreal are smarter than this and know what real Thai food is, since it is available elsewhere.

The decor is a dark room, with crappy industrial carpet blocks and the tables are spaced a foot and a half from the next. So you can hear your neighbours entire conversation over dinner. Not very romantic and it feels like you're sitting in a dark cafeteria and people have to squeeze in and out just to walk around between the chairs.

Pros: vegan friendly

Cons: worst thai food ever, so bland and overpriced, small and cramped

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms


Oh my gosh... You have to try ChuChai! The Crispy Duck and the Peanut Butter Chicken are AMAZING!!! Also, I've never had bad service there. Yes, it is tiny and the atmosphere isn't the best, but overall it still offers the best omnivore friendly meals in Montreal. I have no idea why people keep posting saying it is expensive; it is not at all. For two people, one shared appetizer, two main dishes, two sides and two desserts cost us about $60. How is that expensive for a really awesomely delicious dinner?

Pros: Amazing flavors, Affordable

Cons: Lack of atmosphere

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great for the special occasion! - Edit

I feel like vegheads don't remember how much meat costs; if we ate meat, prices like those at Chuchai wouldn't be shocking at all. So, yes, for vegan food it might be a little steep, but I like to think of it more as a nice place to go once in a while, like the vegan version of going out for a steak dinner!

I love the portions. I always leave perfectly satisfied; not too full or having wasted food, and not underfed. Juuust right!

The food itself is great; I'm indifferent to service, so long as it isn't overly attentive, and Chuch is great for that. The balcony in the summer is the best; love the atmosphere, the food is lovely, presentation is excellent, and the taste is powerful and lovely.

Highly recommended.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

Overpriced, overrated, unimpressive - Edit

Even though it's one of the only vegetarian restaurants around, I rarely ever go, and every time I sit down and order at Chuch or ChuChai I wonder why I don't go there all the time. By the time the meal gets started I remember why, and when I see the bill I swear to never return. After a year or two has passed I forget and go back. Last night I happily spent 80 dollars on a meal at another restaurant so why did I feel outraged spending 28 tonight at Chuch? Well, the atmosphere isn't great, the service isn't great, both my appetizer and main course were unimpressive and not generously portioned. I had the appetizer of dumplings and peanut sauce and regretted ordering it from the moment I saw it. And the main course was really blah. And not to mention that at places like Express or Salle a Manger when you spend 80 dollars you're getting a three course meal, a couple of glasses of wine and coffee or tea. The twenty-eight dollars I laid out at Chuch was just for an appetiser, and green curry vegetables with steamed rice. No drinks, no wine, no desert..... It's great that vegetarians have a Thai vegetarian restaurant in Montreal, I just wish the prices made more sense, and that the food was a little more dazzling.

Pros: Vegetarian, Vegan, Location

Cons: Overpriced, Service/atmosphere, Food not that impressive

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicious food, beautifully presented - Edit

I had a meal here with a group of colleagues on a business trip. I'm vegan, and of the other 7 there was only one vegetarian. But the approval was unanimous - ChuChai food will satisfy even the most hardened meat eater.

The menu is mainly mock meat dishes, there is also a good selection of tofu- and vegetable-based dishes if you're not keen on mock meats. Most of the menu is vegan apart from the fried rice dishes and those where the description includes egg. If you're unsure the staff will happily give details of any particular dish. Between us we were all able to sample most of the varieties, and the 'duck' in red curry sauce and the 'fish' dish were particular favourites with meat eaters and vegetarians alike. If pressed to find a negative point I'd have to say the lack of vegan dessert choices, but I didn't have room for dessert anyway.

It's not cheap but you get what you pay for and then some.

Pros: excellent food, plenty of choice

Cons: limited vegan desserts

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

A nice surprise - Edit

This was our fancy dinner on a recent trip to Montreal. ChuChai a bit more hip than some veg restaurants, but not at all snooty. They have a large dining room along with a nice outdoor patio in the front area. The place is located in a cool neighborhood (Saint Denis), full of shops & other restaurants. We enjoyed the ambiance greatly.

The food was delicious. We had an appetizer that came on edible leaves. Nothing at all like we're ever tried before--sooooo good. My meal had a faux chicken while my husband's was faux beef. Both were fabulous. Beautiful presentation too. We took photos of our food!

The service was wonderful: fast & friendly.

We would go back for sure.

Pros: Beautiful & tasty food, Nice ambience, Great service

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice dining experience - Edit

I went there a couple of times. The menu features a lot of fake meat. But they also have lots of other options that are worth trying. I like their apetizers a lot. The best one : fresh ginger, toasted coconut, cashew, jalapeno pepper and lime all wrapped on a kaffir leave. You chew all that together and it does create a really unique taste. Their curries are excellent, as well as their spinach chips. I also recommand to try the cocktails ; my favorite was the basil infused strawberry martini. The only negative point is the lack of vegan desserts. I was a bit disppointed by that because i have a sweet tooth and i love finishing a meal with a dessert, especially when i love the food and the experience in general. It can be expensive to eat there. The apetizer i described is almost 10$. I personnaly don't care paying when i get good food, but this is a chance to take. You might think it's overpriced. Since i've always been satisfied from what i got, i don't see it as a bad thing. The service was great, our server was friendly and seemed happy to work and to explain the menu to us. I will definately eat there again.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Don't miss the hors d'oeuvres! - Edit

After taking our seats and looking around to see what other guests were enjoying, we couldn't help but admire our neighbours platter of small bite sized creations. We asked our server and learned they were enjoying the multiple course chef's menu. Not wanting to miss out but not interested in going for the full out chef's menu, we asked if we could start with the hors d'oeuvres platter our neighbours were enjoying (not listed on menu). Thankfully, they kindly agreed.

The platter included five small items: a salad with mango and cashews, dumpling with sweet and sour sauce, "fish" cake with salsa, rice paper roll with peanut sauce, and roasted coconut, cashews and chutney wrapped in a pepper leaf. I have uploaded a picture so be sure to check it out.

For our main course we had Red Vegetable Curry and Pineapple and Peanut Vegetable Curry. Both were excellent.

It was a delicious meal and we left very satisfied and full. I can't remember the exact cost of our meal but it was a bit pricey. However, it was worth it for all of the elaborate food.

If you're not a fan of mock meats, don't be scared away from eating here. They have enough vegetable dishes that you'll be able to find something you like.

Pros: unique food, great ambiance

Cons: pricey

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

Super Yummy! - Edit

My husband and I went there and ordered off the menu. I got sweet and sour chicken with brown rice and he got spicy chicken with eggplant and brown rice with a coke. Our total with tip was $55. More than I'd like to pay but it was the best mock meat I've ever had! I could seriously eat there everyday!

Pros: excellent food

Cons: expensive

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great night out - Edit

We had a great night out with friends at ChuChai while on holidays in Montreal in June.

The atmosphere is a bit upmarket so this is really a great place for a special occasion dinner and getting a bit dressed up.

It was a really warm evening so we enjoyed sitting outdoors on the terrace. We sipped cocktails and enjoyed the atmosphere on Rue Saint-Denis while we waited for our food.

We shared starters, salads, curries and stir - fries and also had some desserts. All the dishes were excellent.

So get dressed up and head for ChuChai on your next special night out in Montreal.

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Fancy, Pricey - Edit

This is the place I often suggest when we are going for a fancy dinner, especially if I am not the one paying! They have some very good dishes and I love the salad rolls and the tapioca/coconut cream pudding.

For the rest, it is mostly faux-meat dishes. There are about 8 basic choices (like red curry, basil and peanut sauce, roasted cashew, etc.) and you select which type of faux meat you want (shrimp, beef, chicken... don't think too hard about the frozen faux-meats you have seen for sale at the place down duluth). The price is about $14 a dish and you will want to have a soup or an appetizer to go with it as they are a bit small. I find the dishes good but not spectacular. I honestly go for the fancy decor and ambiance - if I am taking someone out for dinner.

The Table d'H'te is overpriced but fun. You get 5 fancy little appetisers and a few dishes to share and try. It is a great thing to do on a date.

Check out the tapioca pudding for dessert!

Pros: Ambience, Fancy

Cons: Pricey

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Really good!!! - Edit

My wife and I went here for dinner a few weeks back and really enjoyed it. There is a good variety of foods, even for vegans, and it tastes phenomenal! The only let down was that we ended up paying about $50 for the two of us and we didn't get THAT much food, just a side of rice (which isn't included with the meal) and two sodas.

I really like the food, but the price has made me a little reluctant to return. I haven't tried the lunch menu/ to go area, which I've heard is a bit more afforable.

Pros: Excellent food, Good service, Nice selection

Cons: Can be expensive, *, *

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice little date spot. - Edit

We ended up a Chuchai because Chuch was packed with a line at the door. Chuchai is a classier version of Chuch, dim lighting, dark wood interior, white table cloths, etc...they dont have a dress code - but I felt a bit under dressed in my jeans and sweater. Very nice restaurant though. Staff were incredibly kind & friendly - happy to speak to us both in English or French and service was very quick (though there was only us and another table at the time).

We ordered the dumplings with peanut sauce to start - which ended up being my favorite dish of the night. Pad Thai was nice, as was the Chicken Red Curry, we did have to order rice on the side for an extra $6 though. Overall the service was excellent and we were happy with our meals, the only damper were the prices - each dish (due to the addition of rice) came out to about $20-$25. Next time, I think I'll stick to Chuch next door & save Chuchai for a date spot.

Pros: great vegan food selection, great atmosphere & decor, friendly bilingual staff

Cons: prices are pretty high

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicious! - Edit

Amazing food.The service wasn't great but can easily be ignored once you bite into the delicious food. I recommend the red curry with "shrimp", the seaweed appetizer, and the fried tofu appetizer with cucumber and coriander. A little pricey but certainly worth it!

Pros: food, indoor atmosphere

Cons: service, small patio

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Minimal meets Conventional! - Edit

This is the first vegetarian Thai restaurant I have come across any where outside Thailand, and even there they are a rarity. While it is a great idea for those of us who like Thai cuisine but cannot stand the fish sauce and shrimp paste in almost all items in the so called 'vegetarian' section of the conventional Thai restaurants, let me voice my peeve about these vegetarian South East Asian restaurants in North America that use meat as a reference point. Chuchai had its menu full of beef, duck, chicken, shrimp and what not. Of course, in the introduction it says that these are all 'mock' meats made from seitan etc. But what they forget is that these restaurants are frequented and sought out by non-carnivores. I do not need meat as a reference point for ordering from the menu. Even the mention of these meats makes me feel I am eating the flesh of dead animals.

Having said that, Chuchai is definitely a fine dining experience with white linen, black uniformed waiters, minimal decor and a good selection of wine. The food was well prepared, full of flavor and presented very attractively. However, I thought the pricing (specially for the entrees) is on the higher side. Service was excellent.

Pros: Food, Service, Location

Cons: Unimaginative menu, Prices

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Dull and overpriced - Edit

So I went there armed with the HappyCow reviews to help in my menu choices, but I really wish I didn't.

I had the crispy breaded seaweed appetiser. Someone said they'd never tasted anything like it before. Nor me, really - but not in a good way. It was like sticky sesame fried pretzel slices - not exactly unpleasant, but not an experience I'd care to repeat. The hot and sour soup with vegetarian chicken and lemongrass was adequate despite a slight taste of dishwater, with three small slices of an acceptable fake chicken.

Followed by the vegetarian duck with hot chili and basil. Decently spicy, and decent-sized portions (rather than overly-huge American sized), but it was a really poor duck substitute - I've had far better fake meats than they use here. The sticky rice was crusty on the top, rather like if you'd left cooked rice to cool in the open air for several hours and then microwaved it - the worst rice I've ever had - it's astonishing how they could mess up rice.

Service was terrible, from a surly rake-thin Asian woman who has obviously chosen the wrong career having no interest in so much as saying hello to a customer, never mind smiling or attempting to build rapport.

I was really looking forward to this, given the reviews and the recommendation from one of the animal rights protestors. But it wasn't worth the trip, nor the $50 check.

Pros: ambience

Cons: disappointing food, terrible service, overpriced

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Innovative Thai oh my! - Edit

Wow. I eat thai fairly often and ChuChai had some really interesting dishes. There were tons of mock meat dishes (not my thing), and it is maybe 95% vegan. We had a breaded seaweed that I had never seen or tasted anylike like it before, sauted eggplant with spicy sauce and INCREDIBLE peanut sauce covered tofu (among the best tofu I have ever had). Yum yum! Nice terrace and atmosphere too.

Pros: Delicious, Variety, Atmosphere

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Overpriced - Edit

My boyfriend and I went to ChuChai when I was new to the city. The hype about this place is waaaay overstated! The menu is great, lots of choice and all veggie. I ordered a "fish" dish which was good except for the heavy sugary sauce that accompanied it. Unfortunatly the prices are steep and dont come with rice or a side unless explicitly stated. The brown rice I ordered was cold and undercooked. Be prepared to pay upwards of $25 each for an average meal not including drink or tip. Montreal definately boasts better veggie fare than this place.

Pros: all veg, tasty fish-thing

Cons: overpriced, cold food

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Slightly disappointed... - Edit

I was really looking forward to trying out Chu Chai on my visit to Montreal last week. Based on others' reviews I was expecting something akin to a religious experience, and unfortunately it was several notches below that.

I think the thing that turned me off the most was the atmosphere. They're going for that sleek, trendy look that's so popular with the NYC SoHo types. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing... but Chu Chai's decor just feels steely and cold. The server's lack of enthusiasm didn't help either.

Still, what matters most to me is the quality of the food. The fried dumplings were sadly disappointing; they were miniscule in size, over-fried and hard. You really couldn't even tell there was anything inside them. If they had been steamed they probably would have been much better. The spring rolls looked very good though, and did get two thumbs up from our dining companions.

For our main dish, my boyfriend and I split the fried rice noodles with duck, chilis and basil. This dish was incredibly tasty. However, for $14 we really expected a much larger serving. (Obviously at Chu Chai you're paying more for the decor than for the food.) Other dishes we sampled were the chicken and broccoli, which was simple and tasty; and the fish with ginger, which was very delicately spiced but still flavorful. (Note: The pepper rating system is spot-on. Zero peppers means zero heat, unlike at many Thai places. If you find that boring, order something with a pepper or two.) And what's the deal with making you pay separately for rice? You'd think they could toss it in for free with prices that high.

It was a blessing in disguise, though, that our main dish was so small... because the desserts were very good. The fried bananas with ice cream were out of this world. I would probably return there just for that alone. The coconut tapioca custard was good too.

The food at Chu Chai is, for the most part, very good. For this reason alone I'm giving it four cows. Whether or not it's worth the price is up to the individual, I suppose. I don't think I'd go often, personally, when there's other great Thai food available in Montreal for a much more reasonable price.

Pros: Tasty food, Varied selection

Cons: Way too expensive, Cold, trendy decor, Lackluster service

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Try it and you'll love it - Edit

Although the meals here are horridly expensive for the amount of food that you get, the food is to die for. For an appetizer, try the peanut butter dumplings (only as of recently have they been made vegan) and the breaded mushrooms. A friend of mine said they tasted like sesame beef, but I'd never tried sesame beef, so I couldn't compare. Their meals are very tasty overall, but they don't really offer that much (quantity) in terms of their "star" ingredients, ie. fake meat. For example, a meal of "shrimp" and veggies offers perhaps only 6 or 7 shrimp. Overall, however, this place is a must-try.

Pros: Delicious food, Friendly staff

Cons: Expensive, Small portions

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Montreal Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has ChuChai closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 11626 times since Aug 2007.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now