Mir – Molecular Gastronomy in Montreal

Pipettes, syringes and liquid nitrogen may sound more like the contents of a 9th grade Science lab, but at Restaurant Mir, Montreal’s first dedicated Molecular Gastronomy restaurant, these tools are as common as a spatula. The food, however, is anything but common.

Molecular Gastronomy is the science of cooking. Since its emergence in the early 90s, molecular gastronomy chefs have been using their knowledge of chemical reactions to investigate the transformations that occur in food during cooking. The cuisine combines the possibilities of food science with culinary art that entices the senses. This desire to experiment with new ingredients and cooking techniques has led to the creation of flavours, textures and food combinations never before seen in traditional cooking.

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

Now this innovative cuisine has arrived in Montreal. Before opening Mir, head chef Konstantin Chakhov, trained at the Fat Duck in the UK under Heston Blumenthal, who is widely recognized as one of the top chefs in the world. Located on Union Street in the center of Montreal’s financial district, Mir is Chakhov’s first restaurant and it’s already proving to be a success.

Begin your Mir experience with a unique twist on a classic cocktail. On a humid Montreal day, we suggest cooling down with the Drunken Cucumber, a Citadelle G&T with perfectly formed cucumber pearls, or The Defector, ice cold rum, steaming from a blast of liquid nitrogen pear essence.

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

Mir’s attentive and knowledgeable staff will then guide you through the menu of culinary delights to come.

Each dish is a delicate balance of tastes. Using scientific cooking techniques, such as sous-vide to serve your meat or fish at the perfect tenderness, unusual combinations are carefully chosen and cooked only to the point of releasing their full flavour. Each course takes your taste buds in a new direction as your preconceptions of dining are challenged. To complete the sensory experience, plates are garnished with complementary flavours in jelly or foam form.

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

As on all menus, there are some highlights you simply cannot miss.

Start with the Popcorn Sweetbread. Each section of this dish has its own distinct texture and flavour, but combined they play off each other beautifully. The veal’s soft creaminess contrasts with the crunch of the onions, which release a sweetness balanced by the bitter endive foam.

Follow this with the Beef and Oysters; a perfectly slow-cooked strip loin. The meat’s big, bold flavour is accentuated by the smokiness of the oysters, the creaminess of the pea barley and the sudden sweetness of marinated beets, creating a thoroughly enjoyable dish. If seafood is more your thing, opt for the Sea Bass. Cooked only to the height of its flavour, this melt-in-your-mouth fish is complemented with the tartness of a lemon-fennel foam and a grapefruit jelly.

To finish, do not miss the Tarte Tatin. A thin pear and cranberry pastry accompanied by a blue cheese ice cream that will astound you with the near limitless possibilities of cheese-flavoured puddings. You’ll be left wondering why this dessert-cheese plate crossover is not already a staple on menus worldwide.

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant in Montreal

In terms of food and ambiance, Restaurant Mir pins itself as a “one of a kind experience in Montreal”. While the spa waiting room decor may leave you a little underwhelmed, the food won’t fail to impress.

Article by Charlotte.

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Charlotte Claxton

Charlie is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, luxury and food. Having earned her chops as a staff writer for international travel brands and digital marketing companies, she now writes for freelance clients and runs her own travel blog. Charlie grew up in London and has since lived in Canada and Australia. She currently writes from various cafés, hammocks and beaches as she travels the world, bringing LuxeInACity readers first-hand insight into the best luxury experiences worldwide. Get to know Charlie better at www.charlieclaxtonwrites.com