All the specialty items at Cuisine Aunt Dai – like one of the most popular, Ju Hua Yu – keep their original Chinese names, with English and French translations.
In keeping with the authenticity of the restaurant, staff encourages customers to order the dishes using the correct Chinese pronunciations, which adds to the fun for a group dinner.
Cuisine Aunt Dai in Montreal — Photo courtesy of Cuisine Aunt Dai
A meal in the Chinese culture is all about sharing a moment with friends and/or family. Meal times for Chinese diners is also a time for serious conversation. This holds true at Cuisine Aunt Dai, too.
Instead of ordering individual portions, Chinese diners will usually order a set number of dishes per number of people in the party, which will all be shared and served with steamed rice, stir fried rice or noodles as a side dish. This way of dining has been a Chinese tradition for thousands of years, and you might want to try it.
For utensils, chopsticks and a bowl (of rice) are must-haves. Traditionally, people would use the same chopsticks to eat their food and transfer food from the shared dishes to their own bowls. In the interest of hygiene, that method has changed, and nowadays in China, more and more restaurants provide separate serving spoons or serving chopsticks per dish.
In some Chinese provinces, especially in the south, people drink soup before eating the main course. Recently, this tradition has spread all over China.
Chinese chefs take great pride in their cooking skills. In theory, the flavor and taste of the dish should come from the skills of the chef so that no extra sauce is needed. Adding sauce is a slight to the chef. Adding additional sauce unbalances the flavor and ruins the presentation.
Some ingredients in Chinese dishes are a concern, including peanut butter, starch and MSG. Thankfully, Cuisine Aunt Dai does not use MSG, and they disclose all ingredients used in each dish.
For generations, the Chinese drank a liquor called Bai Jiu with their meal. Since globalization, however, wine or beer is more common. In Montreal, you will rarely find Chinese liquor in the liquor stores. But that's okay, because at Cuisine Aunt Dai, you can bring your own wine and beer.
Specials are available to celebrate everything from Chinese mid-autumn festival (with a half moon cake) to World Cup day and Mother's Day.