Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)
If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks.
Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell.
When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each other or randomly at Valerie, the bartender of the evening. The bar has small touches of tiki decor rather than the full kitsch you’d anticipate. There are a few low wooden tables and banquettes for small groups but the space is really for the large L-shaped bar counter holding off the spirits, fresh squeezed or pressed juices and other drink ingredients.
I saddled up to the bar and started off with the namesake drink Mal Nécessaire. A refreshing drink made of Jim Beam bourbon, Fernet, Bowmore, banana, fresh lime juice and cinnamon set in a tall, glass bottle filled with crushed ice. Not too sweet from the bourbon and scotch mix and the lime brightening the drink.
The Chia Fresca would be my go-to cocktail for those dog days of summer. It’s a super refreshing combination of gin, cucumber, coconut water, chia seeds, lemon and Thai basil. (You can arguably say it’s a healthy drink since there is coconut water and chia seeds.)
My last drink of the evening is appropriately capped off with the Bahama Mama. It’s served in a large pineapple that is emptied and whose pulp is processed into juice. (They do the same for their coconuts and these hollowed fruits are stored in the freezer.) The drink itself is dark rum, Jamaican coffee liqueur, coconut water, pineapple, and lemon. The major plus is it’s on fire. It’s a treat. Fragrant and kind of dark and brooding that can lend itself to a refill for less.
I did have some small plates of food prepared by their neighboring Cantonese restaurant, Fung Shing. Fung Shing is an old school Chinese (Cantonese) restaurant that’s been around for over 40 years. I had their steamed pork dumplings and General Tso chicken with a bowl of rice. From someone who’s been reared with Cantonese food, the dumplings were solidly good. The General Tso chicken was good but I prefer the sauce to have a little more spiciness and vinegar but I digress.
To view photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the full photo set or view the gallery below: