Montréal Eats: Phaedra

Never go to Phaedra restaurant in Laval. They will serve you rotten lobster, unfresh fish, a french toast made of cheese faking to be Saganaki, and a server who never brought us water and tried to convince us that the rotting lobster was fresh from Casa Blanca and wanted to prove it with invoices and receipts. I wanted to ask him to eat it, but I thought it would prolong my time there.

My ratings:
Price range: $$-$$$

Psilokomeni salad
None of us could finish it.  It was literally swimming in half a bowl of olive oil.

Psarosoupa Avgolemono
It was very fishy, tasted like potato soup with frozen fish thrown in.

I’ve never seen a saganaki that’s not flambéed at your table in a Greek restaurant.  The cheese wasn’t even warm when served, and yet the waiter claimed they didn’t have the proper equipment to flambéed the cheese, so they flambéed it in the kitchen.

Feuilles de vigne farcies au riz & herbes
It was actually the best item served the whole night.  There was canned tuna mixed in the rice.

Terrible.  It was fishy and it was overcooked.  The mussels were tough.  It was dry and there wasn’t any sauce.

Seafood dish
Lobster, grilled sardines, grilled shrimp, whiting fillets.

  • One of the lobster was overcooked (the meat was tough).  The other lobster was unfresh and you can see all the built-up mucus. 
  • The sardines were unfresh (plus there were so many bones).  The inerts were not removed yet.
  • The shrimps were tasteless. 
  • The whiting filets were also very fishy. 
  • It’s absolutely not worth for the price, these are all very cheap ingredients, there is no way it will be worth $78.  They’re not even fresh to start with.

It’s not well-made.  The custard was overcooked and was very grainy.

Walnut cake
Soaked in syrup, the texture was more like quickbread than a cake.

Click here to see my other reviews on the local dining scene.

Phaedra on Urbanspoon

15 Boulevard Samson
Laval, QC H7X 3S5, Canada
(450) 969-0009


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Constantine Vassiliou
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:33:16

    Dear Andrea,

    I am sorry you did not have a pleasant experience at our restaurant. In fact, it was I who served you and my parents own the restaurant, and I feel compelled to write a response since I believe a few of your comments are misleading and/or need clarification. Firstly, I apologize for not bringing you water. That was obviously a silly oversight on my part. Secondly, we do not use any frozen fish at our restaurant and the ‘psarsosoupa’ was made with fresh fish. Thirdly, I am glad you enjoyed the Dolmadakia. However, I must correct you here as well. We absolutely DO NOT use canned tuna for this delicacy. That is unheard of. What you were enjoying was hand-picked vine leaves stuffed with rice, ground veal, oregano and mint along with other spices. Fourthly, the saganaki is made with a cheese called “Kefalograviera”; it is lightly battered and pan fried. There is absolutely no bread and eggs as you inferred. I do recall that you were disappointed there was no large flame; while that would have made the presentation more entertaining, all it meant is there was less ouzo. Some restaurants like pouring a ton of ouzo (which I’m sure you know causes the flame), while we chose to add a little bit, in order not to drown out the flavour from the cheese. I’m particularly disappointed you did not like the saganaki because it is a very popular item at our restaurant. Regarding the lobster, I will continue to insist that it was fresh, and moreover, we purchase them on the same day for our clients. Perhaps it was over, or undercooked, but it certainly went inside the boiling water alive, like all the lobsters we serve. This is why we refuse to take clients through the groupon promotion without a reservation. We do our purchases according to our reservations, which is why I know it was bought the same day. I also need to clarify your point about the seafood being from Casablanca. As I’m sure you would know, much of the seafood you ate wont be found in Casablanca, Morocco, and rather, I was referring to the fish wholesaler (Casablanca Inc.) a few blocks east of our restaurant (in Chomedey Laval, QC), where we do our purchases. We purchase our seafood from them daily. You appeared incredulous, so I offered to show you receipts since I go there with my dad every morning to get stock for the day. Regarding the sardines, yes, they do have a lot of bones, but this is how jumbo sardines of that kind are typically served in the Southern Mediterranean. If you were experienced in eating sardines, you would know how to clean them out properly in order to circumvent the bones. This is not a dig at you, I myself have difficulty eating jumbo sardines; it is indeed an art. Again, I am deeply sorry you did not enjoy your experience at our restaurant, but I had to correct some of the points you raised with your ‘illustrations’ that would only mislead your readers. Thanks for allowing room to reply to this thread. I hope you decide to keep the response, or amend your review so that its veracity does not come into question again.

    Respectfully Yours,


    • phalaenopsis619
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 19:13:58

      Dear Constantine,

      The saganaki comment was just a metaphor, I know clearly it is not a french toast. I did like the Dolmadakia but the ground veal you mentioned really resembled the taste of canned tuna.

      My family and I grew up by the ocean and we have all different kinds of fresh seafood served at our table everyday. We don’t accuse a seafood dish for being unfresh and fishy out of no reason. It comes from years of experience in eating fresh seafood. When a certain seafood is unfresh, we would know it. As a customer, we didn’t think any of the seafood dish that was served was fresh at all. That was how we all felt so this would be how I’m going to record it.

      I am very experienced in eating sardines or any kind of bony fish. In fact I finished all the sardines in the end, and not a single piece of meat was being wasted. My point about the sardines wasn’t about the bones. The meat was incredibly mushy, and only fish that’s unfresh would have this kind of texture.

      We have reserved for a table at least a week ahead, so please don’t make it sound like we just walked in, and you had to serve us the seafood plate in a short notice. The lobsters were overcooked and the meat was tough and tasteless. I don’t want to say more about the slimy lobster, I think the photo is a good enough proof. We only wanted to hear for an appology that evening, but you went on to defend for your supplier and your restaurant. You can continue to defend for your restaurant, but it doesn’t change the fact that the spoiled lobster was served to us.

      I appreciate you for leaving a comment here. I am not going to change what I wrote in this review as it was how we felt about your restaurant.



    • marlene
      Sep 08, 2015 @ 04:32:18

      Sounds convincing but how do you account for the rotten lobster in the picture. It us clearly rotten.


  2. Constantine Vassiliou
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 01:44:37

    Dear Andrea,

    Thank you for your reply. Again, I will insist that the lobster we served you was fresh. The reason one came out darker than the other was that the former was a little undercooked, unless you believe we served you one fresh and one non-fresh lobster. That one of your lobsters was a little undercooked, is a responsibility I’m willing to take, and I apologize for that. However, I cannot accept your suggestion that we wouldn’t serve fresh seafood to our clients. I don’t mind if you remove your review or not, since you only have two followers, but you have made claims that are simply not true, and insulting to a hardworking family that comes from a fishing town (Gytheio) with over 3000 years of history. Moreover, I am aware you reserved well in advance. Your 5 course meal was offered through Groupon, and we insisted on reservations at least a day in advance so we could know exactly how much we need for each day, to avoid overbuying. Casablanca (the fish market) is literally 350 meters from our store, and this gives us the convenience of making our purchases according to up to the minute demand. We will in fact refuse clients who show up for the seafood special without placing a reservation (even on the quietest evenings) because we wont have all the items in stock for even one extra party. Again, I am sorry you didn’t enjoy your experience, and I agree we could have done better to enhance it for you, but that being said, I guarantee you will not find fresher food at any other seafood/Greek restaurant in this city. Due to the popularity of our seafood promotion (over 1000 coupons sold through groupon since March) we have been invited to run the offer again on July 11th. I urge you to take advantage, and hopefully you’ll be more satisfied this time around.

    Respectfully Yours,


    • phalaenopsis619
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 03:17:14

      Thank you for your concern about the popularity of my blog. While my blog only has two followers, search engines are a powerful existence in the era of information technology. It is very easy to link to my blog post should one do a simple Google search for your restaurant. One bad online review cannot harm a restaurant. This is my honest review of my dining experience, and this post is merely a platform for me to share with other people about my dining experience.


  3. Paul
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 21:04:15

    I enjoyed your review and after having eaten a Phaedra with my family under similar conditions,the accuracy of your comments are well supported. The owner should spend less time writing back to those that give those negative reviews and more time focusing on improving the standards so that he’s still be in business in 2014.


  4. marlene
    Sep 11, 2015 @ 01:07:19

    If someone presented you with spoiled food would you eat it. Spoiled food that looked like this. You woukd not.


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