Since forever, one restaurant has reigned supreme within Montreal's Portuguese chicken scene: Romados. Altogether undisputed as the best place to enjoy some succulent Portuguese chicken, Romados has been placed on a pedestal, for good reason.
But it's time for the king of Portuguese chicken in Montreal to be dethroned, because there is, in fact, a restaurant that surpasses the much-loved Romados when it comes to unadulterated deliciousness.
You may think it impossible, but Ma Poule Mouillée is the Montreal Portuguese chicken restaurant that is better than Romados.
How can any Portuguese chicken eatery improve upon the perfection that is Romados, you ask? While I agree it seems like an impossible feat, as I too was once the firmest believer in Romados' glory, the reality is Ma Poule Mouillée, on Rachel right by Parc La Fontine, surpasses Romados in almost every way.
Now, I could list a bunch of small arbitrary reasons as to why Ma Poule Mouillée is the superior restaurant, but when you're comparing Portuguese chicken restaurants, all it comes down to is the chicken itself.
Romados' chicken is utterly delicious, there's no questioning that fact. Moist, lightly charred, and made finger-licking-good thanks to the resto's signature spicy sauce (that's really more of a oil), Romados' chicken is much-adored for good reason.
The thing is, you don't even know you're missing out until you try Ma Poule Mouillée chicken. Unlike Romados, Ma Poule Mouillée uses a legit piri piri sauce, one that has real substance (and actual chilis) rather than being a mere liquid. Smothered all over the chicken itself, the on-the-surface small difference has a huge impact on flavour.
Magically imbued into each piece of chicken through some means of Portuguese rotisserie sorcery, Ma Poule Mouillée piri piri sauce takes its chicken to new levels of tenderness, far beyond anything accomplished at Romados.
The sauce itself is the perfect level of heat accompanied by a full-bodied symphony of garlic, spices, and chilies, ensuring you can taste the moist chicken while also enjoying a significant boost in flavour.
Oh, and you know all of those charred bits of chicken you adore when eating Romados? Well, at Ma Poule Mouillée those sometimes-too-burned-to-eat parts absorb the alchemical piri piri sauce so completely they become little pockets of charred delight, literally exploding smoky accents of chili, chicken, and good ol' fashion grease into your salivating mouth.
Ma Poule Mouillée even does the courtesy of actually cutting up your chicken into pieces when you order a whole bird, which is admittedly a small cosmetic change, but does make your life a lot easier when eating with friends.
The rest of Ma Poule Mouillée's menu is similar to Romados. Chicken plates served with fries and salads (both sides on par with Romados) are the standard fare enjoyed by most customers. There is, however, one part of the menu that also places Ma Poule Mouillée above Romados.
Ma Poule Mouillée has poutine.
And not just any basic-bitch poutine. I'm talking an honest to God, plate piled high with decadence, Portuguese chicken and chorizo sausage with São Jorge cheese kind of poutine. Forget going to La Banquise across the street, because if you want amazing poutine and divine chicken, you've found both at Ma Poule Mouillée.
Lastly, I feel the need to bring up the final aspect of any proper Portuguese chicken meal, namely the natas (Portuguese custard tarts) that are basically a needed dessert. While I haven't had the chance to enjoy Ma Poule Mouillée's natas (I did have two other amazing pastries) a dining partner took the time to say she was not being hyperbolic when describing them as heavenly.
Sorry to have rocked your world with this post people, and there is no doubt most of you don't believe me when I say that Ma Poule Mouillée's chicken is better than Romados. And in all honesty, I'm kind of jealous of you doubters. You get the chance to try Ma Poule Mouillée's chicken for the first time, an experience I an only describe as religious.
Because once you enjoy a Portuguese chicken meal at Ma Poule Mouillée, you'll agree to this fact: it's the best Portuguese chicken in all of Montreal.
All photos within the article courtesy of Ma Poule Mouillée's Facebook page.