Posts Tagged ‘Korean’

The menu of this small corner resto has many of the expected classic Korean dishes, but also some that don’t quite seem right, like spring rolls and a bunch of salads. Korean food tends to be quite uniform, so any deviations are quite obvious. The only complimentary side dish that came with our meal were little bowls of an odd sort of cabbage kimchi which was mostly sesame oil. Usually Korean restaurants provide more of these little dishes.

The food was just ok. I did not care for the vegetarian pancake, which was an odd thing, perhaps made with…potato?… completely saturated with oil and probably deep fried. It wasn’t like a latke and resembled more like a drowned hashbrown than anything else – usually this pancake is made with flour and is lightly panfried. As it was, it was hard to taste or see anything but fried oil.

The bibimbap was fine, though as a pregnant woman I was a little taken aback that the egg was cracked in completely raw. Often the egg in this dish is presented sunny side up at least. The hot stone bowl and hot rice helped to cook it, but the presentation was a little odd. Bulgogi was served sizzling on a hot cast iron skillet and came with some large lettuce leaves, a little bit of sauce, kimchi, and rice.

Service was not terrible but also not great. I think this is the first Korean restaurant I’ve ever been in with all non-Asian waitstaff, though it looked like most of the people in the kitchen were Asian. Our water glasses were never refilled. When we asked about dessert, the waiter brought the menu back to the table and said that there was only one thing on it that they had left. We declined, paid, and left.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the food and would not crave anything on their menu. If we get desperate for Korean, we might come back, but otherwise it lacks any great pull to bring a diner there. And I did not approve of the forks on every table, nor the wide chopsticks – Korean chopsticks are usually the bamboo disposable kind or very slim stainless steel.

177 rue Bernard Ouest and Avenue l’Esplanade

Bus: 160

Metro: Outremont or Rosemont (but not close)



Read Full Post »

Nestled in a basement in Chinatown, this surprisingly clean hole in the wall serves tasty Korean food. This is a humble place, but still has the best Korean food we’ve found in the city.

The banchan, or little amuse bouche-type dishes that are commonly served with meals, includes too sweet radish kimchi, decent cabbage kimchi, and seasoned potatoes. In winter, the thin, spicy soup also has potato in it – Quebec-Korean-style, I suppose. We often order dol sot bibimbap, jap chae, and bulgolgi. The bulgolgi is thicker than it usually is, but is attractively served in a sizzling stone plate; table-side cooking is also available. Dishes were churned out in an impressively short time and are hot and delicious – especially nice on a chilly, wet night – however service can be slow when the resto is full (especially during conventions). The hot tea is made with a tea bag. Kimchi to go is available. Korean pop music videos are played on the flat screen tv. Pay at the counter.

B-1021 Boul. St-Laurent at Rue de la Gauchetière

Metro: Place d’Armes

See my October 2009 review here.

Read Full Post »

Finally, we’ve found a decent Korean bbq place in Montreal. Nestled in a basement in Chinatown, the surprisingly clean hole in the wall serves tasty Korean food.

We were served too sweet radish kimchi, decent cabbage kimchi, and seasoned potatoes. The slightly spicy soup we were served also had potato in it – Quebecoise Korean-style, I suppose. For consistency, we ordered dol sot bibimbap, jap chae, and bulgolgi. The bulgolgi was thicker than it usually is, but was attractively served in a sizzling stone plate; table-side cooking is also available, but the other tables were taken. All of the dishes were churned out in an impressively short time and were hot and delicious – especially nice on a chilly, wet night. The hot tea was made with a tea bag and we were initially served dishes without chopsticks and spoons, but I can overlook that in a small basement resto. Pay at the counter.

B-1021 Blvd. St. Laurent at Rue de la Gauchetiere

metro: Place d’Armes

Read Full Post »

Alas, this beacon of Korean goodness is located in NJ, USA and not in my new home of Montreal, QC. Still, if you’re ever in the area, it’s just over the Piscataway/South Plainfield border, just past the best ShopRite in NJ. Just a hop away from Rutgers, New Brunswick. They don’t advertise and it’s hidden in the far corner of a strip mall, but who care’s about the exterior when it houses such a gem inside?

This is one of the best Korean restaurants in NJ – I’m including the Fort Lee/Palisades Park area as well in that sweep. The food is exactly what one expects when one goes to a Korean bbq place. Several private tables are available behind sliding paper doors (and yes, you’re supposed to leave your shoes on the steps), a great selection of those little appetizer dishes (mook, a mung bean paste gelatin, is my favorite; hot spiced sweet potatoes are my husband’s), hot roasted tea, and glowing coals inserted into the bbq grates in the middle of your table.The kimchi is fresh and the bibimbap is perfect. And yes, the japchae is steaming hot.

The waiters are all Korean, and the menu includes everything you might possibly want – including a couple of sushi options for those uninitiated in the joys of gochujang. It’s all delicious. Everything. Service and food are consistent, though we still get slightly better service when we go with a Korean than by ourselves. It’s ok – we love Kimchi Hana so much that we even had our wedding reception there. That’s right – it’s that good.

6101 Hadley Rd., Middlesex Mall, South Plainfield, NJ 07080, USA

Read Full Post »

Unfortunately for La Maison Bulgolgi, I have very high standards for Korean cuisine, which they failed to reach. Neon lights on the dingy part of Rue St. Catherine O. continues on into the inside where my husband first commented that he was worried about its cleanliness. Not a good sign.

We had to try the bbq, and ordered bulgolgi and pork as well as a dol sot bibimbap (the kind that comes sizzling in a stone bowl). The bibimbap was fine, but the gochujang was harsh to my palate, as was the reddish paste they gave us for the bulgolgi. The bbq was more like a wok on a gas burner – nothing remarkable. The little side dishes were overcooked and seemed slightly fermented. Service was friendly and attentive. No repeat visits are anticipated.

2127 Rue St. Catherine O. at Rue Chomedy

metro: Atwater

Read Full Post »

I just had to check out the new Korean restaurant that opened up on Thur. a block from the McGill metro on Rue University, and went on opening day for lunch with my husband. Festive balloons adorned the street entrance and I was charmed by the sweetly embroidered placemats inside.

Unfortunately, the food was mediocre at best and the complimentary wine they gave us in celebration of their first day of service was really bad. I mean reallybad, both the white and the red. The vegetable japchae was fine, though my husband would have liked it have been hot instead of lukewarm (having grown up with cold potluck japchae, I didn’t mind it), but the bulgogi was dry and overcooked and strangely served on top and mixed into a bed of rice, rather akin to Hamburger Helper. The little side dishes served with each dish, thus indicating that they should be eaten individually and not communally as in most good Korean restaurants, were a passable weak kimchi, cold fried zucchini, and some unidentifiable brown pickle.

I wanted this restaurant to be good so badly that I initially rated it as a B+, but eventually had to concede that it was really only a B/B- due to the disappointing fare and bad wine. Bad wine is never a good sign, even if it is free.

So alas, the search for the great Montreal Korean restaurant continues.

2077 Rue University at Rue Sherbrooke

metro: McGill

Read Full Post »