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Sep 9, 2006 08:57 PM

Matsarang House (Cgy)- damn this is good.

I've written a bit about my first visit to this tiny Korean place in the retail level of the new Tarjan Point condos (downtown west end, at 10th St and 6th Ave SW- Matsarang is on the 10 St side, south of 6th); I had a bulgogii-dakgogi combo and was very impressed at the value and the deliciousness... Today I went for lunch and had the bibimbap, and I am writing to confirm that this place is an absolute gem.

Bibimbap is a bowl of rice topped with various veggies, sometimes with beef (Matsarang's is, with shreds of the same absolutely delicious beef that is their bulgogi, not just unseasoned ground beef as you sometimes get with bibimbap), and topped with a fried egg. You squirt some korean chili condiment (it's mild) on top and nosh away. Matsarang give you four ramekins of side dishes- a very small cup of soup- first time it was a kind of thin rice porridge with potatoes, very nice, but today was a beef broth with a few shards of green onion and a tiny smattering of cubed potato- didn't look like much but MAN it was delicious, rich loud flavour and a bit spicy- I could have eated a big bowl of this stuff. Then comes the main dish, a generous bowl of bibimbap, featuring the aforementioned bulgogi beef, fried egg and in the bowl are various veggies including what appear to be the spinach-like "mountain vegetable" that I've had at Soba Ten- not just the western stuff (carrot, broc) you sometimes see in the bowl. Namul- the little side dishes of kimchee and other goodies- are also on offer, and you get three dishes at Matsarang ($1.50 for seconds)- today it was a serviceable kimchee, savoury bean spouts w/ green onion, and a little something special- the third ramekin had both a toonie-sized piece of omelet and two of stunning, custardy green onion pancake.

All this for $9.95- great quality, fast service, lovely people, large portion... Only complaint is that the place is minuscule but I doubt there would be a problem finding a seat on a saturday (closed sunday). Weekday lunch is as I have found a little too crownded. They're open for dinner M-Sat when prices are a couple of bucks higher but with more sides too.

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  1. I've had their lunch special a couple of times, and dinner once, and wholeheartedly agree: this place rocks! The quality's hard to beat for take out, service is friendly, and you get all the aforementioned little sides to go with your meat(s).

    1. I've had the take out as well and thought it was out of this world. They have a great heat sensibility, taking the chili flavour right to the top without burning out the mouth.

      1. Had the dinner special tonight. 4 sides plus kimchee, 3 kinds of meat. $11.95. Very good but not at all spicy other than the kim chee. They were very quiet at 5:30 although they did 3 take-outs while we were there.

        1. Funny, i have a differing opinion than you guys - a rarity!
          I've been once and found it to be good, but not worthy of the accolades you guys are heaping on them. The food was certainly a decent sized serve, with a lot of variety. I had Galbi, Bulgogi, and Chicken. The food was decent, but nothing exceptional.

          I prefer Bow Bulgogi House for their 7.95 lunch special. A much better deal in my mind. But i'll give their Bibimbap a try i guess...

          4 Replies
          1. re: yen

            Gee, I didn't think I gushed. I just reported back. My husband's final word was 'good but not worth a trip downtown for' (we were already downtown)

            I know I said 'very good' but when it's amazing I certainly will be more explicit. It does expand our choices within walking distance of his office.

            1. re: sharonanne

              Man. im getting called out today :)

              You guys was the vernacular for everyone who posted above. You definitely didnt gush. But if you read the 3 posts above yours, they did by my definition.

              However, i stand corrected. You did not gush :)

              1. re: yen

                I gushed, I admit it, you could have mopped the floor with my napkin. But I'm starved for Korean and I do love this place. OH GOD I LOVE IT!!!

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Lol. John, you need to make a Korean friend. You think restaurants are good? The best Korean food is served in the kitchens of Korean mothers around the world.

                  Think all you can eat Galbi and Bulgogi that has been marinating in large plastic vats for a week. Think Kim Chee that they still bury in the ground to ferment. Think eggs so fresh they might just get up and walk away! Man i miss my Korean friends (and their mothers!) :)

          2. I've never been able to get a table at bow bulgogi...

            1 Reply
            1. re: John Manzo

              You have to make a reservation. The place is too small by a half, and as a walkin, it's pretty much impossible to get a seat.