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Resto DaMoa (Korean)

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There is a cute little cafe-style restaurant called Resto DaMoa on Sherbrooke near Concordia's Loyola campus. Up until about 6 weeks ago, it was called Chez Yi, it has a red awning and a colorful, flowery terrace.

Under the previous owners, the food was eh... However, under the new owners, as limited as their menu is, the items I've tried are very good. Although, it's a cafe with limited options, it really is worth mentioning.

Out of the Korean restaurants I've tried in Montreal (Maison du Bulgogi, Petit Tokeboki, Korea House, Manna, and Kimchi), which aren't many, I have to say this little place has the best Korean I've tried so far. In each place, there is something about the dishes that are not truely authentic to me or a watered-downed, sugary, over soy'd, and over sesame'd version of what I'm used. Having said that, each place has their own thing that I find very good, except for Kimchi.

So far, I've tried their bibimbap, bulgogi, dumplings (mandu), japchae, and sushi combos. These are very traditional dishes and although the bibimbap and sushi was average but, still good, the other dishes I think are worth the trip.

The bulgogi was well seasoned. You could taste the beef, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and just a whisper of sweetness. I grew up on southern South Korean cooking where the food is a bit savorier, spicier, and less sweet. I find the bulgogi in other Korean places quite sweet and lacking in flavor. You'll get stir-fried bulgogi with veggies with a side of white steamed rice. 10.99 for a healthy portion.

They call them dumplings, I call them mandu. You have choice of vegetarian or not-vegetarian. The meat ones are made with pork. Steamed or pan-fried. I love the pan-fried, meat ones. Yummy! 5.99 for 10 of them. Comes with Korean dipping sauce on the side, which is a little bit of soy sauce, red pepper, and touch of vinegar although, I think they forgot it today.

A friend of mine order the japchae today and I took about bite just to get the sense of flavoring. This dish is often made with waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too much sesame oil. I love sesame oil like every good Korean but, it's too much when it coats your tongue and it mutes the flavor of any else you put in your mouth. Their japchae was GOOD! A decent amount of vegetables and good flavor. You'll get it with a side of steamed white rice. 6.99

It's worth it to just go for the bulgogi, dumplings, and japchae. Each portion is healthy but, not quite enough for two. You will have to ask for kimchi because they don't automatically serve it but, it's a good kimchi. It's not the best I've had but, you can tell they don't skimp on the seasoning.

Resto DaMoa: Open 9 am to 9 pm closed Sundays.

As for the other places....in my opinion these are my favorites:

Maison du Bulgogi - Seafood panjeon, dukbokghee (sometimes - not consistent), dolsot bibimbap, and they have good banchan (side dishes).

Man-na - Hmmm....close to dowtown Concordia.

Petit Tokboeki - Panjeon ( I think their's is the best, it is very different from the Maison's), they're dukbokghee is okay (too sweet for me but, still good).

Korea House - Kimchi jigae (kimchi soup) very good but, inconsistent. They have the best banchan.

The Korean/Japanese Grocery Store on St. Catherine two doors down from Maison has the best the gimbap. There is an old grandmother who makes it fresh every day, 3 -4 times a day to keep up with demand. For $2 a roll of 6 pieces, it's worth every cent!

I'm hoping to make my way around to the other Korean places in the Montreal area. Anyone willing make recommendations on other Korean places and the items of choice?

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