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Sep 10, 2009 04:34 PM

Korean BBQ

While on a trip to Los Angeles to visit me, family members were treated to the best Kimchi Kbbq this city has to offer.

Now they are hooked and want to know where they can get some in Montreal.

Having moved away 12 years ago, my references might not be up to date.

They live in the north eastern part of Montreal but have no problem travelling for the yummy goodness that is Korean BBQ.

Any suggestions are welcome and please let me know if it is a AYCE place, price, meats available and side dishes served along with the meal.

Merci beaucoup!!!

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  1. There is a Korean BBQ on Cavendish below Sherbrooke in NDG. I have heard it is pretty good.

    1. Theres a Korean food chain call Kimchi a bit all over montreal. I eat at the one in Eaton Center and the korean bbq is pretty good!

      1. Unfortunately, Montreal is a little behind in the Korean scene, and although it is slowly catching up, it is a slow process. You would have better luck sending them to Toronto for Korean BBQ.

        I am assuming that by "best kimchi KBBQ" in LA, you are referring to the big fancy Korean BBQ Specialty houses, such as Woo Lae Oak (I think this is one of fancier ones...), where they grill the meat at the table and serve all the appropriate side dishes. Well, you won't really find something of similar caliber here in Montreal.

        Most if not all of the Korean restos will serve bulgogi/kalbi on their menus, and will often give you the option of cooking it on a gas stove at the table. But I have yet to find a place that does it to the quality of restaurants in NYC/Chicago/and LA, all places where I have had a chance to go to the Korean BBQ specialty places in the past. I haven't hit a specific Korean BBQ pace in Toronto, but I suspect there is a reasonable chance to find a place there. And the Korean BBQ I've had in places in TO where it is not their specialty has been much better than the stuff I routinely find here.

        The Korean here in Montreal is more home-style coking, which isn't bad, but it is different than the BBQ places you are talking about in LA.

        Here is my personal take on kalbi/bulgogi in Montreal, very personal, and I certainly haven't tried every single place.

        Maison bulgogi: I was initially very excited, as the flavouring was good, but now I feel the quality is not quite there for me. For me, it is not one of Maison Bulgogi's strengths. They have much better dishes on their menu.

        Maison Seoul: Atmosphere: tries to be a bit fancier, but it still has a home-style feel. The meat is relatively blandly seasoned, not bad,but not exciting. And their kimchi, well don't get me started on their kimchi. They do other dishes much better, like their bi bim bap, their ja jang myun and their hot seafood pot.

        Miga: Really home style. the meat is well seasoned, but they don't really do the full-on service well, they are more of a place where you order a set plate of food. I like their bulgogi, it is very good. Flavours are good, and their kimchi can be ok at times.

        Manna: Tolerable, not great. I ate their when they were the only place downtown, but now there are better choices.

        5000 Ans: probably one of the fancier places you can go to, and they try to do the full on BBQ meal. I thought they did a great job n the bulgogi, very nicely seasoned. But they charge extra for kimchi (horrors! How dare they) and the kimchi isn't even all that good. I think if i were going to suggest a place for your relatives, this might be a reasonable choice.

        Kagopa: Good, not great grilled meats. A little bland.

        As I said, a very limited, very personal take. But I hope it helps a bit. Part of my problem is that my mother is a very good cook, and so I am always comparing food to her cooking. Now, some of the professional Korean BBQ places, well, you can really see why you want to spend the big bucks! Unfortunately, Montreal doesn't really have a place where I am willing to spend the big bucks. I will say though, that in most of these places, you will spend much less that you would in the fancy places in LA/Chicago/NYC.

        16 Replies
        1. re: moh

          how about chez Hwang? There have been tons of reviews here about how it's really good and all. I was thinking of bringing my parents there for their 27th (or 28th?) wedding anniversary.

          1. re: mak2k

            Sorry, I haven't been, I've heard good things, but I personally haven't tasted. Perhaps if you go you could report and let us know!

          2. re: moh

            Thank you so much for the detailed descriptions, this is what i was after.
            I will do some more digging to make sure it's a goo dplace im sending them to. I know TO has some great places, but that is just a tad too far to drive for dinner! hehe

            The places i've been to here in LA are really hole in the wall types in K-Town and they were the best food i've had in a loong while. The fancier places use gas or charcoal grills and it lacks a certain taste that the volcanic rocks over flame give. Ever try cooking thin cut pork belly over a grill? Messy and dangerous!!

            1. re: GenevieveCa

              GenevieveCa, if you were bringing your family to some of the hole in the wall places, then they might like a few of these places just fine, as they will not be expecting a fancy dancy BBQ joint. But again, LA has astounding selection for Korean food, and we don't have quite the selection here.

              1. re: moh

                i am guessing a hole in the wall in LA's k-town is VASTLY different from a hole in the wall in Montreal.
                The Korean population here is much larger than up there and very present culture and food wise.
                By hole in the wall i don't mean cheap and dirty, i just mean small and reasonably priced.

            2. re: moh

              There is also Chez Bong, who I would rank up there for Korean bbq. I found definitely better than Maison Bulgogi and somewhat better than 5000 Ans. Their kimchi isn't bad either.

              1. re: thomasein

                I know I am being a bit sophomoric here, but that name just makes me laugh....

                Thanks for the tip. Re: kimchi, how does it compare to Maison bulgogi?

                Oh yes, there is one other place I forgot to mention in my informal list. The bulgogi meal at the sushi place in Westmount square, Mr/ Kim's place, next to the fruit and grocery place is very good and very filling. And if you ask nicely, they will bring you kimchi.

                1. re: moh

                  I find the cabbage kimchi about equal. Maison Bulgogi does have a much larger selection of pickled dishes to select from, though.

                  I frequently order the kimchi jigae from Maison Bong and find it rustic but very good. It is somewhat inconsistent in the sense that the mix of ingredients, say tofu, seafood or meat dumplings, seems to depend on what she has handy.

                  1. re: thomasein

                    Hello...I thought I would ask a question in this thread as I just came back from Toronto and had a fantastic meal at Chako over there. I am looking for something similar, bbq with lots of meat and veggie choices (this place even had pinepple!) that is really above par. Reviews for Soeul Chako seem to be quite dismal and I am really turned off by the comments about the service. Anything in Laval or Montréal that is outstanding? My favorite meats were the ox tongue, lamb, Korean ribs, the white fish and pineapples. I dont want to have to drive back to T.O!!!

                    1. re: humbert

                      I tend to go to maison bulgogi for BBQ and Bulgogi but prefer Ganadara for a more modern version. I'm always on the lookout for good korean though!

                      1. re: humbert

                        I know Shabu Shabu in NDG on St.Jaques has really really good bulgogi bbq style.

                        1. re: pkzilla

                          I like Shabu Shabu a lot, but they're not specialized in BBQ and therefore have a limited number of dishes. I don't think it's what Humbert is looking for.

                          Their menu is available online:

                        2. re: humbert

                          To be honest, there are not any good Korean restaurants in Montreal. There's a couple that are decent for a fix, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone wanting quality Korean.

                          The best take on Korean dishes that I've had in Montreal are at Kazu. You can get a take on Korean ribs, bibimbap, and a few other dishes there.

                          1. re: Mike8

                            Thanks... I went to Ave Seoul (on Decarie) on Friday and I really didn't enjoy it. I had called before and asked if they had the grills on the tables and they said yes but it wasn't accurate. There were some that had the grills but they were all taken. They told me if I oredered a bbq plate they would grill it themselves. So we ordered the combo grill with chicken, steaks and the ribs and the flavours were not impressive. Overly sweet ribs, dry but ok tasting chicken and little pucks of ground beef that were dry as can be. Truly horrible for the price paid (35$). The kids enjoyed their beef noodle swoup nd the french fries, and the seafood pancake was alright but the 2 main dishes I had were sickeningly sweet and overly rich . There was a seafood dish and a pork dish. Both had the same sauce. The one thing we really enjoyed was the little plate of marinated veggies including kimchie and a bean sprout salad that I re created over the week end. I would not go back to this place again.

                            1. re: Mike8

                              Hwang Kum at Clifton and Sherbrooke is excellent. Good value and pretty tasty.

                              1. re: williej

                                Sorry to hear about your experience, humbert.

                                williej, haven't been in awhile, but I agree. It's probably the best of the smaller Korean restaurants in town. Still, I find the food still in the mediocre range and, at times, inconsistent. Great value, though. I should head back soon!

                                Also, for Korean ribs or bibimbap, I think Kazu is several notches above Hwang Kum even if it's not Korean.