- GenevieveCa Sep 10, 2009 04:34 PM
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.