Korean food update
So what's the best korean these days in Montreal? I personally have never had much experience with korean so it'll probably be an acquired taste for me. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on which Korean joint really stands out.
I've tried so far damoa (over 3 years ago), it seemed like it was okay if you considered it as homecooked food and not something you expect from a restaurant.
Man Na: I've only had their bento lunch specials, it was satisfying and decent value but that place doesn't seem to get much love at all. I'm guessing their other items are quite bad or my korean taste buds are just completely unrefined
Momoyama: hidden gem in the carrefour industrielle food court. Was recommended to me by a real Korean. Told me it was better value than Maison Bulgogi. It was quite satisfying and definitely good value, although they don't seem to have much options aside from bulgogi and various katsus. Portions are great, meals come with miso soup, veggie tempura and green salad.
Maison Bulgogi: I'm told this place is quite unauthentic. I've only had the pajeon there and it was kinda bland. Seemed more like a chinese scallion pancake than a pajeon I once had at a friend's house. Great value though.
How do Chez Bong, HwangKum, CHez Hwang, Kagopa, Shabushabu, Tokebi, Sodhm (Sodam?), Maison Seoul, Ganadara, Omma, Miga, Maru, Bob n Soul and 5000 ans compare? I have never seen any of these places get unanimous praise, except for Maru, but that's mostly because not many people are talking about this relatively newish place.
and what's the deal with 5000 Ans? They got so many locations and they seem to vary greatly in quality according to Urbanspoon. Also I'm not sure I can trust a chain with so many locations.
HwangKum has to be one of my favorite Korean restaurant, their Galbi dish is to die for. Korean ribs also good. The Pajeaon seafood pancake is also very popular, I enjoyed it but was a little disappointed, I wouldn't order it again.
Ive been to many of them and Hwang Kum is the best one. Shabu shabu was pretty decent before but the head chef left a month or two ago, all the other ones Ive tried are pretty horrible, Ganadara is ok but mainly because its cheap compared to the others. Im pretty familiar with korean food as my girlfriend comes from and lives in Korea so trust me.. I havent tried Omma, Atti or Maison seoul though all of which I heard from other people as being good choices. 5000 ans is garbage and maison bulgogi is not run by koreans so dont go there..
Ditto Kwang Hum for me too, followed by Manna and Chez Bong which I find are homier food.
Kagopa and ShabuShabu are only ok I find and they're a bit far and not worth the trek for me. Though once upon a time, Kagopa had great blood sausage that was destination food for me but don't know if they still have it.
Miga and 5000 ans were meh in my books and found them cheapy Korean for folks who
didn't know or care about the food.
By the same token, I found Atti, Omma and Maison Seoul high end food for less adventurous palates (esp Omma with all their fusiony fare, sweet flavours and a la carte kimchi).
A Korean friend spoke highly of the new Chingu on Parc Ave.
I went to Kantapia recently. It's been mentionned in the openings 2013 thread, but never talked about aside from in that thread. Place is on sherbrooke near the Quartier des Spectacles. Your atmosphere was your typical young asian hang out place, with asian pop music playing. Prices are quite cheap and portions reasonable. I've had the mandu ramyun and the seafood pajeon. The ramyun was just average and the mandu dumplings were alright. The seafood pajeon was quite different from the one I had at Maison Bulgogi. THere was lots of scallion/leeks? in the batter, and the insides of the pancake had this asian steamed egg texture and taste, quite watery too although there weren't juices gushing out of the pancake. I guess it's an acquired taste but I think I prefered the more doughy pajeon at Maison Bulgogi. Banchan consisted only of kimchee and that brown sweet potato thing.
They had korean fried chicken on the menu which I really wanted to try but they were out. Next time time I'd have to compare more familiar dishes like their jigaes.
As a relative newbie with Korean food, what exactly should I be looking for? How are the banchans at maison bulgogi bad and not authentic? Would the bulgogi and jigaes be that much different from korean food served by Chinese?
We've been going to Hwang Kum for about 8 years now and we love it. I often have the spicy tofu soup which is delicious and comforting. We've tried the pork with tofu and kimchi, spicy bbq beef, bibimbap, bulgogi, pajun, and cold noodles with conch. All have been fantastic. The price is really reasonable as well - well under $100 for our family of 4 and we can eat.