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London, ON - Good Eats?

Prima - thanks for the update! These recommendations will be perfect for the next week or so while I transition to London and get our house settled. Thank you very much!! I'll report back!

Jun 11, 2011
calla0413 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

London, ON - Good Eats?

I'm moving to London in a week and interested in getting the low-down on the food scene there. I've checked the boards and most are dated. So, I'm looking for an update.

On the top of my list, I'm looking for a good Korean restaurant. So far, the only Korean places that I've heard about is Manna and Take. Please tell me there are more than 2 Korean restaurants in London!

Then, I'm looking for a diner. The kind where the food isn't fancy, but good. Homemade desserts and pies...you get the picture.

Also interested in a good pizza place. We like the crisp thin crusts as well as the doughy chewy crusts.

On our few visits there, we've found ourselves at Pho Haven on Commissioner's Road several times. The service there is great and food even better. We found the dishes to be tasty, light, and well priced. I daresay the food was better there than any Vietnamese I've had in Montreal. One big bonus for us: the place was impeccably clean!

Any other recommendations are welcomed as well. Thanks!

Jun 06, 2011
calla0413 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Korean

So, it looks like this thread could use a little bit of an update. I've explored the Montreal Korean food scenc a little since first arriving in 2007. For awhile, Maison du Bulgogi was my go-to place. However, in the past year and half I find it seriously lacking especially in their beloved pajeon. Has something changed there and I missed it??

Then it was Chez Hwang (Upper LaChine) for a bit. It was quite good. It was even recommended by other Korean friends. However, in the past six months they've had someone new cooking and the quality has gone downhill.

Korea House (Snowdon) NEVER AGAIN. The food is inconsistent and the husband and wife owner team are the most miserable people I've ever seen. I once had a really good kimchi jigae there, but that was the one and only time. I suspect the cook left once the miserableness of the husband and wife became apparent.

5000 ans on St. Denis. I was a bit underwhelmed by the place. I found everything too sweet. The worst part was that they were hesitant about my order. They kept asking me if I liked spicy food. I was a bit surprised because it's clear that I am of Asian decent and the food is not unfamiliar to me.

Man-na on Bishop. Ummm...if you're looking for sub-par Korean food you're almost better off going to KimChi in the food court at the Eaton Centre.

Chez Bong on Bishop. I've only tried the black bean noodles and it was good. Their radish kimchi was also well done. I have yet to try the location in Chinatown. I'm headed downtown on Friday and may go back there to try other dishes.

Petit Tteokbokki on Sherbrooke near Concordia's Loyola campus. A bit disappointing when their specialty dish is one of the worst I've had in Montreal. This is a more of a neighborhood cafe with hints of Korean cuisine.

Resto DaMoa. Little cafe near Concordia's Loyola campus. I've talked about this place before. Not a huge menu, but worth the drive for the homemade mandoo and stir-fried bulgogi. The mandoo is the best in Montreal and I don't say that lightly. I can literally eat dozens of their mandoo and never get sick of it. The stir-fried bulgogi is quite good as well, it's not as sweet as other versions I've tried. Their version of bulgogi is stir-fried with a mix of vegetables.

My recent go-to place is Seoul BBQ on Cavendish in NDG. They have a really good array of banchan, well seasoned and their version of the potatoes is much better than Maison. Their kimchi is okay, but nothing to write home about. Their seafood pajeon has real seafood in it and vegetables! You can distinguish what these items are in the pajeon. As far as pajeons go, I find theirs to be best out of all that I've tried even Maison du Bulgogi's. However, I wish their dipping sauce was more than just soy sauce with a touch of vinegar.

There a few hidden gems worth mentioning. The Korean grocery store next to Maison du Bulgogi and their sister store on Decarie near the Vendome metro sells gimbap, which I call the Korean version of sushi. Although, it is very different than Japanese sushi, it is quite good. I've turned a few friends onto it and they love it! Also very affordable. At $2 a roll, two rolls will fill you up! The rolls are made by the grandma. I just have this romanticized image of her making all these rolls in the back of the store.

Additionally, the best kimchi hands down can be found at a place called Copacabana on St. Laurent (across the street from Moishe's). Their food in general is quite good, it's an Asian fusion restaurant. Their kimchi is very, very, very good. Unfortunately, they don't sell it and they should. You have to order a dish that comes with it. The chef is Argentinian who learned how to make it from his Korean friend. This kimchi is full of spice and the right kind of flavoring (i.e. mini shrimps). If you want to taste real homegrown kimchi this is the place. Kimchi should be spicy, garlicky, and have a subtle undertone of fishiness. This kimchi has it.

As for Korean BBQs, as a Korean I tend to avoid these like the plague in restaurants. I have yet to see a restaurant that offers proper ventilation for these BBQs, which seriously affects the air quality in the restaurant. Additionally, if I wanted to cook, I would have stayed home.

Sep 14, 2010
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What is your favorite CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP kitchen gadget

I absolutely hate peeling garlic. Love my Pampered Chef garlic press. You just put the whole clove in without peeling and voila out comes the garlic and leaves the peel in the chamber. Super easy to clean.

16.50 - I think.

Oct 02, 2008
calla0413 in Cookware

Resto DaMoa (Korean)

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?

Sep 26, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant 5000ans - Korean

I believe Sunday is the only day they are closed. I'll double check when I'm near there again...which should be tomorrow. LOL

Re: Regional Korean Cooking...I'm only aware of it because my mother has commented on it and I've noticed it as well on a recent trip to Seoul. The food I found was sooo sweet that a lot of the times it was not enjoyable for me. My mother said the North Korean cooking is much cleaner and simpler but, tastier. She's the hound in our family. As for regional cooking, I know in the States that it's quite the same. South = Spicy, North = Not so spicy.

Sep 25, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant 5000ans - Korean

Hey, I just wanted to post that there is a little Korean cafe near Concordia's Loyola campus. It has a red awning and beautiful little terrase with lots of colorful flowers. It was once called Chez Yi but, it's Di Moa or something like that now. The place changed hands about a month ago. A huge improvement over the last owners. Their menu is not big, in fact, there are only a few Korean dishes, they offer sushi as well to cater the university crowd.

For a tiny place with few offerings, I have to say, they have the best bulgogi I've tried in Montreal. It's bulgogi stir-fried with some vegetables served with a side of white rice. It's well seasoned and not too sweet. I often find bulgogi too sweet for my taste at many, many of the Korean restaurants here in Montreal.

Moh, I don't know about you but, I grew up with what I can southern Korean cooking. LOL My mother is from the Busan area and I find her cooking to be more savorier and spicier versus the food in say the Seoul area which I find less spicier and sweeter? Do you feel the same??

Anyways, the rest of the food is good for cafe style eating and probably the only decent eats near the university. Thank goodness! I also love the kimchi stir-fried rice. The other versions I've tried lack flavor but, I think their's is quite tasty and spicy!

I just had to mention the bulgogi because it's THAT good!

Sep 22, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Unlikely places

I think I may have found my closest pizza replacement in Montreal. I can't believe I'm saying this - it was at Nickel's in St. Laurent. I know this chain is just sub-par food but, my husband loves it there so, I go because I love him.

I've been making my way around the menu and the last time I went, it was pizza that caught my eye. When it was brought to the table....I was pleasantly surprised.

My husband and I both looked at eachother and mouthed the words "wow". We never say it outloud for it might jinx the dish and turn it bad. Well, I have to say it smelled right, it looked right and so it must taste right...right?

Almost, this was not the pizza of my dreams but, out of all the pizzas I've tried so far in Montreal, this one was the best. I couldn't believe it when I tried it! It was gooooooood- alright maybe just gooood.

I don't care if the sauce is canned and cheese is soy based, it is a closer to what I'm looking for in a pizza. The cheese was perfectly speckled brown and it was NOT oily. It wasn't the perfect pizza but, it certainly filled my pizza craving and it tasted pretty close.

Anyways, how many of you have gotten some pretty tasty or surprising nice dishes here in Montreal but in unlikely places?

Jan 05, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pizza lovers in Montreal? Ever left montreal for pizza?

mike,

I can commisserate with you, I am from the States. I didn't think getting a good pizza would be so hard in Montreal but, it is. I've had all different styles of pizza and the kind I prefer is a nice chewy crust, a garlicky sauce, real mozzarella cheese, and my spicy pepperoni crisp! (I find the pepperoni here very different than what I'm used to. Here it's more moist and not as spicy.)

Since the love of my life is here in Montreal, I've learned to adapt. There is one cooking ingredient that I miss a lot and that is margarine in sticks. They only sell butter in sticks here.

However, given all the other wonderful choices of cuisines here in Montreal, not having good pizza is a small price to pay for me. My husband and I visit our favorite pizza parlor whenever we visit my hometown!

Jan 05, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

things you put ketchup on

My mom (Korean) used to make this fried rice dish which was her way of using up old rice. She'd stir fry some diced potatoes, carrots, onions and some kind of meat by product usually Spam (a Korean favorite) with the rice. Then she would season it with a little bit of sesame oil and black pepper. Then, she'd beat an egg and fry it up in the pan to make a big yellow eggy disc. She would mound the stir fried rice concoction on a plate and then put the egg disc on top and give it to me with a ketchup smiley face.

Anytime I get near Spam, I want to make this dish. My husband thinks it's the weirdest thing to put ketchup on.

BTW, my mom called that dish omerice (omelet and rice) and I don't know she learned that somewhere or just something she made up.

Jan 02, 2008
calla0413 in General Topics

La Gioconda (Decarie)

Oh, I didn't even get a chance to get there! What a shame.

Jan 02, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Miga - Korean on the Plateau

Hehehehe...

When I was still living at home, my friends would love to get invited to dinner. Ocassionally, when I am visiting my mom, I will invite my friends over for dinner and they never turn down an invitation.

It's so funny to me that at 30-something I'm still asking my mom if I can invite my friends over for dinner and at 30-40-somethings they all want to come!

:)

Jan 02, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Miga - Korean on the Plateau

Well said moh, I didn't think about it those terms. You make an excellent point about food that is always everchanging and good food is good food.

I just wish someone could open a restaurant where the cooking is just like my moms! LOL....:)

Jan 02, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Miga - Korean on the Plateau

I agree with you as well bomobob. I've had some Korean food that wasn't Korean food. I often wonder when I eat "ethnic" foods like Chinese or Indian how authentic the dish is and how much of the dish as been "westernized".

When I used to live in the States, there was only one restaurant that I actually argued with the "chef" because the dish wasn't anything close to Korean and just a disgrace to food in general. I was appalled that someone Korean was passing off a dish as "an authentic Korean dish" when it wasn't even close.

In my experience I've found that Korean food like anything else is based on personal experience and/or preference. As moh was saying earlier it depends on which region of Korea that you came from.

I've heard that if you are from North Korea the food is less adulterated. It's cleaner and simpler.

If you are from the northern part of South Korea (Seoul area) the dishes tend to be sweeter. If you are from the southern part of South Korea (Busan area) the dishes tend to be spicier.

I was raised on southern South Korean cuisine and the few Korean restaurants I've tried here in Montreal, I would say has a strong northern South Korean influence. I find the dishes to be leaning on the sweet side and I have not had a bulgogi dish that I've liked. Most of the time they are way too sweet.

To my surprise there was only one time that I've had kimchi jigae (kimchi soup/stew) that was just like my mothers. It was at Korea House on Queen Mary. However, it was only once. I went back and it wasn't the same. The kimchi jigae at Manna on Bishop is the most consistent and acceptable but forget Maison Bulgogi. It was the worst kimchi jigae I've ever had it was watered down and lacking in any kind of flavor. They should call their kimchi jigae essence of kimchi soup instead. However, all the other dishes at Maison Bulgogi have been the best I've tried so far.

As for the sesame oil in MOST Asian dishes is one of my pet peeves, I usually find the hand a little heavy in the use of this oil. It coats my tongue and is often overpowering in whatever dish I'm eating. I like sesame oil but, in correct proportions.

BTW, the best Korean restaurant I've ever been to was a place in Queens, NYC. I forget the name but, it was on Broadway over 10 years ago!

Jan 02, 2008
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

La Gioconda (Decarie)

Thanks for letting me know. I wondered about parking and the pizza. It must be old school pizza I love because that's the first pizza I've seen that comes close to what I've been looking for since I moved to Montreal (almost a year ago). I was starting to think that good pizza in Montreal didn't exist. I wil go try La Gio the first chance I get and let you know if it was all I expected and more!

Dec 29, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Favorite cheesecake recipes

I use the one from Allrecipes.com. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chantals...

For Christmas dinner at my in-laws, I made two apple pies and this cheesecake. Afterwards when we were all leaving my in-laws asked if we wanted to take any leftovers home. My husband immediately said, "we'll take back the cheesecake!" He's been in hog heaven ever since. He considers himself a cheesecake afficionado.

Dec 28, 2007
calla0413 in Home Cooking

La Gioconda (Decarie)

There is a fine Italian restaurant near us called La Gioconda (www.lagioconda.ca) on Decarie. I'm not as interested in their "fine" Italian cuisine as I am in their pizzas. Judging by the pictures the pizza looks very similiar to what we are looking for in a crust. (Thick and chewy) Now, I'm wondering about the sauce. Has anyone tried the pizza there recently?? I would be interested in any reviews.

Thanks! :)

Dec 28, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Christmas Dinner in Montreal

This is getting some talk on the Montreal boards, you'll have to check to see they're open for Christmas. Either way, worth a look...I plan on making over there some time soon.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/467564

Dec 20, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Christmas Dinner in Montreal

I'm SOOOO JEALOUS! My mouth is watering just thinking about it....!

Dec 20, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant after Movies at AMC

As it is with most cooking I know, Korean especially, it's an eyeball-and-taste thing. My mother always says, "just about this much". In Korean terms it has meaning but, me being raised in the States "just about this much" can have lots of meanings. LOL I need exact measurements too!

Ironically, having said that, I think I have come very close to getting this dipping sauce down with the eyeball-and-taste trick. So, the next time I make it, I'll try to take measurements. No promises because you know you need "just about that much" of this and that to make the sauce...hahahahaha....

Dec 20, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Christmas Dinner in Montreal

OMG! Can you make real seafood paella and bring me some? It would make my Christmas!

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant after Movies at AMC

moh,

My mother makes the same dipping sauce. I guess it's a Korean standard. Soy sauce, garlic, touch of rice vinegar, green onions and Korean red pepper. Let it sit for a little bit and voila Korean dipping sauce!

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Peppermint Extract

Just thought I would share this info here: I found peppermint oil (NOT extract) at one of the underground stores near metro Peel called Ambrosia. Ambrosia is an all natural homeopathic kind of store.

After some researching, peppermint extract not only seizes up the chocolate but, it is also not the same pepperminty taste. Peppermint oil is a clearer, purer peppermint-y flavor. (Believe it or not - I can totally understand this.) So, the ratio is 1:4 (oil vs. extract).

Peppermint oil is great for making mint water and peppermint flavored toothpicks. I could never understand why the toothpicks were flavored with cinnamon, spearmint or peppermint. I was thinking perhaps for freshening one's breath after eating....nah, it was the homeopathic attributes. The mints soothes the belly after meal.

Yep, I learn something new everyday here on chowhound. :)

Thanks for all the help!

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Rib 'n Reef (Decarie)

I just read the MontrealFoodie blog re: RnR. Well, that`s it, I`m going to QdC!

Thanks! :)

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Rib 'n Reef (Decarie)

moh,

Thanks for the great write-up! I am disappointed to find out that at RnR you did not see crab legs on the menu. However, it`s good to know. As for your description of your steak my mouth was watering just reading it. Since your review leaned toward QdC, I`m leaning toward QdC but, that perfect steak makes me want to go to RnR even more....! Oh the dilemma!

I completely agree with you that seafood should be simple as my husband agrees with you that steak should not be complicated by a sauce. It will be interesting to see where we end up but, I will definitely report back.

Thanks for taking the time to give such a thorough write up! :)

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Rib 'n Reef (Decarie)

My husband and I are going to treat ourselves to a nice meal. We've all heard this before right?? His favorite is beef, beef, and more beef. He is a steak lover. Myself, I love seafood in particular crab legs. There's a restaurant near us that I'm pretty curious about, the Rib 'n Reef on Decarie. I've checked the past posts on Rib 'n Reef and their website - there isn't much. Has anyone been there recently?? I'm interested in any kind of review (thoughts) of the place.

Thanks! :)

Dec 19, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Peppermint Extract

I live near CDN and all the grocery stores near me carry cinnamon extract, almond extract, imitation vanilla extract and lemon extract. These are all I could find. The only place I didn't get a chance to check was the Exofruit. If I don't find it at the place that Snack Happy recommended then, I'll check out Exofruit.

Dec 18, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Peppermint Extract

The recipe I came across uses both crushed candy canes and peppermint extract. I'm looking forward how it turns out.

Dec 18, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Peppermint Extract

Thanks!

Dec 18, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Peppermint Extract

Thanks! I'll be in the area tomorrow. :)

Dec 18, 2007
calla0413 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)