La Maison Seoul is another gem of a restaurant hidden away in the Westmount area of Sherbrooke. It's owned and run by Korean people, and while it has a typically Caucasian clientele and a typical menu, the food still tastes authentic and goooood.
Korean food is hard to come by in my area, ever since our only two Korean restaurants closed down (and I have still yet to find kimchi (kimchee?) that tastes as good as the ones one of those restaurants used to make), we have been left sadly barren and bereft of Korean food. What do I do then? Head to other districts, of course! I need my fix, yo.
Accessibility - Grade: B+
It's about a 10 minute walk from Vendome metro.
Service - Grade: B
The service was average. The waitresses were civil and smiled from time to time, but they seemed a little lost at times. But whatever; it's not like I went to be treated like some VIP. So yeah, average, but satisfactory by my standards.
Food - Grade: B+
Bonus Marks: Best Korean I've had since the restaurant near my house closed down.
Also, I have to tack on a warning for some really bad low def pictures. This was before I got my new camera, and the restaurant was very dark, so the pictures don't look that great. I'll definitely be updating them with HD pics once I revisit the restaurant.
The seafood pancake was thicker than what I'm used to, but it was well-cooked (no runny centers) and was full of yummy squid pieces. It was crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The dipping sauce (soy sauce?) had a hint of spiciness to it, and wasn't too salty.
It looks a little like a salad in this picture, but it's actually a sizzling stone bowl of rice topped with ground beef and a variety of vegetables.
I love stone bowls. I will not eat bibimbap unless it comes out of a stone bown. Yeah, I'm a bibimbap snob like that. The heated stone bowl cooks the rice and ingredients while you are mixing them in, and it often caramelizes the rice sticking to it, making it crunchy and oh-so-good. The bibimbap at Seoul is very generous with its toppings has a good rice-to-topping ratio, unlike other places, where you often end up with too much rice and very little topping. I just wish they were as generous with the beef as they were with their veggies, but hey. I'm a carnivore. The toppings here are also all fresh and uncooked (except the beef), allowing the juice to seep into the rice while it cooks, which makes this dish very flavourful.
YukGaeJang is a spicy stew with slices of beef and thick vermicelli-like noodles made from potato. It is usually served in a stone bowl and comes with a side of rice. This is one of my favourite Korean dishes, and Seoul pulls it off quite well.
These marinated and barbecued pieces of beef are juicy and full of flavour. They come on a sizzling plate bedded with been sprouts and are sprinkled with sesame. Although this dish was quite good, it was a very standard rendition of the kalbi beef.
I don't remember the name of this dessert, but it had the words 'green', 'tiger' and 'key lime' in them, so yeah, I had to order it. I'm a sucker for weird-sounding desserts. Unfortunately, the special pretty much ended at the name. It's basically a lemon meringue pie with an oreo crumb base topped with whipped cream instead of meringue.
The upside to this dessert is that it wasn't too sweet. The tang of the lime balanced out the sweetness, and the bittersweet oreo based added a nice crunchy texture to it. However, the pie still had frost on it when it was served to us, and the whipped cream tasted like a mix of shortening and meringue.
Price - $$
I think all four dishes and the dessert came up to around $70, and we were 3 people. So, student-friendly? Quite!
Final Grade: B+
Hey, I'm Korean food deprived. I'm not saying that that factor has clouded my judgement... except that I kinda am. But believe me, as long as you stay away from the desserts, the food is defintely leagues better than its downtown counterparts.
La Maison Seoul
5030 rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal(514) 489-3686