For 2016 Montreal a Table, we dined at Au petit extra, a French restaurant with more than 30 years of history. It is rare to come across a restaurant with so many years of operations still holding Montreal’s competitive environment. Au petit extra must be serving something special to keep customers coming.
With Japanese ramen kicking in full force into Montreal scene, we overlooked Chinese’s own ramen (basically ramen is the equivalent of “lai mein” in Cantonese, which literally translates to “pull noodles”). Lai mein is made by twisting, stretching and folding the dough into strands. This technique is used in Noodles of Lan Zhou (or known as Les nouilles de Lan Zhou) as well. And I especially love these types of noodles!
EVOO never stuck in my memory even when I often see delicious pictures from there. Could it be that I associate the name with the hotel and the student’s residence? Perhaps.
EVOO came back in light when we were looking for a brunch menu on a Friday near Verdun area. Off we go!
Korea has seriously injected some kind of drugs into my blood vessels. I crave Korean foods everyday ever since I came back from my trip. My mother probably knew about my withdrawal due to my loss of appetite from “normal” food so she suggested going to a Korean restaurant in Montreal Island. Usually, I would oppose to the idea because everyone knows how much I hate finding parking in Montreal. However this time, I jumped right away to the idea.
So I researched online to see which restaurant offers the most traditional Korean food ( I didn’t want any BBQ, or fried chicken. I just want some good old stews and pajeon). Maison de Seoul appeared to be the most assuring choice. Off we go!
We arrived shortly after 6pm on a Saturday evening and there was already a couple waiting for a table. Fortunately, there were exactly 2 tables left – One for them – One for us. Mental note: make reservation. Not too long after, there were people continuously coming in adding to the length of the waiting line. I felt so lucky that we managed to find a table! (Another mental note: BYOB.)
The restaurant is not modernly decorated, which is the way I preferred. Restaurants that serve traditional food in Korea are minimally designed. I rather have them focused on the food than the décor. The main dishes are priced on average $14, which is very reasonable.
This seafood pajeon (large) was served first. It was very thick, crisp on the outside but moist in the inside. My mother was not too fond of the burnt areas, but other than that, she loved it. This pajeon is really one of the best I had. I would name this as squid pajeon instead of seafood pajeon because squid was the only seafood in it.
I’ve noticed that soups/stews in Montreal are served in a smaller cast iron than in Korea. I wonder why? This stew was made with beef, but sure if it’s beef bone though as the menu did not specify that. It also came with a bowl of rice lightly tinted in purple. The soup has the perfect level of spice. Not suited for anyone who could only handle a hint of spice. It heated up my body right away. I was immersed in my memories of Korea. A scoop of rice and dive it into the soup. That’s the way I like to eat it. Although it satisfied my craving for stews, it was not particularly extraordinary. So if I was to look for the best stew, I might not come to this restaurant.
I’ve heard great things about Maison de Seoul’s bimbibap, especially the kimchi with mozzarella cheese. Actually, I’ve noticed that Koreans love to add cheese into their dishes so don’t treat this as an americanized version! This bimbibap was served in a hot stone bowl and has meat options such as beef, shrimp, and scallop. There was so much cheese action in the hot bowl. After mixing everything, I had cheese in every spoonful. The kimchi in the bowl might be too spicy for some people – my mother could not tolerate it. Other than that, I really enjoyed this bimbibap. I think the cheese was the highlight of the dish and really tied well all the flavors together.
I had such a wonderful experience at Maison de Seoul. I would like to believe it is a family run restaurant and the staffs were extremely kind. They were extremely busy and still attended to our needs. I’ll come back again and want to try their giant hot pot!