I love the Chinatown in Montreal..
Agreed, it’s not always the nicest looking restaurants that you’ll find in that area, but the taste of the dishes they will serve you are far more than compensating for the lack of decorations. Plus, all the little boutiques and pastry shops in the surrounding are beyond amazing. I sometime like to joke around and say that I wasn’t born in the right country because I’m just insanely addicted with all the Asian cultures, toys and candies available (kawaii all the time and every day – it’s me).
I would have probably fit perfectly living somewhere in Asia… I guess it will be for another life, maybe.
Lucky for us now, the internet exist and we can order almost everything online or visit the closest Chinatown to go taste and shop for all those colorful Asian goodies. Last week, I discovered some classic Korean food for the first time at the family restaurant “Chez Bong” and here’s what I thought of my experience…
You’ll find this tiny and full of love restaurant in the semi basement of a modest building on St-Laurent. I’ll be straight up with you, it doesn’t look like much. Actually, before going down the stairs, I surprised myself hesitating on going or not. Obviously, the adventurous foodie in me pushed the bad thoughts away but it’s just to demonstrate that we should never judge a book by it’s cover.
Once the door opened, I saw some frames on the wall showing magazine and newspaper articles that has been written about the Bong’s establishment. It did make me more confident till the food arrived, then it only got better.
The first thing I always ask at any Asian restaurant is for tea. Some places really have some homemade blend and it’s great to discover new tastes. The nice and smiling waiter suggested me 2 types of teas; green tea and something called Oksusu-cha tea witch is basically dried up and roasted corn bits infused in hot water. I was a little confused what would be the good proprieties of drinking an infusion of roasted corn bits but it seem to be one of those numerous trends running around in Korea and it doesn’t really has any proprieties beside tasting AMAZING! …Pretty much exactly like popcorn!
I have read online that you can buy some pre-mixed corn tea in Asian groceries but haven’t heard any good comments about it. If you’re curious to try Oksusu-cha, I would strongly recommend you dry and roast your own corn bits to just really make sure you get what I’m talking about. I remember reading the blog of this girl who was hilariously blogging about her hate for corn tea after she drank some pre-mixed commercial version of it. So, don’t do like her, go get the real stuff or make your own. It’s worth it.
Once we sat down, the waiter brought us some delicious freebies; baked and marinaded sweet potatoes (I need to find a recipe or extort theirs lol) with some kimchi. Both of these little goodies were spicy, flavorful delicious. They only seem to have one size of plate for thos goodies and I have to admit that I was kind of sad there was only this little portion for 4 persons… I would have eat one just by myself 😛
The top photo is an alcoholic beverage one of my friends ordered. I think the name is Jinro but I’m not sure.. I’m only judging myself with the only thing I can read on the bottle but I could be mistaking. If anybody here who know the name of this beverage, please let me know so I can go to bed less stupid tonight 😛
It tasted a bit grassy, kind of like watered down hard alcohol. Ok maybe my description is not inspiring anything good but let me say that it was quit tasty and surprisingly really easy to drink. One thing we realized after, this thing has 20% alcohol! …Clearly, you could get hammered on this stuff really fast without even realizing it. Note to self: watch out!
The appetizers finally arrived… I make it sound like it took a while but it didn’t. I must say the whole dinner arrive pretty fast at the table and maybe even a slight too fast but again… maybe it’s just me who eat slow.
I ordered the fried dumpling (photo above) and my friend ordered the Korean vegetable pancakes (photo below). The portion of the dumpling was decent for one person but the pancakes were just way too big. Make sure you’re at least 2-3 people munching on it if you order it because it’s very filling. I Also thought that both appetizers were VERY greasy witch kind of added some sort of gray cloud over my dinner. Their frying oil was obviously not hot enough because the food had really absorbed it.
It sucks because I don’t like to give bad comments on such adorable and delicious place but it had to be said. Next time I’ll go there, I wont be ordering one of their fried appetizers just to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The real love is in the main dishes they serve. I unfortunately don’t remember the Korean name for what I order but it was a stir fry of pork, tofu and kimchi. Obviously mixed in with a load of veggies and some Korean rice “pasta” all that in a decently spicy sauce… Ohh did it made my belly happy that night.
The bottom pic is the bibimbap. For everybody who have no idea of what is Bibimbap, it’s a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed rice” and Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul and gochujang. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat are common additions. The whole thing look pretty good but I didn’t bother to put myself between her meal and her. ahah
I kept the best dish for the end… this is the Korean BBQ chicken and omg, there is absolutely no words to describe how amazing this was. The price you see in the menu is for the chicken only, you will have to order extra rice on the side and a salad if you desire. You have to option of choosing this same BBQ grilling with Shrimps, Pork and I think another the of meat but I’m not sure witch one is it…
Next time I’ll be going to Chez Bong (probably Monday for lunch), this is what I’m ordering. Yes my meal was amazing but this was orgasmic… I really hope you’ll get to experience this small and full of love family restaurant. Beside the minor downfall of the appetizer, this place is a real gem of the Montreal’s Chinatown.
Visit Chez Bong.
1021 Boul. St-Laurent – Montreal, Quebec – H2Z 1J4