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Bibimbap Roundup

Chai Latte | Mar 10, 2008 09:02 AM

[Note: This thread was split from http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48589... -- The Chowhound Team].

I mentioned my quest and findings in the Maison Bulgogi thread, but if no one minds a little thread drift...here's a quick summation of my findings to date:

Best Places to get Dolsot Bimbimbap in Montreal:

1) Maison Seoul in NDG (on Sherbrooke, two doors down from the Pharmiprix).

Hands down, imo, the BEST place for this dish in the city. You pay a little more here (hey, it's Westmount/NDG, after all), but you really get what you pay for - quality. The dolsot (stone bowl) comes sizzling hot to your table, laden with delicious marinated bulgogi (you can taste the rice wine and seasonings), assorted fresh veggies (sliced mushrooms, purple cabbage, leaf lettuce/spring mix salad, silvered carrots, silvered zucchini, the yolk of a small raw egg, and fresh rice with a dash of sesame oil on the bottom. There's a soy/chili sauce container on the side, so each diner can add the heat to his/her own liking.

2) Chez Bong (in Chinatown)

Very good, but can't dethrone the champion that is Maison Seoul. Hot dolsot, rice, meaty strips of beef (but not as well seasoned as the bulgogi at Maison Seoul; I would say their version is more chinese in style), good assortment of fresh veg, and a gently fried egg on top. Hot sauce on the side, if memory serves.

3) Chez Hwang (NDG -Sherbrooke West)

Very good as well. But the beef in this dish is more like spiced hamburger meat than bulgogi. Still, the dish was well prepared over all, and tasty.

4) Maison Bulgogi (St.Catherine West - Downtown)

So-so. Big dolsot, veg not so fresh or varied, beef bulgogi mediocre in this dish. Egg gently fried and placed sunny side up on rice. And lots and lots of sesame oil - which is not to my liking; oil overpowered the rest of the dish, and gave me slight digestive upset afterwards.

5) Manna (on Bishop - Downtown)

Small dolsot, so portion is small. Mediocre, imo. No bulgogi, just seasoned hamburger meat, with the typical rice and veg (not very fresh, either). Egg fried sunny side up and placed on top. Sauce on the side.

6) Towa (St. Catherine West - Downtown)

The dish didn't even come in a dolsot, but in a porcelain bowl that had been placed in the oven to warm. Therefore this dish didn't come sizzlin hot to the table. This was more like chinese style fried rice, with a fried egg on top. Again, the beef was not bulgogi but hamburger meat.

This actually tasted better than Manna's but technically, since it didn't come in a dolsot, I ranked Manna a bit higher than Towa. The dish, after all, is Dolsot Bibimbap. The rice and other food should still gently cook in the hot stone bowl, the dolsot, at your table.

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