I love Korean food. If you’ve never sat down to eat a Korean meal before, you’re missing out; hot stews, spicy soups, BBQ meats all accompanied by some awesome ban chan (side dishes) that consists of spicy kimchi and various pickles. I’m certain you’ve probably eaten elements of Korean cuisine that you weren’t even aware of. You know that kimchi poutine you had or that hot dog topped with the spicy gojujang sauce? KOREAN. How about that awesome bulgogi beef taco? KOREAN. Or that spicy packaged shin ramyun ramen you like to eat late at night and regret in the morning because it literally burned the lining of your gastro-intestinal tract so bad that your breakfast smoothie often includes a double shot of Pepto? KOREAN. I was excited when I learned about a Korean restaurant in Ville-St-Laurent – a relative wasteland devoid of anything Korean besides the snacks at the local Asian supermarket. I hit up Ave Seoul for some delicious Korean food and uncharacteristic Korean inhospitality.
We started with the Haemul Pajeon – seafood pancake. Salty ad briny little morels of delicious seafood (shrimp, squid, mussels) and scallions fried into this savoury pancake. The pancake was a bit dense, I’ve had better ones that were fluffier and lighter and more enjoyable, but this one was delicious nonetheless.
Ojingeo Bokkeum – Stir fried squid served with noodles. I loved the fiery gravy of gojujang sauce. I didn’t need the pageantry of the squid and could have eaten the sauce straight up on the noodles, or plain white rice, or with a spoon… or straw. I was weary of the lump of noodles sitting there sticking together, but found that when you put it in your bowl (or plate) and top it with a spoonful of toothsome squid, vegetables and decadent sauce, it loosens up almost immediately once prodded with your chopsticks. Sorcery.
We also had the budae-jjigae (army stew) – a spicy ramen soup made with hot dogs, spam, kim chi, tofu, and vegetables. A kind of dish that will stick to your ribs in the colder months, or in my case – a summer night in august, will initiate a detox right there in the restaurant having you sweat weeks of junk food out of your pores.
It’s spicy, not over the top, but enough that it’ll ask you who your daddy is.
Here, Anthony Bourdain makes his own version of buddae-jjigae with a visibly frightened Anderson Cooper after an obvious tricep workout.
The banchan was a bit sad and was less impressive as some of the other places in town. Marinated potatoes, kimchi and three lonely florets of broccoli. We finished most of it and weren’t offered more and would have asked for more if our waitress wasn’t invisible.
The food was good and I would LOVE to return to try some of the other menu items. Their lunch menu has some reasonable specials as well. The service was less than desirable; the young waitress was inconsiderate and discourteous. Ave Seoul is a great addition to the neighbourhood as the Korean food scene this far uptown was non-existent.
885 Boulevard Décarie