Sampling Montréal's Korean Cuisine at Kantapia | Bite Club
Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sampling Montréal's Korean Cuisine at Kantapia

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 4:37 PM

click to enlarge Kantapia on Rue Sherbrooke Ouest - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Kantapia on Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Usually, upon arriving in Montréal, I head straight for a ramen shop. The thought of soft-cooked eggs and toothsome noodles in rich broth is an irresistible draw. This time, though, as we walked down Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, my friend pointed out a colorful sign reading "kantapia: cuisine coréenne."
All of a sudden, my imagined bowl of soup looked a bit different: shreds of cabbage piled in a pool of deep red liquid, cubes of tofu and pieces of fatty pork, a sprinkling of scallions.

I nodded my assent, and we headed inside. The spot was busy at lunchtime on a Sunday, but we snagged a table and scanned the laminated menus. Coming from Vermont, I have little experience with Korean food, and I was excited to sample as much as possible.

An appetizer sampler seemed like just the ticket. The platter came with crisp fried mandu (dumplings), slices of kimbap — which are nori-wrapped rice rolls that approximate Japanese maki — and a separate dish of tteok bokki, a rice-flour noodle that is shaped somewhat like gnocchi, slathered in chile sauce and dotted with white and black sesame seeds.
click to enlarge Tteok bokki, hot and spicy "rice cakes" - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Tteok bokki, hot and spicy "rice cakes"
The tteok bokki was fun to eat. The rice "cakes" themselves had a sweet flavor, while the sauce was rich without offering a lot of heat. I struggled to keep the slippery bites on my metal chopsticks. The kimbap slices, stuffed with cucumber, fish cake, egg and pickles, left me cold: they simply weren't particularly flavorful.

Our final appetizer was haemul pajeon, a seafood pancake studded with mussels, squid, scallion and strips of carrot. Unlike other such dishes I've had, which were thin and crisp, this one was thick like an omelette, and a bit doughy. However, the bites that I had, swiped through the soy-based dipping sauce, were pleasant enough. 
click to enlarge Kimchi jjigae with rice - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Kimchi jjigae with rice

My favorite thing was that bowl of soup I'd been craving. Called kimchi jjigae, and delivered sizzling in a fetchingly beat-up pot, it was a warming and comforting winter dish. Kimchi, slices of pork and cubes of tofu swam in the broth, and scallions dotted the top. A bowl of rice came on the side.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend Kantapia as a Montréal dining destination, but if you find yourself near Place des Arts and hungry for Korean food, head there for some reasonably priced dumplings and a bowl of soup.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Bite Club

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation