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Hintonburg/ Preston/ Chinatown
On Somerset, next to the Yangtze.
Foods from Bulgogi Garden
2010 Apr 3
Just checked the website, and it says that they're no longer in business.
2009 Apr 6
Good food, although I have no picture, I can comment on what we ate.
The side dishes, I remember, was good. I ordered the kongnamul (bean sprout salad) for seconds. Kimchi was well-fermented, there was daikon radish, potatoes, fish cake and green onion-- all very good.
We ordered bibimbap without egg because my boyfriend is allergic, and even without the egg it was good. It was crackling in the bowl and they let you mix the sauce unlike other restaurants.
We also ordered the beef with vegetables soybean spicy stew. I don't exactly recall the name, but it was decent. It was beef with vegetables in a familiar red broth with soy bean sprouts. Good for the cold, and good with rice.
We've never been to their lunch buffet, but it looks promising for less than $15 bucks, you can gorge on BBQ straight at your table.
First post for this user
2008 Nov 4
I love their kimchi bokkumbap.
I also love that they are the only Korean Restaurant in Ottawa with an all you can eat BUFFET!!
CAN YOU IMAGINE?? I can now.
--->( JUST JUST JUST found their website, still in construction :P)
I eat there almost twice a week, and I commute from Vanier just to have my dosage of kimchi.
I bought a lot of their meats and other entrees so I can eat it at home, but I seem to run out quickly..lol
The owner of BG is the former owner of Arum Foods & Restaurant located at 512 Bank St.
I have known the family for many years, and have tried other korean restaurants in the past, but was just let down.
My boyfriend and I went most of the other Korean Restaurants in Ottawa and ordered the Kimchi Bokkumbap and Bulgogi. Heres how it went roughly:
At Korea Gardens, my Bokkumbap took a little while, and they kimchi wasn't spicy enough.
My bf's bulgogi wasn't as sweet as usual, but the meat was okay..
At Maru, my Bokkumbap was very greasy I found. Everytime I licked my spoon I had to wipe my mouth to get the red grease off. There wasn't a lot of meat, which made me sad since I enjoy the cooked kimchi and pork combo... -___- ;;;
My bfs bulgogi looked good. lots of veggies and tender meat, however again, the grease was overwhelming...
At Miga, the service was horrid. we didn't wait for the food, so..can't say much :P
At Joy, oh lordy.
I had a hair in my food. We haven't gone back since. This was 3 months ago.
At Bulgogi Garden, my bokkumbap was amazing.
lots of meat, great kimchi, awesome combo!
the bulgogi was also very good!!
I didn't get a lot of it, since my bf really enjoyed it and was hissing at me when I tried to grab some more ... lol, I don't blame him.
I loved how we could cook the meat right infront of us, ourselves, on nice cooking BBQ's.
* I keep reading comments on decor, does it matter? Does the shampoo bottle have to be pretty or work? Geez people, you're not living there, just eating. Get over it! *
2008 Feb 15
Had been meaning to try this place ever since it opened (I love Korean BBQ, but Korea Gardens, the only place I've previously eaten it in Ottawa, is sliding further and further downhill). Finally got around to it tonight, and must say we had a VERY good meal. We were there fairly early, around six pm on a Friday. There were about two tables filled when we arrived, and five or six when we left. The service was super fast and friendly. The BBQ dishes are all portions for two, but we asked the waiter if the two of us could have half bulgogi and half pork belly instead of a large plate of all one thing. No problem.
The bulgogi was delicious--good marinade, nice beef, tender and fresh tasting. The pork belly slices come plain, so they really benefit from the tasty bean sauce and lettuce wrap business they provide (not all Korean BBQs do this, and I've never known whether it's a regional variation or simply that some places don't bother). The most surprising thing about the pork belly was that the two of us polished off a generous plate of very fatty pork and ended up just happily satisfied, not stuffed. We BBQed it up crispy, which I guess drains a lot of the fat off. The meats were garnished with a couple of asparagus spears and quite a few mushrooms (the ordinary white kind), which were good on the grill.
The side dishes (unlimited refills) were excellent--five different kinds, including a tasty marinated fishcake thing and a spicy-sweet daikon strip pickle that I couldn't stop eating. There was also a generous portion of chapchae as a complimentary starter, plus miso soup and rice. As we only drank tea, the bill came to $38 for the two of us, before tip. Personally, for a meal that good and that varied, I think it's a steal.
A word about the grills--they are some kind of newfangled infra-red deal, and I must say I was skeptical. I'm not keen on electric BBQ, which is why I don't order it at Kwon's. But these were pretty impressive. Ours started out kind of slow, and I was surprised to find that the hot spot was in the middle, but by the middle of our meal it was good and hot and had a nice coating of charred meat juices that gave flavour to the BBQ. Simply on account of the grill, it perhaps wasn't the MOST flavourful BBQ I've ever had, but it was good. Definitely going back. I already have a hankering to try their soon tofu chigae.
2007 Nov 11
Finally had a chance to try this place out. I made a reservation for the BBQ table on Saturday. I've only had Korean BBQ once in Toronto, which had a really good variety and it was all-you-can-eat. So this isn't really going to be a direct comparison, given that Toronto's restaurant scene is much more competitive.
There were 4 of us, and we ordered the B1 (Beef bulgogi, which was a ribeye steak thinly sliced and nicely marinated, approx $34), and the chicken (approx $30). Each order on the BBQ menu is appropriate for 2 people. Comes with rice, kimchi, sprouts, spicy cucumber and some kind of fish rectangles.
The service was a little rough around the edges, but the people were really nice and definitely were trying hard to accommodate us. They are not yet licensed (will be soon, according to the waitress), so forget trying any Korean beers (if they have such a thing).
Both the chicken and beef were really tasty. And the waitress did take her time to explain how to eat everything.
After tax and tip it ended up working out to about $21 a person. I would definitely go again, both for the BBQ and to try some of their other dishes.
2007 Nov 6
I ate here with a friend on Saturday afternoon as we were both very hungry and curious. Still a few kinks in the service as we had to wait almost 40 minutes after being seated to order our food - and the restaurant was not busy.
That being said, service was otherwise friendly and efficient. There were consistent refills of tea (even though I thought the tea was weak and tasted kind of soapy).
We shared an appetizer of Gyoza which were delicious and piping hot if a little greasy. We both ordered the Dolsat Bibimbap and it was quite good and accompanied with fresh and plentiful side dishes.
However, I felt it was a little pricey for the food and the lack of atmosphere. My friend observed that it was more like being in a cafeteria that served Korean food rather than a restaurant - and I had to agree.
Overall, I'd go back and try it again. At the very least to try out one of the BBQ tables. I second the idea of a previous reviewer in that it would be a good idea to make a reservation given that there are not very many BBQ tables.
2007 Nov 3
This place has been open for only a week so please keep that in mind when you read this review.
They were really unorganized and panicked. I saw a couple of tables get up and leave. The servers were rude to eachother and that made dining a bit stressful.
We were really hungry when we finally got our food so we did not care that our appetizers came after our main course. We did not see any of the complimentary "tidbits" that FF got.
While the food was not bad, it was expensive (compared to other area restaurants). Be prepared to spend at least $20 per person (not including drinks). The BBQ's are fun but I only counted 5 out of the 20 or so tables they had. We had reserved a table with a BBQ (FF's advice) so we were lucky.
I don't think that they are ready. I would suggest that if you are interested in eating here, wait a month so that they can settle in. Make a reservation for a BBQ table.
I really hope that this place gets it act together because it is a welcome change to Pho in this neighbourhood. And my kids actually ate what they BBQ'd.
2007 Oct 28
Thanks to the forum discussion (
Forum - Korean BBQ in Chinatown?
), we decided to drive by and see if this place was open yet. It was!
Bulgogi Garden has the same owners as Arum so we expected authentic Korean fare. Our initial impression was that the decor is not quite there yet -- fluorescent lighting is too harsh and there's a sort of grimy feel to the place. In fact, we both remarked that it had a similar feel to
Service was friendly and not too bad, considering this was only the first or second day of business. Upon our arrival, we saw that all the proper Bulgogi tables were occupied (better call ahead and reserve!).
Complimentary appetizer/side dishes were very generous in the classic Korean way. Our food itself didn't taste amazing (Miga and Joy offer better versions of everything we had), but it was decent. Our server told us after that we should try the Beef Bulgogi next time, because
is really excellent. Point noted, will book a table.
Prices are higher than expected for some things (the Pajeon appetizer is $9.95) but lower than expected for others (my meal-sized Soon Doo Boo Chi Gae was also $9.95) so it all balanced out.
Overall, this is a welcome addition to the Somerset strip. We look forward to returning to try the bulgogi.
2007 Oct 28
The complimentary kimchi was good, as were all the other tasty tidbits. Everything you see here was brought to our table even before we had ordered! This is what I love most about Korean food.
2007 Oct 28
Not cheap and not amazing but certainly tasty enough. The batter isn't the really light Japanese kind and is a tiny bit sweet. Shrimp had good flavour. Not sure if we'd order this again, since there's better tempura to be had in this city.
2007 Oct 28
It was pretty good but not as good as Miga's or the one I remember having at Arum. It was also quite overpriced ($9.95). Nice and filling though.
2007 Nov 6
Our bibimbap was served piping hot and was very fresh. However, I have not tried many other Korean restaurants so I cannot give it a fair comparison.
2007 Oct 28
The Soon Doo Boo Chi Gae (sundubu chigae) is a very spicy soft tofu soup, graced with pork and clams. I ordered this because I wanted to compare against the one I had at Miga. Quite spicy and pretty good but I preferred Miga's version, which was spicier with more depth of flavour and slightly less tofu.
Like Miga's, this was served still boiling vigorously. Quite exciting!
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