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Omma: Korean 101

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

in  restaurantasiankoreanmile-endmoderate<$40

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The Pitch

With the freakishly arctic temperatures we've been experiencing, we wanted a quick outing that still offered that warming homey feel.  After realising our first choice, La Carreta, was closed, we opted for Omma (meaning mom in Korean), a cosy Korean spot close by, for a "mom" cooked meal.

The Mood

A pretty relaxing ambience fills this small yet open space.  A small tall bar sits at the entrance and a table with a big rice cooker stands right under the open kitchen window.  Full of mostly hipster patrons (and waiters actually), we got what we came for: a cosy laid-back space.

tagged  hipster scene

The Food

The menu includes an array of what we think are the most popular Korean dishes (at least in this part of the world): chicken wings, Bulgogi, Bibimbap and Kimchi among others are all prepared with no MSG added.  We're no experts on Korean food, nor do we eat a lot of it, so we are in no way judging Omma's skill/ability to cook it, but here goes...

Mandoo, Steamed

Starter,  $6,  rating:  hit

"4 homemade dumplings with beef and onions".  With a dough that's just the right thickness and a beef filling that was juicy with good texture, these dumplings were delicious (although a little heavy on the garlic).

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Oijing Aw

Starter,  $9,  rating:  so-so

"deep-fried squid with chili lime sauce".  Even though the batter was crispy and sweet, these were average fried calamari.  The highlight: a lime base sauce with a hint of soy and garlicky Korean chili that you could dip anything in really.

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Dol Sot Bibimbap, Beef

Main,  $16,  rating:  hit

"crispy rice in a hot stone bowl topped with pickled vegetables and an egg".  The raw egg, once mixed in, is "cooked" and creates a creamy sauce-like consistency that binds everything together.  The hot stone introduces a prized crispy brown layer of rice adding yet another great texture, while the acidity from the tender crunchy vegetables contrasts the creaminess well enough.

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Kyoga Saewoo Bokum

Main,  $18,  rating:  so-so

"shrimps sautéed in Korean mustard and soy sauce with mixed vegetables and pine nuts".  This really is a stir-fry taken to another level with the mustard sauce.  The shrimps were perfectly cooked and the pine nuts were a nice touch.

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The Service

Friendly and adequate is the best way to describe the service we received tonight.  It was a little slow for our liking and one of the waiters (we're not sure which) wafted BO every time they passed by, which certainly took away from our experience.

The Verdict

We certainly enjoyed our experience tonight (minus the BO breezes).  However, we'll have to do some more Korean tastings elsewhere and revisit to arrive at a well-founded decision.

tagged  deserves a retry

Price per person:  $24.50


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Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys that like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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