Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ottawa - Located just outside of the ByWard Market, Alirang is a true gem. I come here many times whenever I set foot in Ottawa. Despite the number of Korean restaurants I have been in Montreal, there is nothing like Alirang. The food is purely authentic, not at all adapted to westerner's palate. I hope they open a location in Montreal. 

Gamjatang - Pork Bone Stew with Rice Cakes
This place gets packed easily during lunch and dinner time. You might have to wait at least 30 minutes if you are more than 2 people. The service could be better as the staffs tend to forget what you request, but at least the food comes out relatively quick. 

Mandoo - Korean Dumplings
I tried more than half of the menu. The dishes are not only delicious, they have great depths of flavours that make you want to eat more. All the mains come with bachan, an array of small Korean side dishes which provides contrasts of flavours to the main dish. We have three sides - kimchi for heat, honey glazed potatoes for sweetness, and bean sprouts for a palate cleanse. 
Yukgaejang - Vermicelli Noodles, Beef with Vegetables and Egg Stew
Everything on the menu is worth ordering. Here are some noteworthy ones. The toppoki (tteokbokki) is a classic Korean snack which consists of rice cakes and fish cakes cooked in a sweet-spicy chili sauce. The rice cakes are soft with a light chew that make them enjoyable to eat. Every Asian diner loves to order Gamjantang - a spicy pork bone stew that is hearty with a rich complex flavors. 

Toppoki - Rice Cakes and Fish Cakes
Bulgogi is another popular staple which is thinly sliced beef marinated for at least two hours for flavors and tenderness. It is aromatic yet sweet that is best eaten with rice. 
Bulgogi - Marinated Slices of Beef with Mushroom and Onions
My last recommended is the bossam, the perfect sharing dish eaten with your hands - steamed pork with thinly sliced kimchi. Grab a piece of lettuce, put a piece of steamed pork and some kimchi, and garnish with the provided side dishes. Grab a bite and all the flavours will sing. A terrific dish to order!

Alirang is hands down the best food I have eaten in Ottawa. It provides big punches of flavours that makes you want to come back for more. 

Jaeyukbokum - Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry
Bossam - Steamed Pork with Salted Cabbage and Bossam-Kimchi
134 Nelson St.
Ottawa, ON
K1N 5Y6
Alirang on Urbanspoon


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