Two casual new restaurants have arrived in Mile End, with comforting Vietnamese bistro Le Bay open on St-Laurent, while a few blocks over, La Belle Corée is serving Korean eats on the corner of Fairmount and St-Urbain.
First up, Le Bay (full name Le Bay Cà Phê) takes the place of sushi restaurant Azuma on St-Laurent and Maguire. It’s putting forward a menu of Vietnamese staples — most notably pho, a relative rarity in the neighbourhood, with nearby Sencha the only other notable place to get it. Then there’s vermicelli salads, banh mi, and a few rice and curry dishes, with pork, chicken, beef, and tofu options under most of those categories.
It’s all rather affordable, with banh mis at $8 and pho around $10 to $11, with a few small bites like spring rolls and peanutty fried tofu under $5. Bonus: Le Bay is serving Vietnamese iced coffee, complete with condensed milk.
La Belle Corée takes the place of short-lived Japanese restaurant Koi, but most would remember the premises as formerly belonging to street food resto Cartel (in fact, its mural is still on the exterior).
Also keeping things affordable, with most dishes around $9 to $13, it’s going with Korean classics like bibimbap and bulgogi, as well as warming stew jigae. There’s also noodle soup ramyun, and one promising fusion dish in the form of kimchi poutine — although it seems the curds have been subbed for mayo here. (In any case, kimchi and fries are still a surprisingly tasty combination.)
STATUSES — Le Bay is open at 5263 St-Laurent from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily (10 p.m. Friday and Saturday), and La Belle Corée is open at 101 Fairmount West from 11 a.m.m to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. every day.