Eats from the Far East

Bozeman is home to some of the most diverse cuisines for being in such a rural state. When you come to a country state like Montana you expect to find steak, potatoes, hamburgers and general country dishes. Things you don’t expect are good representations of Mexican, Italian or Chinese food — let alone Korean. 

Just off of Main on the corner of Willson and Mendenhall sits a quaint little restaurant known as Whistle Pig Korean. This little shop is more than just a restaurant — it also hosts live music on Fridays. Whistle Pig Korean is a great place to dine for pretty much any occasion. It has a great date-like atmosphere if you and your date are willing to try something fun and exotic. It might not be such a great place if you are looking for a high class, fancy-shmancy eatery, but it’s a great place to introduce your family and friends too. Whistle Pig is very unique as it offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. In fact, most of their menu items are at least vegetarian with the option to add either beef, pork or chicken.

It’s also one of the best places to go to as a college kid. The dishes are all very reasonably priced and the most expensive item on the menu is $12, which is actually pretty reasonable considering it is a large dish and has a lot of beef in it. You will definitely be full if you order one of the larger menu items and they are therefore worth the $10-$12. It is also especially good for students as Wednesday nights after 6 p.m. they hold a MSU Appreciation Night. On these nights, if you order a Bibimbap and have a MSU ID, you will receive a free half order of Mandu and a Coke. Whistle Pig has been open since May 2014. They mainly serve the community itself and don’t see a lot of college kids because they hadn’t become aware of it, until now. The owner said that she opened Whistle Pig because it was her passion. She had always loved cooking and she went to Korea for a while. While there she met her husband, and they moved to Bozeman when returning to the States. She loved making Korean food for her husband and since she loved cooking she decided to open a restaurant combining the two. Whistle Pig is a rather small place, but still open. The kitchen itself is open-air, allowing you to watch the food being made if you wish. The walls are a bit sparse, but are decorated in artsy pictures and brickwork. Despite being relatively small the seating is great without being crowded and the atmosphere itself is warm and welcoming.

The service at Whistle Pig is downright amazing. Depending when you go, you can expect a small wait in line, but it isn’t too horrible to handle and it is most definitely worth it. The woman who took my order was very nice despite the fact I severely butchered the names of the dishes I ordered and she made sure to double check that what I was trying to say was exactly what I actually wanted.  

When I sat down to eat I was pleasantly surprised to find that the silverware consisted of a spoon and chopsticks. If, however, you aren’t able to use chopsticks or are just terrible at using them you can request a fork. I was very anxious to try my food. I tend to be a picky eater and was terrified of going in blind. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. The food was delightful and had the perfect explosion of flavor. Even picky eaters like me should be able to find something that they will enjoy. With food like this Whistle Pig has definitely gained a repeat customer and next time I’ll bring my friends.