This wasn’t our first option, it wasn’t even our second. The later in the night craving was for xiao long bao; however the usual go-to on Kingsway wasn’t open on Wednesdays, and the back up within Crystal Mall was also closed for the night. So instead of getting back into the car and driving around, we walked a few steps out, to the exterior of Crystal Mall, and right into Han Ju. They claim to be a hot pot restaurant from the exterior awning sign, but we would end up ordering rice instead.
I really appreciated the presentation and cohesive theme of their red and black dish ware. This is definitely the way to elevate a food court tray. Each of our rice sets came packed in a round plastic bowl that sort of reminded me of a dog dish, and paired with it was a serving of miso soup.
I liked the amount of meat you get from the Kimchi bbq pork on rice. A good ratio of meat and sides for all the rice underneath.
Whereas the Stewed beef and tomato on rice had less pieces of beef that you had to ration out for enough even bites.
We also ordered drinks to go, not pictured. My guest had a taro milk with no pearls, myself a coconut milk with pearls. Sadly, after the order was placed, the owner had to come back to inform me that they actually had no pearls, and instead she offered me coconut jelly. I wasn’t interesting in doubling up on the coconut, so opted for just the milk drink. And because of this, they were kind enough to take my drink off the receipt completely. A nice gesture they didn’t mention verbally, but it definitely did not go unnoticed on my end.
Overall, this wasn’t the most memorable meal, nor is it one that I would travel great distances for. But this hole in the wall is worth highlighting for how homely things felt, and how comforting the food was in a pinch. Not to mention their reasonable prices and easily accessible locale, making them an easy spot to catch a quick meal at.
Han Ju Tofu Hotpot
4500 Kingsway Suite 1218, Burnaby, BC, V5H 2A9