The requirements for this dinner was a restaurant serving family style dishes that isn’t a Chinese one. One that proved difficult, so we ended at this Korean chain as our best option. Their’s a venue that offered plenty of seating, larger tables, and the possibility to order a handful of different dishes to feed a larger group of eight. So this became our destination to enjoy a belated Chinese New Year dinner with extended family at.
Located on Kingsway, a few blocks from Metrotown, driving to and parking is a breeze. Except that the lot was surprisingly filled this Sunday.
The restaurant is divided into two parts. The seating on the left paired smaller parties and couples together. We were seated on the right with other large groups who needed tables pushed up against booths (like our party did), in order to seat them all. The extended room glows with the red accents that highlighted the ceiling. Wooden dividers gave privacy between tables, and provided extra surfaces for posters and signs advertising their specials. Although the menu did a good enough job tantalizing us with all its colourful and vivid photos. The walls were decorated with Asiatic art. Pandas at play, dipping valleys and rushing water ways, twisted trees and spiral-ing streams, and a dragon gliding between the clouds.
We ordered as a group and were surprised by the speed in which it all arrived. The food came one after another, starting with the complimentary sides and rice. These, we were informed that we could have as much as we wanted. They all helped to provide a nice palette refresher with their tangy tastes, chill temperature, and their use as a neutral base for all the stronger flavours to follow.
A green salad with vinaigrette offered freshness. The chilled soy beans, crunch. The sweet chilled potatoes and the spicy daikon gave you a base for all your tasty meats. And the kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine with its pickled tang. All together, five great sides to enjoy atop rice.
“Goon mahn doo”. Pan fried Korean style beef and pork dumplings, served with house special soy sauce for dipping. They were chewy with a good crispy skin from the pan fry.
“L.A. Gahl Bee”. Korean traditional BBQ beef short ribs marinated with house special BBQ sauce. It was described as being rolled on charcoal, which gave it its nice char, but it was very hard to eat. We didn’t realize that, that is what the scissors on the table were for. And that we were suppose to cut it down to smaller pieces, to have everyone be able to pick from it. In smaller bites it was delicious.
“Bool Go Gee”. Korean traditional stir fried beef rib eye and vegetables marinated with house special BBQ sauce. Served in a sizzling hot plate like teriyaki without all that sauce and sweetness. I felt it had way too much onion compared to meat available.
“Go Dung uh goo wee”, grilled Norwegian mackerel. Salty white fish with crispy skin. I am sure there are tiny bones to be aware of, but I lucked out by missing most of them. Flavourful, yet fragrant enough to enjoy as is.
“Yang nyum chicken”. Deep fried chicken wings tossed in house special spicy sauce. larger pieces of wings and drumlets battered heavily with your choice of spice level. We requested it only a little spicy.
The “Jab che” was one of my favourites of the night. Stir fried sweet potato noodle with assorted vegetable and beef cooked in a house special marinade sauce. I like the noodles the most, so was disappointed to get more onion then slippery strands. But the flavour was great and all the other julienned vegetables offered a great texture to chew through.
The “Gam ja tahng” was most impressive of our seven dishes. Korean traditional pork back and neck bone soup with green onion, regular onion, vegetables, and potato. Available in either a small or large size, this is the large served in a hot pot, kept boiling over a camp stove. The broth was full of flavour, lending plenty of it to the large chunks of meat on bone, the large potatoes halves, and onion quarters. Although I was only partial to the tender cuts of meat, taking it in as I sipped spoonfuls of the peppery soup. A great dish to warm up to on a cold day.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A standup place for Korean cuisine with a large group. A great meal, where everyone left with happy bellies, no complaints. Don’t deny your cravings.