We all decided to order our own dishes, instead of sharing small plates style as the restaurant recommended. But in the end we did try and taste from one another’s plates. Nhu and I got the “Jellyfish salad, mouth-watering salad with thinly sliced jellyfish, cucumber, and shrimp omelette tossed in a tangy mustard dressing. It was good, but truthfully I ordered this to be able to take a nice picture of it,. In the menu I saw it had thin slices of cucumbers onlining the rest of the salad, together they created a heart shape. And I am a sucker for a pretty food picture opportunity, The taste reminded me of an upgraded Japanese sunomono salad with the cold, lemony, light taste that refreshed you from all the spicy food you had before it. For it being a jellyfish salad, it did not have nearly enough jellyfish for a taste in every bite. Every strand was thin and wispy and not close to the intense flavour of the cold ones you can get from most Chinese restaurants. I liked the shrimp that was also present , but would prefer having more jelly fish in place of it.
Along with complimentary small plates of kimchi, cold seasoned egg plant and bbq beans, the girls ordered some deep fried dumplings. Based on the irregular shape of each one I am going to conclude that it was hand made prior and then deep fried to order. Very crispy bites that tasted fresh and not frozen.
Patricia and Jennifer ordered “Dolsot Bibim-bap”, which is beef and lightly sautéed vegetables with a raw egg on top, all in a heated stone bowl. The staff traditionally mix it at your table in front of your eyes. With two girl and two bowls, it was clear that one was better than the other. The pro feverishly tossed the rice around without spilling, her colleague was having trouble, mixing slowly and with none of same gusto. The stone bowl is hot enough to cook the egg when you toss everything together. Patricia got her bowl with extra sweet chilli sauce, which proved to be a good idea as Jennifer found hers bland and tasteless. So much so that she put some hot sauce in hers, even though she does not like the heat. Nhu’s rice bowl, “Bulgogi Bibim-bap”, despite it being made with bbq beef was no more tastier than Jennifer’s. She was given the option of not having it mixed by the servers and therefore we were able to take a before picture of it all pretty. All three girls with their rice bowls in the end had to scoop out sauce from Amanda’s “Squid Bulgogi, sautéed squid with spicy house special sauce and vegetables in a hot pot”, in order to get any satisfaction from eating theirs. The squid and beef stew came to our table bubbling, and despite Amanda asking for mild, it was still very spicy. But just enough spice to kick start some flavour in the bland rice dishes. Based on how it saved 3 other dishes I deemed Amanda’s stone bowl the best dish that came to the table that night.
Elina and I played it safe with dishes we knew we would like. Hers was the “Beef Ricecakes” and mine the “Japchae, stir-fried savoury potato noodles in sweet sesame oil with beef and mixed vegetables”, both are a common sight in Korean cuisine. And both I would say were as expected. It was good, but nothing about it stood out enough to blow your mind or put it in the fore front of all the other variations out there.
At the end it came out to be lots of extra food, uneaten. The bigger portions were a good value at the reasonable prices, most plates were $13-16.
SURA KOREAN CUISINE
1518 Robson St, Vancouver BC, V6G 1C2