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Chosun Korean BBQ

For this edition of our regular family dinner my mother chose the Korean bbq chain, Chosun as our destination. It has been a long standing part of the community, with continuous lines since the reintroduction of in house and group dining.

Due to the multiple tables that were steadily grilling their meat and the occasional piece that burnt, the restaurant was smoggy. The air was thick with grease and smoke, despite the ventilation installed above each table. In hindsight we should have chosen a different Korean restaurant, considering none of us wanted to barbecue at the table. One, for the work it required. Two, why spend the money on quality meat that an untrained cook (such as yourself) won’t prepare perfectly? And three, we didn’t want to add to all the fry.

It lingered in the air, causing our feet to slip beneath us, and attaching its scent to our hair and clothes long after. It really dampens the dining experience and had us agreeing not to return, even before we ordered. It thankfully was a nice smell, at least. And after a while of being in it, you become one with the grease, and can begin to ignore it.

The following is everything our three person table found intriguing enough to order. As often the case, our complimentary Korean sides came first. A lettuce side salad with sesame dressing, julienned shoestring pickled radish, salty seaweed, spicy kimchi, large beansprouts, and sweet boiled potato. All great accompaniments to help elongate the meal, and to keep our appetites going with small changes in flavour and texture.

I love Korean style rice cakes for their terrific textured chew. So whenever it’s on a menu, I order it. I typically get spicy, unless someone at the table cannot stomach the heat. This was the sweet version. Royal rice cakes stir fried with beef and vegetable in a mild soy sauce. The mix of meat and vegetables rounded out the dish out, and the coloured peppers brightened it. This did not disappoint.

I was not a fan of the Seafood pancake with shrimp, chilli pepper, and green onion. It ranked high as one of the worst renditions I have had with its mushy dough and lack of seafood pieces. My mother however enjoyed its texture and found squid and shrimp in the mix. Had it been fried crispier in the cast iron, with more salt than than the dip offered, I would have thought differently. In hindsight I should have utilized the squeeze bottles of sauces brought to our table with the sides. We didn’t know what they were intended for, but they were most helpful below.

The Unagi stone bowl with vegetables and eel was done tasty. It had a great crispy burnt rice texture, once you mix it all together. It tasted exactly how you want unagi to be when you order it. Like a sweeter teriyaki bbq with a latent tang. There was just not enough seafood to rice ratio, each piece of unagi was sliced thin, and you are left with only onions over fried rice. Here, the squeezable sauce bottles gave us a nice Korean salty and spicy mix to enjoy the rice with.

The unanimous favourite was the Pork bone hot pot soup with potato and vegetables. This impressive serving is actually their medium size. It is brought out with presentation in mind, and everything is boiled table side, allowing it to stay warm. The longer the soup sits the tastier it becomes. So be warned, stir and mix cause it does get saltier at the end, as the seasonings pool and there is less broth to go around. The soup is so flavourful that it saturated the tender beef bone and left it with no need for soy.

They forgot our order of Kimchi fried noodle, and although we were all fairly full, we insisted on having it. Without the noodles our meal felt like it was lacking in carbs and filling substance. This too did not disappoint. It is exactly what you expect when you crave kimchi noodles. A good amount of spice and burn on each thick and chewy strand. I just wish there was more noodle than vegetables and onion.

To conclude the meal had hits and misses, but all in all pretty standard of you average Korean bbq spot. Therefore we won’t necessarily need to revisit this one with its dining room caked in oil and the fact none of us wants to bbq for ourselves.

Chosun Korean BBQ
3486 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5L6
(604) 434-1222

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