As per tradition, whenever I have a beach day with @monkeyeatsworld & @misseileensoo we conclude our time in the sun with a Korean feast, including our favourites go to’s. Today we made Nadri our destination of choice, as Joyce of @monkeyeatsworld has been before, and was craving the quality of their cuisine.
For those who don’t know about it, it would be hard to discover it by accident. They are located in the Korean focused plaza, on North Road, in Coquitlam; within their food court. I have visited the area many times before and never once knew they had a food court let alone that it was named K-Town Mall, and that the hidden gem: Nadri was hidden within.
Although in hindsight, it isn’t much of a food court considering it is only Nadri and one other Korean bakery that resides within. I guess it refers to the seating arrangement instead. The “court” was a grouping of tables and chairs in front of both respective food stands.
The menu is taped up on the plexiglass, fronting this mom and pop shop. With photos of specials and all the popular Korean dishes available, we ordered what we knew and then some.
We came in gunning for Korean fried chicken so ordered the full bird in half half, so that we could try two flavours. Available in bone in or boneless, we asked for the former, but got the latter. However, we were so hungry that we ate it happily anyhow. Thick breading coats the original (as part of the half half, you only get to choose one flavour, the first is automatically original). We paired it with their hot sauce for dipping and didn’t find it all that spicy, but instead got more of a savoury and tangy combination.
For our second flavour we went safe with the honey garlic. The same thick crispy breading over the same boneless chicken above, but with a thick coating of honey and garlic that made things soggy fast. It would have been nice to get the honey garlic on the side instead. Another sauce for dipping, to help keep the chicken’s crunchy texture for longer. In retrospect the two flavours and dip tasted so similar that I wish we went for a different flavour that contrasted. Luckily the side pickles offered a nice break in taste and gave us sone freshness in their tang. I also appreciated the ingenuity of their wired fried chicken basket that included a holder for said pickles. This is especially poignant as you don’t typically have one without the other in Korean cuisine anyhow.
You also get sides here. Three refillable dishes of tangy and spicy radish, sweet tofu and juicy bean sprouts, and the classic sweet softened potato. As always, such sides offer a nice break in the meal and a great way to change the taste, adding longevity to your meal.
We usually order a seafood pancake for carbs as well, so ordered their’s today. Though sadly I was not a fan. I found the dough ashy, instead of the chewy mix I wanted. There was also more leaks that pancake and barely any seafood. You were luckily if you got a single muscle within a pre-cut pancake slice. On occasion you could also make out a baby shrimp and perhaps some diced chunks of squid. Overall nothing substantial to describe this as seafood. The occasional sliver of red pepper also felt out of place. At least it tasted okay with the dipping sauce. This one I would skip.
Maybe she over hyped it, but I too only found The White gam ja tang, Pork back bone soup okay. With every slurp Joyce was satiated. I found the offering tasty, but lacking the deep richness I wanted. Apparently they are the only authentic Korean restaurant to offer it in a clear broth, with its accompanying milder meaty flavour; whereas other Korean restaurants apparently keep theirs spicy with a reddish-orange broth to match. I think I would have preferred it this way.
Thankfully our sever mentioned their newest bone soup on a few occasions, to the point that we ordered it. This has the flavour I wanted. The rich meatiness and soup that hit my yum spot. Even Joyce admitted the new Nadri Gal Bi Tang was better than her original choice. This is a handsome section of beef rib boiled in a their special rich broth served with rice. I am not a fan of rice and soup, and was plenty happy with eating the slightly fatty chunks of meat as is. Hard to rip from bone with teeth, you are best to use the communal kitchen shears left at each table to cut them down to size.
And when we thought we couldn’t possibly have another bite, the kitchen brought out a metal steamer of their handmade dumplings. These were perfectly pinched pork and kimchi filled dumplings, served with a side sauce. I enjoyed the classic pork dumpling and found the kimchi a unique filling with its spicy and tangy flavours dominating the chew and doughiness of the shell.
Overall I like the fact that they are a local small business worth supporting, hidden and worth searching for. Their food is tasty and comes out fast, worth trying when you are in the area next and craving Korean.
Nadri – Korean Cuisine & Fried Chicken (나드리)
4501 North Rd Unit 111F, Burnaby, BC V3N 4R7