As per our annual tradition, after a day at the beach, floating in the water and getting our tan on; we (Joyce @monkeyeatsworld, Eileen of @misseileensoo, and I) followed up our time outdoors with lunch at a Korean restaurant.
Our original destination was White Pine beach in Port Moody, but even arriving at 9am we were told that the parking lot was full. And plan B: Bunsen Lake required reservations, that were all booked. So we gunned it to Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby, and prayed for parking. Thankfully there was enough to not have us fighting for the last. So now in Burnaby for the day, we were looking for Korean in the area.
I have known of Sooda for a while now, having formally lived in the area. I knew that their pricing is a little steep, so have yet to visit and review it for this blog. However, now 3 dishes split between 3 individuals felt very reasonable.
Be warned, we came in with our skin hot from the sun, and although it was much cooler in temperature inside the restaurant, there was no air conditioning. Just a fan on rotation blowing recirculated air. And several parties had dishes heated at their table, thus adding an extra heat source, such as ours. Yet we, and everyone else around us still choose to order dishes that arrived table side boiling and spicy.
As usual, our meal began with complimentary sides: kimchi, soy bean sprouts, and sweet cold potato.
One of their signature menu items is their lengthy Korean-style sushi, available in a half or full order. This is a full order of the Sooda Box, 46cm of premium Korean steak tartar torched on top of rice. The presentation blows you away. Never have you seen sushi this long anywhere else. It eats like aburi with mayo over soften meat. You can barely taste the beef, just the sweet and creamy sauce and the oversized ring of jalapeño. I would love to try the other flavours seeing as this one was so good.
Boode Chigae is essentially Korean-style hot pot. Army base-style hot pot loaded with cheese, onions, mushrooms, dumplings, rice cake, carrot, tofu, kimchi and noodles. Our version was without cheese as Joyce cannot have dairy. This comes semi ready, furthered cooked at the table. A conductor is placed on to the table’s surface and it is heated with an apparatus under it. This brings the stew to a boil and keeps it hot for as long as you will have it.
The pot is shallow, as is the amount of liquid in it. We struggled to get the dough of the dumplings properly boiled up without over cooking everything else and having the noodles absorb all the soup. Gathering heat, the soup soon began spilling over and we were at a scramble to scoop and dole it out.
It is similar to how I prepare my instant noodles at home, but just with a lot more ingredients. I love all the mix of flavours and the ability to dig though it all, to sort out what you want to eat next. The bacon was fragrant, the raw cabbage added a nice crunch, and the hot dog overpowered it all with its distinct flavour. The overall dish had a comforting sensation with a nice spice to warm.
And I insisted on the rice cakes. Whenever I see it, I have to order the spicy Korean rice cake. There is no other texture like it, and it is one of my favourites. Sweet yet spicy, chewy and crispy all together. Tokbokki: Korean rice cake, fish cake, 2 fried dumplings, cheese, and veggies with house special spicy sauce in a hot bowl. Delicious.
We did come in hungry and we did eat our fill with leftovers to take home. We fully enjoyed all that we had, and all agreed we would go back to try more of their menu in the future.
Sooda Korean BBQ
4455 Lougheed Hwy., Burnaby, BC V5C 3Z2