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Woo Korean, #SpiceTrail

Today we were on the Spice Trail, a series of restaurants and food related shops gathered together and listed for easy reference by the Tourism board of Surrey. Done so in order to shine a light on its lesser known food scene.

Given the city’s population you would expect many of the restaurants listed would be offering Indian cuisine. But we would learn that the collection is multi-ethnic and is simply anchored by Indian cuisine.

When they initially launched the Spice Trail consisted of 45 businesses. Today the count has reached 70, covering each of the 6 neighborhoods of Surrey (I didn’t know there were 6 either). This encapsulates high end restaurants as well as hole in the walls options, all of which are offering something different to the trail, and none of which being franchises.

Today we would try their comfort Korean barbecue option, located in a strip mall. A great option for a group of 4 to be able to share and try more family style.

The interior is modern and spacious. There is plenty of sprawling room in their booths, great for extended stays as you take your time working the grill. But to start we would order some of their already cooked dishes. Here is our collective go-to’s and favourites when it comes to Korean cuisine.

To get the appetite going we had the Sundubu Jigae. This is a spicy seafood stew with mussels, shrimp, squid, and soft tofu. It comes to the table bubbling in its cast iron bowl, topped with a raw egg that you eventually stir in. One of my favourite Korean dishes for its bold flavour and ability to warm and satisfy inside and out. A must order in my books.

Haemul Pa Jeon is seafood and green onion pancake. Woo’s version is fragrant with thicker slices of green onion. Truthfully this is something I always order, yet might not finish depending on how they prepare it. I like how fragrant the dish is and the chew of the crispy dough, but as a textural diner I am not a fan of wilted greens. So I like the scent and taste of it, but cannot bare the chew of it. Luckily my table mates did and had no trouble finishing this one.

I always insist on getting Tteok-bokki. I love the mochi-like firm chew of rice cakes and especially enjoy them coated in this sweat and spicy Korean hot pepper paste. The addition of glass noodles, fish cake, and boiled egg made chewing through this even more enjoyable. I would definitely order this one again.

For a bite of sweetness and as a fun side we got the Corn Cheese which is exactly as it sounds. Sweet corn kernels covered with salty, stringy cheese. They paired well with our other complimentary Korean sides.

Each diner got their own individual serving of complimentary Korean sides. Kimchi, salted and spiced broccoli floret, and a single nugget potato, which included the option to order more as desired. I found them great alongside all the fattier cuts of meat to come.

The raw meat to barbecue was left undressed, so we were also given 3 sauces and seasonings to self flavour once cooked. A salty soy based sauce, a mild course salt, and a spicy tangy mix to dip and dab to your liking.

Given how much we already ordered before, we figured Woo Korean’s Grill A set for 2 would be plenty of food for 4. As is always the case, how the barbecue tastes is based on how you prepare it over the grill. We designated our best table chef and had our sever switch out the grill plate after cooking each meat for the best experience. As is with most modern Korean barbecue spots, the grill is built into the table, which not only fires and heats, but sucks up any residual smoke and scent as well.

Our set came with Yangnyeom Galbi, a PRIME Premium Marinated Short Rib that was my favourite. It was fatty and the most flavourful as is.

Yangji was the thinnest cut, AAA Premium Beef Super Pastrami. You have to watch this one on the grill, it cooks up fast for stringy and lean bites.

Samgyeobsal is the Pork Belly, served in a strip for easier grilling, which you then cut down to size with a set of kitchen shears, one of the many tools made available to each table in a caddy. A little much as is, but great over rice.

The barbecue set also comes with two bowls of rice, a citrus marinaded green salad, a side of pickled ginger, and a whole serving of their Soy bean paste stew. Like the spicy stew above, this too drank hearty with the beef bone making for a full bodied soup. It had a pleasant salty, back of the throat latent burn to it. Delicious.

In closing, this is a great option if looking for an authentic Korean experience in Surrey, vetted and approved by Tourism Surrey.

Woo Korean BBQ House
110-16070 24 Ave, Surrey, BC V3Z 0R5
(778) 537-0707

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