Sunday, September 20, 2009

Snacks, Soup, and Korean BBQ at Korea Garden – June 1, 2009

A couple of months ago, all five of us (four siblings plus Jimmy) drove out to Korea Garden for dinner.

Banchan (side dishes)

We had a large selection of banchan. From the foreground to the back: seasoned wintermelon, kimchi, and seasoned bean sprouts. I don’t remember much about them, except that the kimchi wasn’t my ideal kimchi (stinky, spicy, and with a hint of ginger). It was still plenty awesome, though!

Banchan (side dishes)

The shredded daikon wasn’t as spicy as it looked, but it still packed quite the pungent flavour. The seaweed salad tasted refreshingly like the sea. I enjoy food when its innate flavours and characteristics are the main focus.

The banchan were free and refillable, of course. We probably ordered four or five refills of kimchi that night.

Fried tofu, pancake, chapchae

I can’t remember if the fried tofu and kimchi pajeon were free. I assume we ordered them, since we didn’t ask for refills. I don’t remember what they tasted like, so no descriptions, sorry.

We ordered one plate of chapchae to share. It was mediocre. Too oily, too peppery, and not enough flavour. If there was less sesame oil, I’m sure the seasonings would have tasted much stronger. The noodles were too firm, so I wasn’t able to slurp down the entire plate.


Everyone had their own bowl of salad, also free. It’s the standard iceberg lettuce salad with a light, citrus dressing.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I didn’t enjoy the sweet and spicy chicken. It was covered in a thick layer of batter, which ended up soggy in all of that cloyingly sweet sauce. I had bites that were chokingly spicy, but most of the others were mild. I definitely avoided those jalapenos! It’s not something I’d order again.

Beef soup

Jimmy ordered the beef bone soup. He found it too bland. I read up about the soup afterwards, and I found out that the soup is usually seasoned at the table by the diner. Oops! I liked the blandness; it felt like I was cleansing my body of the fatty foods we were eating that night. I ate most of this myself, since no one else wanted to drink hot beef water.

Samgyupsal (BBQ pork belly)

The main dish of the night was the samgyupsal (BBQ pork belly). Normally, we would be grilling strips of pork belly ourselves, but that night, the waiter brought out a sizzling plate with the pork belly already cooked. I was disappointed, but at least I didn’t walk out of the restaurant smelling like barbecue.

It was a nice, low-key dinner on a quiet, rainy night. We don’t get to go out like this very often because we live in three different cities.

The bill came to around $70 for five people, which wasn’t bad. Their weekend all-you-can-eat barbecue special is a far better deal, but I would definitely revisit this restaurant for snacks and drinks during the week.

~ * ~

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