Happy December! I can’t believe Christmas is only 24 days away! I’m trying to get Christmas-y now and I just decorated my staircase with purple and gold foil garland.
Long post ahead!
For my friend’s birthday, we decided to celebrate at Sura Korean restaurant in Richmond. It’s located where Tropika used to be inside Aberdeen mall. I’ve never been to their location in downtown before but the reviews for the Richmond location were really bad… so I was just crossing my fingers and hoping they were wrong.
The servers will bring your food over on a small cart with all the food on it instead of carrying each plate. For the Bulgogi Bibimbap, they mixed it tableside and they ask you how much hot sauce you want mixed in too. Since we had a lot of people sharing I didn’t end up trying a lot of this dish but it tasted standard.
My friend and I were really not sure what to eat so we decided that the best strategy would be to walk up and down Alexandra Road until we saw something we liked. This actually worked for us haha We found Hanok Korean Restaurant and for some reason I’ve never noticed it before! It’s in the small plaza beside Jang Mo Jib. I also noticed that Kam Do Restaurant has been replaced by a different restaurant. Perhaps they moved?
We were interested in trying this Korean restaurant because we had previously been to Haroo and we really liked it so we wanted to compare and try other Korean options in Richmond. The interior was fairly large and spacious with a lot of wood motifs.
We went for lunch and they had lunch specials for $8.99 and you also get to choose a side dish too! It’s a steal to me.
I of course I had to order the Bibimbap. Anything else just didn’t seem right to me. This bibimbap had a nice assortment of veggies, egg and well, more veggies! Not that I minded! I did find this dish lacking in flavour, I ended up using the hot sauce which actually wasn’t that hot either so it wasn’t that helpful. Overall it was still not bad but could be better. If you like your egg more runny then you might not be as happy though. However, I really don’t have a huge egg preference so it was fine to me. In fact, I mostly eat them scrambled in case you wanted to know.
My friend had the Pork Back Bone Soupand it also came with a bowl of rice. I didn’t try much of this but there were no complaints.
We also had some kimchi, seaweed and potatoes as our side dishes. The kimchi felt like it needed to be marinated longer, the seaweed was ok and the potatoes weren’t too special. The Spicy Rice Cakes was one of our side dishes and it was not that spicy and a little too soft for me and not chewy enough.
The other side dish we had was the Korean pancake but I think it was called something else. This was alright too.
Okay nothing was particularly outstanding here it just seemed pretty mediocre to me. Keep in mind that it was $8.99 though. Or it could’ve also been the items we ordered weren’t that special. The verdict is that Haroo is much better but I wouldn’t mind coming back and giving them another try. The lunch specials are a good deal too.
Okay I haven’t really ventured into Korean food much, mostly because all the Korean restaurants are either downtown or in Coquitlam/Burnaby. However, I did hear about Haroo through the food blogger grapevine and it was conveniently located on Alexandra road next to Deer Garden. It is fairly small inside and reservations are recommended. I had a small group for my birthday so I thought this place would be perfect.
We started off our meal with the usual side dishes (sorry no pictures) as well as a salad and Korean style congee. On the menu it says that you can only get one refill of the side dishes. We were too full from our meal though so we never refilled it anyway.
Most dishes are meant to be shared and cost around $18 but they’re quite big too. The first thing I had my eye on was the seafood pancake of course.
I didn’t think it would be THIS big though! There was a lot of seafood incorporated into the pancake and the pancake was quite thick too. I like the crispy batter but I’m not sure if some people will say if it’s too thick or not. I really enjoyed this though! It didn’t feel too greasy either. The pancake was served on a rack on top of the pan, perhaps so that the bottom will not become too greasy? I think this is one of the best seafood pancakes I’ve ever had though!
Of course we can’t get Korean food without ordering Bibimbap! We chose the Bulgogi Bibimbap I believe. Served with plenty of veggies, this was a very satisfying dish. The bulgogi was lightly marinated and not overcooked or dry. It also came with spicy sauce on the side in case you needed that extra kick to your meal. This is more like a personal sized bowl but of coures you can share as well. You really can’t go wrong with bibimbap! =D
Next we had the Spicy Pork which also came with a fair amount of veggies and topped with some radish I believe. I’m not sure since I didn’t really eat that part hehe. I loved this dish too it was fairly spicy and the pork was very tender. This dish came with a bowl of rice which would be great for soaking up the spicy sauce! Our food came quite quickly after we ordered and we were really impressed with their speediness.
Finally we had another one of my favourites, Japchaeor Korean Glass Noodles! Yes okay almost everything we ate was my favourite lol ^__^ Don’t worry everyone else liked the food too! The noodles were soft and sort of like vermicelli but thicker and bouncier? I just loveee these noodles! As with the other dishes, there were also veggies mixed in as well. Yay for veggies!
We had also brought a cake and we asked them to put it in the fridge for us but we were informed that there would be a 15% charge for cutlery for the cake. O__O But we didn’t have a choice since we already brought the cake right so we obliged. I assumed they would cut the cake for us too but we were only provided with the necessary cutlery so I’m not sure why they need to charge us an extra 15% for that! There is also a limit of one credit card transaction per table as well and a minimum charge of something like $10 per person. However, many dishes are ~$18 so that shouldn’t be a problem even if you were sharing.
Besides that, we were all very satisfied with our meal here. The dishes are great for sharing as well and if you’re not too hungry you can always get the personal sized bibimbap or tofu soup dishes. This is my new go-to Korean restaurant for sure (so far at least!) Also there aren’t many in Richmond so it’s a good convenient place to check out.
My friends and I were trying to organize a Christmas dinner and we somehow ended up choosing Kyung Bok Palace for all you can eat Korean BBQ. Not my number 1 location for dinner but I went along with it. The restaurant is quite big and we had a reservation for 14 people originally but we ended up having to have two tables. We were hoping to have one big round one instead but that didn’t seem to be an option. For all you can eat there are two options, either the Lite menu or the Deluxe menu. Since the Deluxe menu just included some sushi roll options, we went for the Lite menu which was also $4 cheaper. And we all know that the sushi would be substandard anyway. With all the amazing sushi options in Vancouver, it’s probably not worth it.
Side dishes. I think the pickled radishes could have been more… pickled. They didn’t really have much flavour. Same with the bean sprouts.
Spicy rice cakes. I don’t have much experience with these but the spicy sauce was sorta generic? I don’t know what I was expecting… The rice cakes themselves were quite chewy which I liked.
Pork bone soup. This actually tasted quite good, it was mildly spicy but salty enough. There was actually really soft meat falling off the bone. There was also japchae (glass noodles) but I forgot to take a picture.
The meat! Our favourite was the marinated tender beef. It was definitely very tender. The meat selection was limited to pork shoulder butt, fresh pork belly, marinated chicken, and pork sirloin. All for $17.95.
Ok so it was pretty typical for Korean BBQ aka we just ate a lot of meat.