Came here with friends on a Saturday evening around 6:30. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that busy and we got our own little room.
The menu looked pretty good. There was a lot of variety both in terms of dishes in general but also in terms of the meat for BBQ.
After some deliberation, we decided to go with the premium beef combo for the six of us. We also added pork jowl and seafood pancake.
The banchan were pretty standard. I did notice that the banchan weren’t fridge temperatures, which was a good thing. I also liked the cabbage salad which came with a nice light vinagrette.
According to the menu, the premium beef combo ($109.95) came with boneless Kalbi short rib, sesame oil marinated boneless Kalbi short rib, premium ribeye, and marinated Kalbi short rib. Basically, a variety of Kalbi short rib and some ribeye…
First we had the ribeye. It was a bit tough, and it didn’t look that fresh, but overall it was decent. A lot of the meats did not have much seasoning if at any, and needed a lot of salt or sauce (which were given to us individually).
The marbling on the Kalbi beef looked great and reminded me of the Kobe beef I had in Japan. It was pretty juicy as well.
The pork jowl was a bit disappointing for me, but it may have been that I didn’t have enough experience having pork jowl and didn’t know what to expect. The texture was a bit tough, almost cartilage-like.
By far the best part of the meal for me was the marinated Kalbi short ribs — the ones with the lines cut into them. It was seasoned with the marinade, and quite soft and flavourful. I even preferred it to the more marbled pieces of meat that we had earlier.
The seafood pancake was also quite good. It was nice and crisp on the outside and was cooked just right.
The service was substandard for a restaurant in Vancouver, but from my experience pretty standard for a Korean restaurant in Vancouver. At least once the wait staff wouldn’t respond to the bell, despite it being not that busy. We also found it difficult to get banchan refills (we asked for banchan refills but they only gave us potato) and we didn’t get any menus when we sat down.
Sometimes, the staff would come and help us put the meat onto the grill, but they wouldn’t help us flip it, and other times they wouldn’t put it on at all.. it seemed kind of weird.
Overall, I thought the food was good, but the lack of seasoning on a lot of these meats (the ribeye and pork jowl in particular) kind of took away from them, which was disappointing. I was expecting more juiciness after seeing the marbling on the short ribs, but I was probably spoiled from Japan. I would also add that I didn’t really like the grill that we had. It didn’t allow flames to come up and give the meat a more charred flavour, which is really what BBQ is about. The meal came to $25 per person which was okay.
If I were to come back, I would probably just order the marinated Kalbi short rib separately as well as try the beef tongue and maybe the pork belly.
Would return: possibly