Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Korean BBQ Restaurant

Korean BBQ Restaurant
265 King St. East Unit#204
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 4N4

There are several ways to chase away the cold. Having spicy, steamy hot Korean food is definitely one of them. Here’s one great example. When we dined at the Korean BBQ Restaurant several days ago, our table was close to the front door. Constantly sipping on hot tea didn't seem to help. One of our friend couldn't stand the draft generated every time the door was open; he had to push, force the door to close ASAP. After few rounds of steamy hot spicy food, the draft became "soothing breeze".

When I first read about this restaurant from kw eats, I was wondering how come people kept calling this restaurant "Korean BBQ Restaurant". Doesn't it have a "real" name? Of course I realize that it IS called Korean BBQ Restaurant.

There were 8 of us. We ordered two combos: combo B for 3 (4 items) and combo E for 6 (7 items). In other words, we sampled 11 courses out of the 22 choices. For people with "ordinary" appetite, their portion should be plenty, especially if you tend to consume lots of rice.

I don't have Korean food often and not really keen on spicy food. So I shouldn't comment on whether or not their food is authentic. Food in that restaurant is spicy but not overly spicy. The pork bone soup is spicy but extremely flavorful. It is best served with a gigantic bowlful of rice. The kimchi fried rice is very good, too. We should have ordered more.

My favorite part of that restaurant is actually their side dishes. It is free, unlimited supply AND delicious! The sweetened potato dish is sweet but with a hint of saltiness. It was difficult for me to stop munching on them. The tofu is deep-fried with soy-based dressing.

Korean BBQ Restaurant seems to be a family-operated restaurant. The owner is quiet but polite. My only complaint would be its location. If you want to look for it by its address, you'll be doomed to miss. Korean BBQ Restaurant is located on the second floor of a small plaza/building. If you drive by, the most obvious sign of that building would be "Hong Kong Fashion". When driving down along King St. from Waterloo to Kitchener, you should start to look for parking after you pass Queen St.. The restaurant will be on your right hand side and right across the street from New City Chinese grocery store. If you see Kitchener Farmers' Market or hit Cedar St., you've missed the restaurant.


twg said...

This has to be one of my favorite places in town for a meal.

The place is rather small, family-run, they used to own the Miju Korean restaurant in Waterloo with almost the same menu before they sold that restaurant (Miju has since been going downhill) and moved to Kitchener.

The food is very authentic, as confirmed by one of my ex-Korean-co-workers.

Most of the items are spicy, but not overly spicy. If you can put up with medium/hot wings at most restaurants in town, you shouldn't have a problem here.

I tend to like my food very strong in flavour and this place doesn't disappoint. Even more remarkable is that they advertise no msg in any of the foods, I have a hard time believing that since it's so flavourful. My gf refuses to belief that there actually isn't any MSG.

I also like the side dishes, there are usually 3-4 dishes, but each time I go, I always find yet another variety. The ones I can remember are:

kimchii - pickled cabbage served cold, the way they make it, the spiciness balances the cold and sour taste of the cabbage very well, without too much of the foul smell that some kimchii gives off

hot tofu with soy sauce - these are small chunks of tofu that has been lightly pan fried so that the outside has a bit of a crispness but the inside is still soft. It's served with a lightly sweetened soy sauce and green onions

bean sprouts - these have been boiled and seasoned, they are still crispy yet cooked, with hints of sesame oil and saltiness

pickled roots - I'm not sure entirely what this is from, but it appears to be some kind of root, it has the consistency of pickled radish or turnip, and has been pickled and tastes both salty and sweet at the same time

sweet potato - as mentioned by OP, cooked so the outside is a bit hard, and salty, and as you bite in, it's soft and sweet inside

pickled chinese white radish - these are in small bite size chunks, it actually tastes like normal radish except it's much bigger and it's more crispy (has more water). It's been pickled a la kimchii style, so tastes similar, the main difference is the radish has a hint of natural sweetness and not as soft as traditional cabbage kimchii

Lastly, as probably mentioned by OP, the side dishes although they come out in small plates, they will refill them upon request. :D

mila said...

I have been there once, and probably will never go again.

Me and my friend ordered the 3 dish combo.

1) california roll
2) chapchae
3) seafood pancake
4) kimchi stew

it's one of the worst meals I have ever had!!!

the california roll is just cucumber and avocado, I know korean california roll is different from japanese and it is just vegetarian, however, I have had much better korean california roll somewhere else! it has a few other types of veggies.

the chapchae is very greasy and very little meat/veggies go with it. and it's very watery as well.

the seafood pancake is a mess. the pancake was made up with unbeated egg (u can see the egg white and egg yolk separately). seafood? maybe 1-2 little piece of octopus and most is green onion.

I didn't try the kimchi stew, but my friend said those in korean town (bloor/christie) is much better.

the best tasting dish was the appetizers.

won't go again.

Anonymous said...

I come here at least once a week with my coworkers. These people used to be the previous owners of Miju (up in Waterloo), except they improved their menu and taste.

All the hot-plate dishes are great! And the pig-bone soup as well. It takes a bit of work to have that soup, but it's *really* worth it!

Will Kim said...

Oops.. I didn't mean to log that last comment anonymously. :-/