Cho Sun Korean BBQ on Kingsway, Vancouver

One of the thing I had to accept being a Project Manager is that I don’t have a permanent team to work with. Members are assigned to my project and once the project is delivered, the members are re-assigned elsewhere. The project I am working on right now is just a few short months away. It is at this time that the team begins to say our Thank You’s … by eating out.

It was Neelam we all gave a Thank You to. It is sort of customary that the Goodbye Girl gets to choose the type of food and gets to choose whoever she wants to invite (outside of the team).

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Neelam said she wanted Korean BBQ and left the choice of the restaurant to me. Within walking distance from the office is Jang Mo Jib which I ruled out immediately. There is also Johnston House but to my surprised they were closed for business already. I remember eating at Johnston House before and absolutely love the mansion that they were in.

We ended up in Cho Sun Korean BBQ which located on Kingsway just west of Boundary. When I called for a reservation for 14 people, I had a tough time because they don’t speak much English. Which I think was great because this means that it is an authentic Korean place.

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We were given a booth with long tables with just enough space for the 14 of us. It was as authentic as it could get. The benches were lined with thin pillows. If you want to squeeze in more people, no problem … just grab one of the pillows from the common area. Red is for the girls and blue is for the boys (I’m kidding).

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We were there at noon but the place was freezing cold like there is no heating at all. They have these portable heaters placed all over the restaurant which I thought that it was kind of dangerous leaving it standing on the walkway.

I was just thinking … is there a reason why they have portable heaters? Could it be because that Korean BBQ places have so many stove burning that they don’t turn on the internal heating as the place will warm up from it?

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As we got seated, the girls scampered off and came back with these. Nice! The bottle says it is Jimro Chamjin Isulro Soju. It had 20% alcohol content. They also bought a can called Milkis to water it down. Milkis looks a lot like Pocari Sweat — funny names!

I noticed that after the drinks, the party got a lot more louder.

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Bonnie was the resident expert on Korean food. We gladly left all the ordering to her. She was kind of exasperated ordering because the Korean wait staff did not understand the order. They eventually got someone who speaks English to help straighten out the order. You will probably understand … with such a big group of people with some being vegetarian and all, we need to make sure that everyone had their fair share.

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Since I did not order the food, I have no idea what these all are. The main dish is the Korean BBQ. There are a number BBQ choices to it with some of them pretty expensive ($27-$37).

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Here is another type … ribs.

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Tyler painstakingly took the time to snip off the bones. Although they provided the scissors, I am not sure if it is meant to snip off the bones or if it’s just to separate the ribs into serving sizes. What is the right way? Anyone?

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Being amateurs, we set the stove real high with flames leaping out. High heat means faster cooking right? They came by and politely told us that we should turn the flame down — we were smoking up our section like crazy.

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They did come up and replaced all the gunked up grill after a while with a brand new shiny one.

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The Pancake came in two types … vegetable ($9) and seafood ($11). This is considered as an appetizer but because the size (like a medium pizza) this could well make a meal.

I am going to give up trying to describe the remaining dishes we ordered. So, I’ll leave it to the end of this blog with just picture for you to drool over.

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The bill came to $348.95 before tips. It worked out to be about $20 per person with about 50 cents change after tips. We decided that everyone pays $20 with any remaining money going to buy 6/49.

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Cho Sun has lunch specials at $10. Personally, I do find that eating at Korean restaurants is more expensive than most other type of Asian restaurants. Does anyone know the reason why it is so … or is my perception wrong?

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Chosun B.B.Q. Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  1. Yvettew

    The scissors are used to cut the meat into appropriate serving sizes – not for the bones. The bones are the best part when grilled because all the flavor is in there! How could you even think about cutting them off?!?!

    The dish in the stone pot with the raw egg is a traditional korean rice dish called bim bim bap. Yummy.

    I agree that Korean restaurants tend to be more expensive than other asian restaurants, but you have to understand that they use quality meat here for barbecue like short ribs or serve raw beef in dishes like bim bim bap, so their quality of meat must be at the top. I’m not Korean – just really like Korean food. How did you shirts smell after the barbecue? haha, it’ll stay smoky for a day or two.

  2. Angie

    Okay, the picture after the Lunch Special looks like Nakji Bokelum (A spicy octopus dish), followed by the Bibimbap (one-pot meal) and Chapchae (dish made with chewy transparent noodles). And, I agree with Yvettew regards to the quality of the meat used by the Korean restaurants.. better and of course more expensive. I suppose at $20 per head, that sounds pretty good to me.

  3. raidar

    Japchae and Bibimbap are two of my favorite orders! Delicious looking lunch.

  4. KimHo

    Given this set of pictures, I can’t help myself ask… Do your co-workers know about why you take the pictures? Or they know it will appear here?

    As for Korean food, just as you mentioned, it is not that different; however, what I have noticed is that, for some dishes, it is better to go as a group rather than on your own. For example, the tofu hot pots and bibimbap are fine for one person. However, it is impossible to have galbi for one.

  5. Dora

    yes I agree with you that it is slightly more expensive, BUT similarly, I agree with Yvettew that the quality of meat is much better. Moreover, you sort of get your money worth by having those little side dishes/ condiments 🙂 (not sure what those little dishes / appetizers are called but you know what I mean). In most korean restaurants that I’ve been to, these little dishes are bottomless! You can ask them to refill it!

  6. Phil

    As a foodie, I find it hard to get into Korean food, no matter how hard I try, I find everything somewhat taste the same or sometimes it reminds me of either Chinese food or Japanese food, the only thing I find is truly Korean is kim chi but maybe I don’t know what I am talking about but I have yet to be impressed by Korean food like I do with other ethinic cuisine.

    1. Phil

      Ben, I am having problems posting new comments on your blog, hmm, am I barred LOL! I would type an entire paragraph and click submit then it disappears.

      1. Ben

        Hi Phil:
        No, no one had been barred at all. You got this comment through. Are you saying that you made an earlier comment and it went to neverland? What did you see after you clicked on “submit”? Also, did you “reply” to an existing comment or use the big box to start a new comment thread? I am not sure what is causing it as I personally had not encountered it before. However, I had feedback that this had happened before to others. it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. I need to be able to replicate this before I know what to do about it. I am concerned.
        Ben

        1. Phil

          Ben, I am able to reply to an existing comment like this one but recently I had started a new comment thread for the Thai entry as well as Izakaya entries but after I click ‘submit’, it ‘appears’ to have been submitted but it never actually did. I would try again and the same thing happens?! Maybe it was just a fluke. I will try again today though.

          1. Phil

            One more thing, sometimes you page loads on but there’s this ‘error on page’ on the bottom left and when I click on it for details it says:

            Webpage error details

            User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; InfoPath.2; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30618)
            Timestamp: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 14:21:24 UTC

            Message: ‘undefined’ is null or not an object
            Line: 3
            Char: 232
            Code: 0
            URI: http://www.linkwithin.com/widget.js?rand=0.3231093557049509

            I don’t know what the means really, I was using IE8 browser by the way when this error occurred.

          2. Ben

            Hey Phil:
            I really appreciate your help in helping me check on this. I have a key info now (you’re using IE8). I rarely use IE and have always used Firefox or Google Chrome. I know of a few template/formatting issues using IE but it was due to the way IE chooses t render the HTML. Anyway, I will use IE going forward and hopefully will be able to replicate this matter on my side.
            As for the “linkwithin.com” errors, they came from the “You might like these stories:” with three pix at the bottom of each post. I just installed that a few days ago. I’ll also check this out with IE this weekend.
            Ben

  7. Jessica

    What do you think of Jang Mo Jib or Raku (I think its on Kingsway east of Royal Oak?).

    I do think that Korean food is more expensive than other Asian cuisines, except maybe quality Japanese – I do understand that there are more quality meats used for bbq, but how about the other dishes? It just doesn’t make sense sometimes. 😮

    1. Ben

      Hi Jessica:
      I had never been to Raku or the Jang Mo Jib on Kingsway before. I had been to the JMJ in Richmond. That was three years ago (!). Back then JMJ was really good but I have heard since then the quality had gotten worse and not like what it was before.
      Ben

  8. Bunny

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM that looks soooo good! I love korean bbq too, but I agree, it is quite an expensive meal. Definitely only for special occasions. Or, you should find ones that are buffets so you can eat your fair share of money (hahaha). And yep, the scissors are for cutting the meat into serving sizes. Sometimes you cut it after you cook it. But I agree with the first post that you never cut the bones off, because that is definitely where alot of the flavor is!

  9. Adelaide

    I loooooooooove Korean BBQ too, but the problem is that you have to make sure you have nowhere else to go afterwards….because you stink of meat

    I love that rice dish with that egg on top! I only discovered it when eating at the Korean Restaurant at Landsdowne Mall. GREAT prices there! And they also have All-You-Can-Eat Korean there. Mind you, I went there a month ago, and I think I’m good for another 3. It was overload of my meat intake. 😉

  10. KimHo

    Ben, I am having the same problem as Phil but I have the odd suspicion it might be something on my side (read: firewall settings)…

    Out of curiosity, wasn’t Han Woo Ri open for lunch? I am will be having a dinner in the next couple of days and that place was selected because my (Korean) friend considers it the best Korean restaurant in town.

  11. Tammy

    The reason why Korean food tends to be more expensive than other Asian restaurants is because Korean food takes up more time for the prepartion of the dish. The hours put into preparing each dish tends to be longer and perhaps the labour spent also factors into the price of each dish.

    1. Doug

      Okay that is bull$#@%! Everything takes time and labor and it doesn’t matter what cuisine. You and I know or any one know how to cooks, know that is the most BULL$#$# excuse in the world. The better excuse is the quality of the meat or something the Chef did to make it more special etc…

    2. I tend to think of the higher price as more factoring in or including the price of the banchan into the price of the entree. After all, free doesn’t really mean free.

  12. LotusRapper

    What is Doug talking about ?!?!?

    1. Doug

      My post was suppose to be bottom of Tammy post. I was saying that Tammy is wrong to justify why Korean cuisine is more expensive then any other Asian cuisine. Her reason is that the preparation takes very long to prepare, thus, must be more expensive.

      I can tell you that other Asian cuisine takes as much preparation as Korean cuisine, and I bet you Korean restaurant or any restaurant, just hire less kitchen staff for whatever short cut reason, that is why they over charge there food.

      P.S. Half of the Korean menu is expensive raw meat, that is not hard to prepare.

  13. Andrea

    Korean food is more expensive because it is meant to be shared. So, if a dish costs $9.95, it’s actually only $5 a person. Koreans hardly ever eat alone, it’s part of culture that is reflected in their food. It’s not because it takes longer to prepare, some dishes are actually quite simple. I cook Korean food 2-3 times a week and find it a breeze to prepare. I would chalk it up entirely to the fact that all dishes on the menu are meant to be shared, therefore the price is always for 2 (yet some Canadian appetites might be slightly bigger than what is served, however that is what the banchan [side dishes] are for, to supplement the meal).

    If you’re interested in cooking Korean, check out http://www.maangchi.com it’s the best Korean cooking website in English on the Internet. I recommend it.

  14. Abi

    wooww i live 2 minutes away from this place and i pass it everyday… i loooove korean food but never went here!!
    guess where i will be eating lunch on saturday? ;D

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