Hanwoori Korean on Imperial and Kingsway, Burnaby

Karl, fmed and I met up for lunch a few weeks ago. It was a rather impromptu call for lunch the day before. Karl suggested Hanwoori which I had wanted to try for a long while already. I always remembered Hanwoori as the one who was awarded the Best Korean Restaurant by the Vancouver Magazine in 2009. Despite me working so close by, I had never visited that restaurant. So, when Karl said let’s go, I said let’s go.


Hanwoori is located at around the intersection of Kingsway with Imperial. It is not exactly at the intersection but you can see the green roofed restaurant from there.

The restaurant is not really that big. From the outside it looked larger than it is. But the place is noticeably neat and organized. Service was really personal which I like a lot. I can sense it the moment I was there. They are very polite and visibly helpful.

Come to think of it, I had never been to a Korean restaurant that has bad service. All the Korean restaurants that I can think of have exceptional service.


I did not even pay much attention to the menu. I just left the choices to the fmed and Karl.

At a glance, it is obvious that the prices are on the high side. Korean meals are generally more expensive than Chinese meals.


The banchans were pretty standard. My favourite is sweet potatoes.

Come to think of it, almost all the banchans I have come across are the same. I am sure that there are a lot more types of banchans. Does anyone know of any Korean restaurants where the banchans are different from those above … like, which restaurant has the best banchans?


One look at the kimchi above and you will agree that Hanwoori’s banchans is of top quality. They were neatly cut and stacked in layers. So I can be sure that these are not recycled ones.

I know I am touching a raw nerve here saying this. Every time I eat banchans, I keep on thinking of the news that many of the restaurants in Korea recycles unfinished banchans and serve it to the other customers. I am sure that happens. So, I am really careful about banchans. The ones in Hanwoori is definitely not like that.


The first dish was amazing. It was beautifully arranged. So beautiful that it took a moment for us to decide how to start.

One thing though … it was also expensive. This platter is $30.


So what do you think? Doesn’t it look beautiful and delicious?

I was looking at it for the longest time until I asked our waitress for help. I want to know how she would do it.


I actually expect the waitress to just tell me how. Instead, she actually patiently assembled one for me. She did it so nimbly and gracefully. That was what I felt.


Despite the high price of this platter, the beef was amazing. I did a mental calculation and estimated that the piece above is about $2.


The Deep Fried Dumpling is $9.


The Oxtail Soup is $12. It is a type of soup called gomtang. This is a common soup prepared by the working class where they use cow bones and other parts to boil over a long time to create a rich soup.

The soup actually tasted quite bland.


We had to put in quite a lot of salt to flavour the soup up.


It was kind of expensive for lunch. I am not complaining, it is just an observation. The food is good, particularly the smoked raw beef.

Hanwoori Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  1. fmed

    That beef dish was just great. It was my first time having it. On Banchan – I’ve had some nice, varied banchan at Insadong.

  2. Doug

    $30.00 bucks!!! Holy moly that is quite expensive for raw meat and self cooking dish! The quality of the meat does look like regular beef and they just arrange it; simply with no technique involved. Someone please tell me where the reason for placing such a high price for this dish! Even live whole fish cost less then that!

  3. Sherman

    Yah, I agree with you on the pricing, especially here. Come to think of it, I called you from Hanwoori when I was there! I too had the oxtail soup and yes, I need a lot of salt…

  4. fmed

    It was a large plate of meat that could feed maybe two people…so I don’t think it is too unreasonable. The meat was smoked – so there was a some preparation involved – it wasn’t simply a carpaccio.

    Gomtang is always unsalted whenever I have had it. It traditionally comes with a dishes of green onions and salt on the side – as and acknowledgment that you need to salt it. Many people put kimchi or kimchi juice in it (as well as salt) to season it.

  5. Janice

    huh… hanwoori was the name of the dorm I stayed in when I studied in Korea. Neato 🙂

  6. souggy

    As for the smoked beef, it seems reasonable for two or three people since you guys got quite a bit on the plate there. A whole live fish for less? Might as well stay home and cook your own meal and never go out– eating at home is usually cheaper than eating out.

    Oxtail soup– what fmed said.

  7. souggy

    I forgot to add:

    The beef dish looks sooo good.

  8. Novi

    We stumbled upon Hanwoori when the car broke down near Metrotown, we tried their dinner for 2 that comes with various meats to bbq, rice, beef bone soup, fried chicken and some Korean dessert for about $30. The last time we visited them was a couple of years ago, the price of dinner for 2 has gone up to about $40 and the quantity is less but the service is just as personable. There is the usual 15 minute waiting time around dinner time, the place is popular with Koreans, parking space is a premium.

    About the banchans, I’ve had them all except for broccoli. At Ma Dang Goul 847 Denman St Vancouver, they call the banchans kimchi which is usually seaweed, soya bean sprouts, kimchi, sometimes you get tofu in a spicy sauce, sometimes potatoes. We normally have their seafood pancake, bbq chicken and bi bim bap. The place seems to be popular with Korean students, pork belly is a popular item!

  9. Jonathan

    Thanks for the helpful review (and for giving me a quick glimpse of the menu). I am going with some friends tonight for dinner and stumbled to your website when googling “Hanwoori Kingsway”.

    Going to add you to my favourites list!

  10. foodlover125

    I went to Hanwoori and I do agree that their price is a bit more expensive than what I am used to eating in a Korean restaurant but the food is good and the service friendly. One of the dishes to try for summer would be the cold buckwheat noodle soup with pickled radish and slices of beef, very useful to cool down your palate when eating spicy food.

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