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.