Man Ri Sung Korean Restaurant on Clarke Road, Coquitlam

Updated: 26th February 2011: This restaurant has closed and will re-open in Richmond in early March 2011.

This is an “Oh Wow! Oh My!” kind of post. You really got to pay attention to this one.

Jenny of My Secret Eden went for the Duck Feast at Man Ri Sung and blogged about it. It was one of those rare finds that you only know about by word of mouth. This is the kind of feast that you need a lot of people to attend. So, we invited Angie of Sea Salt With Food and Whitney and Ken. With the kids there were 10 of us altogether.

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Man Ri Sung is a Korean Restaurant. They are located on 609 Clarke Road in Coquitlam — which was a long drive away for all of us. If not for this duck feast, we would not have taken the trouble to drive that far. Man Ri Sung is a standalone restaurant with its own parking lot. However, parking is limited and some cars need to be double parked.

Forget about ambiance and decor. It is a really simple restaurant. The dining area is large but was very busy when we were there — that was a good sign.

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The above was what we were there for. The duck feast is normally $62 but they had it as a special for $50. Each order is meant for four people but I felt it has more than enough even for five people.

This is quite complicated … let me see if I can explain the Duck Feast. Each order will come with three courses. The main course is the duck. Part of the duck is then used to make either a hotpot or congee as the second course. In the third course, you get to choose from Japchae, steamed gyoza or some dark rice rolls.

It worked out great for the ten of us — we ordered two sets of the Duck Feast.

BTW, you will need to pre-order the Duck Feast as it takes two hours for the chef to prepare it. When I made the reservation, the person on the phone could not understand English and asked if I speak Korean or Mandarin.

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Korean eating utensils are different from Chinese and Japanese. Unless you are Asian, you might not notice the difference. For one, Korean has spoons with long handles (kind of good that they even have a paper wrapper around it) — Chinese normally issues soup spoons while Japanese does not have spoons.

As for chopsticks, Chinese uses longer, thicker chopsticks with blunt ends. Japanese uses shorter chopsticks with sharper ends. Now, Koreans uses chopsticks made of metal and has a flat side … we were not used to handling flatter chopsticks. I think the reason why the chopsticks are metal is because it is more suitable for food like Korean BBQ.

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The Chef personally cart the duck and carve the duck in front of the diners. I think it’s a nice personal touch but wished that he speaks English. During the time we were there, we counted that they sold about 8 ducks in all. Not bad.

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We can see that the ducks were fresh out from the oven … it was steaming when the chef carved it. Actually we were all very hungry because we reminded each other to come hungry. Waiting for him to finish carving was sheer agony for me!

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The duck by the looks of it was great … it looked moist. They are very tender to the bite and most important of all, they were quite fleshy.

However, you do not eat it just like that … there are more, much more!

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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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Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot in Richmond revisited

Updated: 27th June 2012; This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

We had been to Han Ju Tofu Hotpot a few times before. As a matter of fact, we had blogged about it sometime last year (see here). Since we had some photos from our last visit and that we like it so much, we thought … sure … let’s just share it one more time.

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I was confused. I had always thought that Han Ju is a Korean restaurant. Maybe it is because of the name “Han Ju” which for some reason sounded like a Korean name to me. Han Ju is in fact a Taiwanese restaurant.

I know there are two Han Ju’s … one in Richmond and the other in Crystal Mall in Burnaby. We went to the one in Richmond (8328 Capstan Way).

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For those of you not familiar with Chinese food, you would probably not have guessed that the above is actually pig ear. In Taiwanese cuisine, it is common for them to serve appetizers in morsels of marinated food.

The Marinated Pig Ear has an unique combination of gelatinous and crunchy texture.

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Most of Taiwanese appetizers are served cold. (more…)

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Kyung Bok Palace in Richmond

The Caring Place Community Kitchen celebrated the end of another great session by dining out. We would love to take a break from laboring in the kitchen.

Minnie was asked to bring us to a Korean Restaurant. Minnie, thank you for being our Korean culinary guide again. She brought us to Kyung Bok Palace which located at the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond. I love this bright red signage on the dark wall of the restaurant because it stands out very clearly although I cant read the Korean language.

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Kyung Bok Palace also has patio seatings and it’s just great for their all you can eat BBQ which is only served in the summer evenings.

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One good thing about Kyung Bok Palace is there is a sample of the dishes served in the restaurant displayed outside the restaurant. These displays are common in the Asian countries. This is a good way to advertise and bring customers in as many will not dare to try new food which they have no idea how the food looks like. The pricing displays along with the model dishes also helps as one can expect how much the food costs.

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All Korean restaurants serve side dishes like these which include soy bean sprouts, braised potatoes, kimchee and other vegetables. You can ask for refill for these side dishes.

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Insadong, Korean BBQ & Seafood Restaurant at North Road, Coquitlam

The members of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen organised a field trip to a Korean Restaurant and a tour to a Korean Supermarket, led by Minnie and Lan. We went to Insadong, a Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant located at North Road, Coquitlam. We were told that dong means village in Korean language.

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Upon entering the restaurant, there is a glass wall with display of some Korean dolls dressed in traditional Korean clothing; certainly brings out the Korean atmosphere into the restaurant.

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Minnie and Lan, the Koreans among the group placed the order of the food. We ordered three dishes to share. We were served ‘rice tea’ and the rice came in metal tin with cover.

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First came all the side dishes which come free with your order. The best is you can ask for free refill of the side dishes. The side dishes consist of kimchi, braised potatoes, bean sprouts, sliced daikon and spinach.

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The first dish we ordered is Steamed Sliced Pork with Spicy Kimchi and Cabbage Wrap. This dish cost $19.99.

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Han Ju Hot Pot Tofu in Richmond

Updated: 27th June 2012; This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

For this weekend’s lunch, we decided to finally go to the Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot. We have been saying that we want to try it for a long time but never gotten down to it.

There are actually two Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot places. The original one was in Crystal Mall in Burnaby. They have opened in another location in Richmond the past few months. Lorna told us about this new location a few weeks back and so we decided to check that place out.

The Han Ju is located at 8328 Capstan Way in Richmond. They are opened seven days a week, 11am to 9pm. It’s a small restaurant, just slightly larger than the cramped one on Burnaby. There are perhaps about 12 tables in all. It is a very popular place and often you need to wait for a table — we had to wait about 5 minutes.

Although this place is made out to be a Korean style restaurant, I think they are Taiwanese owned judging from the fact that they speak Taiwanese brand of chinese.

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Their signature dish is, of course, the Tofu Hot Pot. We ordered the Korean Style Kimchi Pot and asked that it be made spicy — you get an option on how spicy you want it. This dish is served with rice although the main staple is the green bean noodles in the soup. Other ingredients are Korean Kimchi, Mussels, Squid, Tofu, Sliced Pork and an egg. It’s quite a big serving, more than what I normally take for a meal. The dish is served in a metal hot pot — gotta be careful handling it because it’s very, very hot. This dish costs $5.95.

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Jang Mo Jib (Mother-in-Law) Korean Restaurant

Updated: 3rd Feb 2015; This restaurant is closed.

Someone else’s rice cake looks always bigger
~ Korean Proverb

Helen was telling Suanne about a good Korean restaurant that we absolutely must try. She told us that the restaurant is located behind the Sheraton on Alexandra Road and is called something like Mother-in-law Restaurant. She also told us something interesting about the Korean culture — when the husband visits the in-laws, the husband is normally treated very well … so well that the mother-in-law will prepare a feast for the son-in-law. Hence, the best feast is referred to as the mother-in-law special. (Any Korean able to verify this?)

It was really confusing for us locating this place. It is because the English name of this restaurant we went to is called the Jang Mo Jib Restaurant. We couldn’t read Korean but at least Suanne recognized the small Chinese translation on the signboard.

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Walking in, we were impressed because the decor was very nice with large wall-to-wall pictures of Korean lifestyles. Helen told us the price for each dish were on the average $7-$8 and looking at the settings in the restaurant, it sure looked more expensive. Reading the menu, most of the dishes were indeed as Helen said although there were some dishes that were over $20 per person. We stuck to the cheaper dishes and ordered three different dishes.

Sul Lung Thang (Soup)

The Sul Lung Tang is a soup of cow bones and meat, simmered for several hours in a jumbo Korean iron pot until the soup is milky-white. This dish is served with two smaller bowls of coarse salt and chopped green onions. The coarse salt is used to season the soup depending on how you like it. Without the salt, the soup is quite bland.

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The soup also has some glass noodle and thinly sliced beef. Serving is large and more than enough for an adult. If you have never tried the Sul Lung Thang, you should. This is the restaurant’s signature dish. Price? $7.95.

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Allie’s Bulgogi Lunch

Aim high in your career but stay humble in your heart.
~ Korean Proverb

Allie invited Helen and I to her place for lunch. It’s her way of thanking both of us for helping her move to her new place earlier. Since she is Korean, she showed us how Bulgogi is eaten the right way … using hands. đŸ™‚

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Bulgogi is a popular Korean beef dish, a kind of Korean barbecue. It is made from marinated steak that is cut into thin strips before cooking. Bulgogi is a specialty dish served when guests visit or eaten in restaurants. The dish is also often served to non-Koreans as a first taste of Korean cuisine.

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Instead of barbequing it, Allie pan fried the sliced beef strips. She pan fried it with lots of slices onions, green onions and garlic. The cooking smelt good.

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