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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Eating Korean Food in Coquitlam

Remember how at times I felt like I was still in South Korea back home? Well today you're going to see us eating our first Korean meal back home--something we decided to do on the weekend! Yes, that's right, we had some Korean food--by choice! ;)

Vancouver is home to a large Chinese minority, with the majority of them congregating in Richmond (I like to call it Ricemond or Hongcouver). Well, there is also a well-sized Korean population that has populated Coquitlam, which is 45 minutes east of Vancouver. Here, as you will soon see we were dazzled by signs in both Korean and English. It was pretty neat being able to read some of the signage!

The intersection of Lougheed Highway and North Road is where all the action is. Running along North Road you can see the Korean-inspired lamp post banners.

Here we have a small shopping village, Korean inspired of course! Let's see if we can decipher the text here...the 3rd banner down says "meg she gen chee ken; hop-uh" which is "Mexican Chicken - HOF"--very interesting (Korean fried chicken is awesome)! What else...below is the norebang! Need glasses? Look no further than Namdaemoon Optical! Want some naengmyeon? Got it! There are also a couple big supermarkets which we didn't get a chance to visit. There is an H-Mart located here for all you fans out there!

Rogers Wireless--in Korean! It's the perfect place to get your "hand-pone!"

Wait a minute...this sounds familiar. Is this the same California Sushi in Seoul??

So we met up with my sister's boyfriend who works in Coquitlam for a quick afternoon snack (of course you knew that food would be part of this post, right?). We went to this restaurant and saw their "Business Hours" on their door. I had to pause for a moment to figure out the hours, because it said they were open from 11AM-12PM on some days! Soo, they're only open for one hour during the week? Now that's what I call flexible hours! This sign reminded me of the store hours sign inside Homever--which also had the hours written down incorrectly. Maybe this is a Korean thing...

We enter the restaurant and we are greeted by the Korean waitress/host. After being seated, I drop an 안녕하세요 bomb on them. They immediately think we are Korean! haha. I tell them that I am Chinese but she continues to speak Korean to me anyways! It's like I was back in Korea. Then she dropped a "handsome" bomb on me (which was the case all the time in Korea--what can I say, haha). Okay, awkward moment, but we move on and check out their menus.

So we are looking at their extensive Korean/Japanese menu. Boy, they sure do have a lot of items here--at outrageous prices compared to Korea! Naengmyeon and LA galbi for $9.95?! Dude, I was eating refillable naengmyeon for 2900 won ($3US) in Seoul! I ordered the naengmyeon, as I wanted to compare the flavors to the noodles in Korea.

...and this is what arrived! Yes, this is not naengmyeon. Shortly after my order the chef comes out (I assumed it was the chef--he had flour all over his face like that commercial where the dad sprinkles flour on his face after making a batch of Rice Krispies squares for his kids) and explains that it's not naengmyeon season. Would I like to try the Japanese equivalent instead? Me: "Uhh....sure." So here we have it...some soba noodles on ice. They were okay, but I was still pretty hungry after this!

Devante ordered some "shun doh boo" or a soft tofu soup in a kimchi broth. It actually tasted really good, but was a bit on the salty side. Of course, when she ordered the jiggae, our waitress immediately responded in broken English, "good choice, very health"...haha...the magical wonders of kimchi baby!

What did my sister and her significant other order? None other than the Korean-Chinese noodle dish, the dish eaten on Black Day, JA JANG MYEON! Noodles with black bean sauce and bits of "fork" (pork). This one came topped off with a fried egg and wasn't too bad.

Hey, every meal in Korea had side dishes. Where the heck are ours?! We see the table beside us get their sides but we did not get ours. So instead of pressing this button below (which you are all familiar with) which sends out a ringing bell tone, I call out a more appropriate "cho-gee-yo!" and wave my hand. haha, I am sure they got a kick out of that.

She arrives and I say that we did not get side dishes. So she leaves and comes back with literally empty side dishes! Then she clued in and quickly ran back with our sides. Her excuse for forgetting them in the first place was because I was "so handsome"...haha...I should try that line sometime.

Check out this video of the restaurant...I should've ordered the "hway-dop-bab" like the table ahead of us--darn it!


Curioso.Net said...

nice blog u hav
I´m a curious, and I love to discover
new cultures.
hav a nic week

UofT 1st Year said...

Ahhhhhh the good old no rae bang. I miss going there with my friends. Would you like a recording of us shouting our lungs off? haha

And soon doo boo jigae! My favourite and I haven't had it for a while. My rents always give routine food every week =(

Thanks for sharing the pics!
It seems that BC is still warm and sunny, while I am freezing my space boots off in Toronto.

Natasha said...

haha that restaurant was the first place I had Korean food when I got into the food. I actually just went again about a month ago. The owner is extremely friendly!
hahaha I do remember the servers always walking a few steps ahead and then turning back, remembering what they had to do. That's pretty funny they do that a lot. Anyway, they have a pretty good bbq, but if you want the best, try Dae Bak Bon Ga on Robson next to Fogg 'n' Suds on the 2nd floor. I've tried a lot of restaurants (20+) here and that one is my fav. ;)

Anonymous said...

but... but winter is the REAL season you're supposed to eat naeng-myun! It goes with the whole "Battle heat with heat, cold with cold" food philosophy.

Gary said...

curious: Thanks for visiting!

yisei: Sure, send the norebang vid! lol. It's actually getting colder here, but probably not Toronto cold. ;)

n: Cool, I'm going to have to give those restaurants a try. Next time I'm going to visit the supermarkets and pick up...what the heck would I pick up!? Gochujang? haha

ej: You're telling me. I could eat naengmyeon all year round...I was pretty disappointed!

Hannastromi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJS & RCS said...

Gochujang <<<< you can get at H-mart!
i think T&t have it too but more pricey and less choices.. than Hmart!

Leo said...

The North Road/Lougheed area has long been the new Korea Town. I've only gone for Korean BBQ but, like pho, I always come out smelling like greasy beef.

Anne-Marie Lafortune said...

ooh I miss Seoul and all that food! Jeju is nice but it's nothing like the metropolis in terms of nightlife, quantity of restaurants and convenience! Enjoy! Like reading ur blog btw

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