3846 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC
BY PAUL REID
For this rousing edition of Eating Out in RC, we travel to Korea in the form of ChoSun Restaurant for a taste of their traditional barbecued meat.
ChoSun, which has been gracing our culinary crown here in Collingwood for seven years now, really is a fun place to go if you haven’t been there. I’m not sure if it was because of the seating set-up, which kind of divides people into private areas of various sizes (for parties and such), or the fun aspect of cooking the meat right there at your table added some sort of social element, or the cheap drink specials, but for a Tuesday night, the place seemed packed and buzzing with a lively, fun atmosphere. Was it due to some extraordinary food being present? We were about to find out.
As quickly as was possible, which was quick, due to excellent service, my trusty accomplice and I went for the BBQ Combination A: chicken, pork, sliced beef and beef short ribs. Designed for two ($32.95). This came with about 10 delectable side dishes. Even though we were Korean BBQ newbies, we were able to turn out some super-delicious barbecued meat, which doesn’t take long when it’s sliced so thinly. You can’t really go too wrong. My trusty accomplice (and sweetie) handled most of the manouvers on this occasion, though I did throw in a few select moves of my own.
So as you can guess, it was all completely out-of-this-world delicious! And yes, it was quite possible that all of the excitement in the air had something to do with the added excitement of barbecuing at the table. It’s pretty cool.
“It is unique to have the barbecue right in the table,” says manager Jin Soo. “Most Korean restaurants will not.”
Apart from your BBQ meat combinations, you are also going to find a whole lot more on the menu. ChoSun is a fusion restaurant, blending Korean with Japanese and Chinese dishes. “The menu, though,” states Jin Soo is 90 percent Korean. Still you will find a full selection of sushi and rolls, sashimi, donburi and teriyaki, noodles and fried rice.
For Korean cuisine, we have soups: spicy kimchi; seafood and tofu; spicy sparerib and cabbage. We have Bibimbob, which is rice mixed with assorted marinated vegetables, meat and hot sauce; casseroles, spicy or mild. There are delicacies, including tofu with pan-fried kimchi, stir-fried small octopus and vegetables, fried prawn with sweet and sour sauce, and Jobchae (vermicelli noodles with beef and vegetables). There are also plenty of items to go on the BBQ, such as Bulgogi (a deliciously marinated sliced beef), beef tongue, prawns, squid and assorted mushrooms.
So it really could be the great food also contributing to the buzz at ChoSun. It definitely would help explain why the place was packed and received an Honourable Mention for Best Korean Restaurant by Vancouver Magazine. Apart from the great service and fun atmosphere, I’m sure Chef Ki John Kim, with 25 years’ experience in Korean cuisine, has something to do with it.
And hey, the Korean and Japanese beer, soju, sake and wine probably don’t hurt matters. Nor the green tea, mango or chocolate ice cream for dessert. Or that from Monday to Friday, from 11:00am to 3:00 pm, the ChoSun Lunch Box is a big hit. Four lunch boxes featuring beef, ribs, braised ribs, chicken *$8.95-10.95) comes with a wide assortment of side dishes.
It may also be the superb hospitality and philosophy of owner Seo Woong Kim. “I love serving food and introducing people to Korean food,” says Seo Woong, which is why I have three restaurants now.” He thanks everyone from the community who has been keeping him busy all these years and invites everyone to come and try his Korean recipes. “We do our best to continue developing new dishes, to keep our customers happy and coming back.”
No matter how many reasons there might be, the buzz and the words are out! And this time they rhyme.
There’s good food and fun, over at ChoSun! So go there to eat, and bon appetit.
* ChoSun is an ancient name from Korea’s last dynasty in Korean history, which reigned for five centuries, from 1392 to October 1897.
© Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News