When Gastrofork’s very own Domenic decided to come for a mandatory study session, I decided we should try some Korean food. Kyung Bok Palace is located in Lansdowne mall next to Number 9 and right across from the sky train station. It’s quite a spacious restaurant and other than all you can eat after 9 it usually isn’t a problem getting a seat.
We ordered items from the special menu which allows us to pick any 5 items for $20, (you can add additional items for $5).
At almost all Korean restaurants, there are usually side dishes on the table for you to enjoy before the main course arrives, these are called banchan, and typically consist of Kim chi, bean sprouts and my all time favourite, sweet potatoes. (Hint: if you want a bit more of these, they don’t charge so you can ask for second helpings!)
Ah the seafood pancake: minus the syrup, easy on the batter and for God’s sake lay on the squid and shrimp! Sometimes a restaurant can butcher this wonderful creation and make the batter too thick and watery. I wouldn’t say Kyung Bok Palace makes the best seafood pancake I’ve ever eaten, but it not bad either. The crust is crunchy and the toppings are decent. I try to order this every time I’m there. (Fun fact: As a child I always thought these were the things the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ate exclusively…maybe I was watching the Asian Version…?)
For the spicy lovers out there, the Korean rice cake is for you – it’s gluttonous rice flour steamed and seasoned. The ones they serve here are a little bit sweet as well; it’s quite tender (some places make it too hard) so I don’t find myself chewing for hours before actually swallowing. It does make you drink just a couple more cups of water though.
The pork belly is one of the newer items on the menu and I am glad they added it. The great thing about pork belly is that the fat and meat are evenly distributed, so for those who are more health conscious you can pick the fat out. But just so you know, you belly as a whole doesn’t taste fatty at all. The sauce has a thick soy sauce like flavour which is quite good with rice.
Stir-fried sweet potato noodles are number 4 on the list. They are slightly more sticky than regular noodles. This one is mixed with onions, eggs, cucumber and beef. This also has a sweet taste to it and those who haven’t had potato noodles before should try it.
Last is the seafood tofu soup, it also had a generous portion of well, what the title of it was: seafood and tofu. It had squid, shrimp, mussels and various vegetables like onions and seaweed. Not as spicy as the rice cakes, but quite flavourful as well.
Food – FOUR FORKS
I give it a little more just because there are quite a variety of things to choose from and the special menu is enough to fill two to three people up generously.
Service – THREE AND A HALF FORKS
We went on a good day that the service was nice, but I have heard during rush hours the service is a bit slow, so pick your day wisely!
Value – FOUR FORKS
The whole meal ended up being around $23 dollars with tax. Being a student on a limited budget, not bad at all.
Ambiance – FOUR FORKS
Quite clean and quiet, tables are big and wide enough for someone like me that takes up a little bit more space to sit comfortably.
Check out their menu here.