Friday, July 29, 2011

2 of 10: Korea Garden

They say quality counts more than quantity. Tonight, Yang and I got both at Korea Garden. The second restaurant to be crossed off our binge bucket list, this establishment along Jupiter Street isn't much to look at from the outside, but the food served inside is a lot to be happy about-- in terms of portions and palatability.

We availed of the Deal Grocer coupon for a set dinner for two, comprised of Korea Garden's best-selling dishes. The coupon said up to 3 people could partake of the food, so Yang and I dragged Angelo with us to help consume everything. The spread included rice, soup, kalbi chim (Korean beef stew), beef bulgogi, chap chae (stir-fried glass noodles), nakchi bokum (spicy octopus), and mandu (Korean dumplings). Being the ravenous carnivores we are, we also got an additional order of barb
equed beef ribs, which our effusive waiter declared as very good. When he put all our food on the table, starting with the traditional array of side dishes (ranging from kimchi to bean sprouts to dilis), and ending with the beef ribs, there was barely enough surface area left for the extra bowl of rice Angelo ordered (see photographic proof here).

And he needed that rice because everything was just SO good. My favorite was the kalbi chim. The sauce was that perfect balance of sweet and savory, the beef was fork-tender, and I would have been happy with just that and rice. The other 2 beef dishes were also great-- the ribs had a wonderful smoky flavor, and the bulgogi, which I initially found dry, was improved vastly when I remembered to spoon some sauce over it. The mandu was panfried to perfection, and stuffed with generous meat filling. I prefer my chap chae a bit sweeter, but the smooth, chewy noodles contrasted well with the crunchy veggies mixed in. I passed on the nakchi bokum, but based on Yang's ecstatic eye-rolling (yes, Yang, you roll your eyes when you're enjoying your food :p) as she and Angelo polished off the octopus, it was as good as everything else on our loaded table.

I don't know if it was because we had been starving, but Korea Garden really hit the spot. The interior is very plain, and strangely the ambiance has no Korean touches, but the food is authentic, and undeniably delicious. We were stuffed silly, and certainly satisfied with the second restaurant crossed off our binge bucket list.


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