Sherman's Food Adventures: Ma Dang Goul

Ma Dang Goul

Every Sunday, JuJu keeps suggesting that we should go for Korean food after hockey.  We listen, acknowledge it and then proceed to eat something else.  Finally, the day had arrived.  We were all prepared to go get some Korean grub...  but JuJu went golfing instead.  Should we have waited until the following week for him to return?  Nope.  Kaiser Soze, Milhouse and I decided to go without him to a lil' place called Ma Dang Goul out on Denman.  Serves him right for playing golf instead of hockey.

Being a mom n' pop operation, it was pretty packed and the limited amount of staff struggled to keep up with all the customers. Yet, they were doing their very best, especially with all the dishes they had to serve up, including the usual Banchan consisting of stewed potatoes, seaweed, salad, kimchi and mung bean jelly. As evidenced in the picture, the stuff looked legit and was as such too.  Our first dish was the Japchae that was neatly prepared with a good balance of ingredients including peppers, spinach, mushrooms, onions and beef.  The noodles were chewy and kissed with a nice hit of sesame oil.  We found the flavours to be quite even as well with just the right amount of sweetness.

We then got something we don't usually order at a Korean restaurant being the O Jung Uh Tuigim (Tempura Squid).  It was extremely crunchy, yet not in a heavy way.  The batter was light and none too greasy.  The squid itself was slightly chewy that gave way to mostly tender meat.  Strangely, I really liked this simple dish.  Next up was the Yang Nyum Tong Dak (Spicy Sauce Fried Chicken).  This was pretty saucy which meant the crispy fried chicken softened a bit too much in spots.  However, the flavours were pretty good being spicy, sweet and a bit of tang.  I've had better versions of this dish, yet in the end, this was still decent.

As always, we got an order of the Dolset Bibimbap.  This was served in a searing hot stone bowl (which it should be) which meant that there was a good rice crust even after mixing up all of the ingredients.  I thought the rice had a nice consistency as well as all of the ingredients. In particularly, the shiitake offered up some really good flavour.  However, I would've liked to see a raw egg instead of a fried one.  For our soup, we tried the Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup). The broth was silky and had a mild richness to it.  I would've liked to see some sesame oil though. The rice cake was soft while maintaining a chew. I liked the strands of flavourful beef in the soup as it added both texture and body.

Lastly, we tried the Yachae Jeon (Veggie Pancake) which was not our favourite.  Sure, it wasn't supposed to be a seafood pancake, but somehow it was a bit too wet and lifeless for our tastes.  However, this was probably the only sub-par dish we had.  Most were prepared carefully and enjoyable to eat.  Sure, it was a little warm in there and the service was hurried and sparse, but we'd go back nonetheless.

The Good:
- Well-prepared eats
- Good Banchan (if that matters to you)

The Bad:
- Pricey for the type of establishment
- Lack of servers

Ma Dang Goul on Urbanspoon