Sherman's Food Adventures: Koreana BBQ & Shabu Shabu Restaurant

Koreana BBQ & Shabu Shabu Restaurant

From the very beginning, we've either gone to Red Robin or White Spot for our kids' birthdays.  Especially early on, I guess they weren't very adventurous, hence the Pirate Pak served as the celebration of another year gone by. This time around, my son was psyched to go for Korean BBQ (as this is one of his favourite meals).  We decided to head to the ghost mall (aka Henderson Centre) in Coquitlam and visit Koreana.  Somehow this place survives despite the demise of almost everything else that has once occupied space in the mall that never really became a mall.

We ended up ordering the dinner for 5 which included the customary Banchan consisting of bean sprouts, kimchi cabbage, spicy cucumber and spinach with tofu. Curiously missing was the stewed potatoes.  Nothing much to say about the little plates other than the kimchi was pretty good with an appealing colour and crunch.  There was a nice spiciness to go with just the right amount of tartness.  Next up, we had the Goon Mandu (fried dumplings) which were prepared a golden brown.  The exterior was rather firmly crunchy while the inside featured a fairly dense filling of pork, ginger, onions and cabbage.  I found these a bit too heavy for my liking.

Onto the next dish, we actually substituted Japchae for the included seafood pancake.  There was a better chance the kiddies would eat this over the heavily green onion-laden pancake.  This was actually quite good with chewy noodles that weren't glistening with too much oil.  Although sweet, there was enough savouriness to balance the dish out.  Also, there was no shortage of ingredients including tender slices of beef.  For our included soups, we got one each of the Soft Tofu and Spicy Tofu.  Naturally, the spicy broth was more impactful.  It was mostly salty and spicy without much depth. There was a considerable amount of soft tofu and chunks of beef that made the soup quite hearty.

Moving to the main event, we were presented with a plate consisting of the Beef, 2 types of Beef Short Ribs, Spicy Pork and Chicken.  As much as this didn't appear to be much, we didn't end up finishing all the meat.  We found the grill to be somewhat inconsistent where half of it was ineffective.  Only portions of the meat were actually seared.  With that being said, the meats were decent quality being tender.  Lastly, we got their version of Dakgangjeong with lemon. They actually served out dish to another table, but the server was very apologetic about it.  We enjoyed the spicy sweetness of the dish including the bitter lemon rind.  The chicken itself was moist enough, but the batter was a bit thick and doughy.  Although not without flaws, we found the food at Koreana more than acceptable.  Naturally, it wasn't cheap and the service was a little hurried (much like any other Korean restaurant).

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Spacious seating
- Lots of parking (because the mall is dead)

The Bad:
- Pricey
- Service is sparse as expected

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