Sherman's Food Adventures: Hanok


I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Chinese version of Ja Jeun Mein that sees white flour noodles topped with a ground pork sauce mixed with soybean paste (and other ingredients) and finished with julienned cucumber.  I enjoy this dish very much but I actually prefer the Korean one more (Jajangmyeon).  That recipe calls for Korean black bean paste, lots of onion and pork belly.  So when Jacqueline told me there was a tasty one found at Hanok in Richmond, I was totally game to go.  Of course we ate more than just that and ordered an array of other dishes on their lunch menu as well.

We started off the usual Banchan that included pickled radish, kimchi, stewed potatoes, bean sprouts and tofu skins.  Solid stuff where I found the kimchi to have good spice.  We also got the Kimbap as well and it featured big chunks of filling with chewy sushi rice.  Also in barely in the picture, we got the lunch portion of the Tangsuyuk.  The batter was a bit on the gummier side.  Yes, I do realize the potato starch should be crunchy and chewy, but this was a bit too chewy.  Flavour was good though with a balanced amount of sweet and sour.

Okay, for the one dish we were really here for - Jajangmyeon!  Well, this was in fact pretty solid.  Is it the best I've ever had?  Well no, but that didn't mean we didn't enjoy it.  The noodles were chewy and not clumpy.  There was plenty of sauce that was rich in flavour, but could've used more salt.  Lots of onion which provided sweetness and a touch of sharpness.  I would've liked to see pork belly as the meat was rather dry and lacking impact.

One of the best dishes of the meal was the LA Galbi (BBQ Beef Short Ribs).  Yes, this seemingly simple dish can often be disappointing due to being chewy, not marinated correctly and/or not seared enough.  Well, this one was done right with none of the issues I just mentioned.  These were buttery and tender with plenty of sweet and savouriness.  Charred just enough without being burnt too.

The same could not be said about the Japchae though.  They should have renamed this to "Yangpachae" as it was nearly all white onion with very little noodle.  Imagine this in terms of taste!  Yes, it did taste exactly how it appeared being sharp and overpowering.  Beyond that, there wasn't enough seasoning to counteract the onions either.  Compounding the issue was the lack of meat in this version (less expensive lunch option).

Fortunately, the Dolset Bibimbap was much better.  I wished there was a raw egg on top rather than sunny side, but I'm sure there was a reason for that.  Although it wasn't the most carefully constructed version of this dish, the stone bowl was sizzling hot and we were able to get a socarrat on the bottom.  Rice was not too wet, which helped the cause.  Plenty of ingredients made this hearty.

We also got the obligatory Spicy Soft Tofu Soup with beef.  This came literally boiling hot (which is what you want).  The soup base itself had depth and meatiness.  There was a balanced amount of spice.  There was plenty of soft tofu in the soup, but a bit lacking with the beef.  But it was the lunch special, so we didn't mind.  Overall, the lunch prices at Hanok are an absolute steal in my mind.  Food is generally good with a few hiccups.  I'd come back.

The Good:

- Inexpensive lunch pricing

- Decent eats

- Fairly good service

The Bad:

- Some items were a bit lacking, maybe due to lunch version?


Search this Site