Sherman's Food Adventures: Kook


It has been awhile since I had last visited Kook Korean BBQ.  That time was after hockey and was for lunch.  This time around, the whole family including grandparents made it out to the T&T complex out on 1st Ave and Renfrew.  I gotta say that Kook is one of the better options for Korean BBQ in Vancouver proper.  They have the largest selection of included Banchan and their overall food quality is above average.  As mentioned in my previous post about Kook, I said I would return.  Well, sandwiched between the height of the pandemic, we did.

Of course the signature thing here at Kook is their huge selection of Banchan.  Whereas you would normally receive around 4 varieties, Kook offers 15!  I'm not going to list them all here, but you can see that all the favourites are there including stewed potato, kimchi, sprouts and daikon.  All were well-prepared and delicious accompaniments to our grilled meats and rice.  Like most other places, you can get a refill of your favourites.  We did exactly that.

We ended up getting Combination C ($195.00) which was enough for 6 people.  In addition to the Banchan, house salad and rice, the meats included yangnyeom galbisal, LA galbi, pork galbi, beef bulgogi and chicken bulgogi.  Even though the platter of meat doesn't look like much in the picture, it was enough for us.  Meat quality was good and the marinade was just enough.  The highlight was the beef rib meat "finger" which was buttery and tender.

The meal also included the Soondubu Jjigae with soft tofu and beef.  This came out bubbling hot and full of ingredients.  There was the usual onion with zucchini and the usual red pepper spiciness.  Sliced thin and plentiful, the beef was tender and added some body to the soup.  I thought the broth was well-balanced in flavour while the spice and tang was just enough.  Plenty of silky and soft tofu.

Also included was the Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Scallion Pancake) that was super crispy and surprisingly only a little greasy.  Sometimes, the seafood pancake can be underdone being mushy and doughy.  This one was not that at all.  Relatively thin and full of imitation crab with only a mild amount of green onion, this ate very well.  It was not heavy and there was a little of every texture in each bite.

Lastly we had the Tangsuyuk (Sweet & Sour Pork) which came in a manageable-sized portion.  This was large enough for us without needing to doggy-bagging it.  As you can see, it was crispy and the batter was only semi-thick.  Pork was tender while the sweet and sour sauce was a little sparse, hence it wasn't as impactful as it could've been.  However, that was probably the only thing that could've been better.  Things were good, well-portioned and overall a decent value with all things considered.  I'll say it again, I'll return again shortly.

The Good:
- 15 types of Banchan
- Overall good food quality
- Combos are a decent value

The Bad:
- Worth mentioning again - parking lot of hell (narrow spaces and crazy drivers)
- A la carte can get pricey


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