Sherman's Food Adventures: Elysium


During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Jackie and I visited Hanok Korean in Richmond in search of good jajangmyeon. Yes, it was all about the simple joys of life during that time sadly... Well, Hanok is gone and in its place is another Korean joint called Elysium Korean Bistro.  We were invited over to check it out and have some Soju Bombs.  I was curious about those and also if the food was any better than Hanok (which was a bit hit and miss).  We visited shortly after dining across the street at Kazuhan just a few days earlier.  Yep, the snow was still around, but thankfully everything was plowed.

If you want to see the Soju Bombs, be sure to check out the Reel on IG.  But as for the food, we were served a selection of Banchan including kimchi, salad, broccoli, bean sprouts, tofu skins, stewed potato and omelette.  These were pretty solid and I especially enjoyed the potatoes because they were in big chunks and stayed intact.  Also, they weren't overly sweet.  Tofu skins were good too with a nice marinade and chewy texture.  I thought the kimchi was spicy enough but need some brininess.
As much as the pricing at Elysium is reasonable considering the quality and portion size, the best deals (if you had enough people) are the BBQ Combos.  We got Combo 4 ($130.00) which came with a Seafood Pancake.  As you can see, the pancake was large in diameter.  It also contained enough seafood that you could actually see it.  Beyond the crispy and non-greasy exterior, there was indeed a lot of seafood as well as minimal green onion (not as much filler) and a soft texture.

Also included in the BBQ Combo is a fairly large hot pot of Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup).  You may not see in the picture, but we found 4 large neck bones within.  These were cooked down until the meat fell off the bones and took on the flavours of the soup.  Good spice in this one as well as a meatiness and natural sweetness from the onions.  This was piping hot and remained as such even after our incessant picture-taking.

We added a few dishes that were not part of the BBQ combo just to get a sense of the menu.  One of which was the Soondae or blood sausage.  Unlike some other versions I've had, this one was a lot lighter and almost fluffy.  The blood flavour was fairly mild due to it being rice and vermicelli forward.  It was lightly sweet with only the slightest hint of spice and seasoning.  There seemed to be also very little fat in the sausage, which kept it from being too heavy. 

Back to the BBQ Combo, the main event is the BBQ Meats consisting of beef, chicken, pork and LA beef ribs.  This was a considerable amount of meat and the picture doesn't really do it justice.  It arrived sizzling on a cast iron plate and our server helped cut the meat into smaller pieces. The ribs were my favourite since they were nicely marinated being sweet and caramelized from the grilling.  The chicken was tender and juicy while also being well-marinated.  Beef was seared well and was tender while the pork was a touch drier.

For no other reason that we really love Cold Spicy Noodles, we had to add that to the meal as well.  Although you cannot see it in this picture, the hard-boiled egg was not overdone and didn't have any dark rings.  As for the noodles, they were appealingly chewy and the right temperature (cold, but not brain-freeze cold).  There was enough sauce to coat all the noodles and it was pretty tasty with heat, sweetness, tang and aromatics.  Interestingly, I forgot to take a picture of the Kimbap (which you can see a bit of it in this picture).  Gotta say has to be one of the better ones I've had lately.  It was constructed well and did not fall apart while not being too firm.  Lots of tuna and ingredients and minimal rice.

Last, but not certainly least, we had the eye-catching Mille-Feuille Nabe which was a hot pot on a burner sporting meat and Napa cabbage in layers.  Underneath, we found potato starch noodles, that soaked up all of the tasty broth.  This was super comforting and great for a cold day (which it was).  The tender cabbage and meat was quite filling and this hot pot should really be shared among 4 people.  So in the end, we found Elysium to be quite good.  Portions are large and the food is executed properly.  To top it off, there are some cool things here such as the Soju Bombs and the Mille-Feuille Nabe.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Delicious food
- Large portions
- Some theatrics with the Soju Bombs and and IG-worthy Mille-Feuille Nabe

The Bad:
- Not many negatives other than this is Richmond and there is a parking lot. Have fun!


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