Sherman's Food Adventures: Kosoo Cardero

Kosoo Cardero

Okay, here is the trifecta of Kosoos with the original location out on Cardero off Robson.  I've been here before a long time ago, so it was a good time to see what they are doing lately.  Jackie and I were here specifically to try their new menu items featuring a quad of big share dishes.  Unlike their other 2 locations, the original Kosoo focuses on more typical Korean dishes whereas the one in Coquitlam is a BBQ and the one in Chinatown is a "pocha".  No, it isn't a food stall, but it serves that type of food.

Before we got to the featured dishes, we began with a classic in the Tuna Kimbap.  With all the rage these days with the viral Trader Joe's "can't find" version and also Attorney Woo Young-Woo's favourite food, Kimbap is a very popular dish.  I'm happy to report this one here is very good.  Boasting a huge clump of tuna, and being rolled not too tightly, this ate almost fluffy, yet with a certain firmness.  The rice as chewy, yet not dense while the veggies were fresh with a slight crunch.

So another Korean restaurant staple is the BBQ Galbi and we always seem to get it.  Must be the fatty tender texture and caramelized sweetness?  Well, this particular plate happened to be all of the above where the meat was indeed fatty and succulent.  Was really good wrapped in the provided lettuce with peppers and bean paste.  I thought the marinade on the meat was aggressive, but it just stayed on the right side of sweet.

When the Crab Fish Cake Tang hit the table, it was immediately impressive just to look at.  It was chock-full of fish cakes, radish, cabbage, shrimp, mussels, mushroom, flower crab and jalapeno.  So you could imagine that the broth was super sweet and full of depth.  That it was, benefiting from the crab juices too.  Honestly, that was the purpose of the crab as trying to eat any of the meat was a challenge.  However, the fish cakes were delicious and had good mouth feel.

So the previous dish is part of their new menu that features 4 shareable items including the Cream Cheese Dakgalbi.  This consisted of chicken, prawn, mussel, onion, green onion and rice cakes in a special cream sauce.  I found this rather heavy and thankfully most of the ingredients were seafood and cabbage.  Naturally, being a share dish, you would only be eating a portion of it.  Would go well with some form of plain noodle in my opinion.  Definitely creamy and the seafood was perfectly cooked.

Going in the opposite direction, we had the Spicy Treasure Chicken with cheese, onion, green onion, cabbage and rice cake in a red pepper paste sauce. Like the previous 2 dishes, this was really large and could easily feed 3, maybe 4 people (with some rice).  The overall flavour profile was sweet and spicy with plenty of garlickiness.  There was wealth of tender chicken that was complimented by the onions and melted cheese.

Last one of these was the Cheese Bean Sprout Jeyuk Bokkeum.  Also in a spicy red pepper paste sauce, we found tender slices of pork belly mixed with cabbage and onions topped with melted cheese.  Lots of crunchy bean sprouts inhabited the centre of the cast iron pan.  Despite being pork, I found this one less heavy than both the creamy seafood and the spicy chicken.  This was possibly due to the large amount of sprouts in the dish.

Last dish was the Truffle Japchae which was extremely earthy.  They didn't skimp with the truffle sauce and that showed in terms of taste and smell.  The noodles were chewy and were not clumpy.  The meatballs on the side were fairly tender and meaty.  In general, the 4 new menu items we tried were very large in size and should be shared by a group of 4 or more.  I would find it hard to eat even a 1/4 of the dishes because that would be rather monotonous.  Maybe order a few or all of them and share amongst a big group.

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

The Good:
- New menu items are large and stuffed with ingredients
- Pricing is fair considering the portion size
- Love the vibe at night

The Bad:
- New dishes (other than the Tang) are quite heavy, need to share with a larger group, otherwise, it will become monotonous


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