Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kyung Bok Palace 景福宮


Kyung Bok Palace seems to be known for their all you can eat BBQ as well as for horrible service. I came here last night and before writing my post, I was curious to see what other people thought of the restaurant. I am shocked that many reviews on Urbanspoon share the same opinions and I thought I was crazy for thinking their food is not very good with unfriendly service. Luckily, this is my first time coming here for a late night dinner and a la carte as well. The service was perfect because we were the only people here, we were seated right away, our server brought our food and nothing else was needed from him, which was good since he disappeared.

The restaurant has comfortable booth seating and some people mention the interior looks run down and gloomy, but I think it is fine and can imagine why people may think negatively because of the service. On the way to the washrooms, there are a few private rooms that look pretty nice.

BANCHAN, KOREAN SIDE DISHES. MUNG BEAN SPROUT SALAD, KIMCHI AND SWEET POTATOES. The bean sprouts are not tasty, tastes bland and has a hardly there taste of sesame oil. The kimchi does not taste very fresh, tastes more sour than spicy and looks like there are freezer burns. The sweet potatoes do not taste sweet and the texture is hard rather than soft.

PORK BACK SOUP, BOWL OF RICE INCLUDED ($7.95). The pork back soup has a very extremely mild spicy taste and I think the server forgot to ask if we wanted it spicy or not. The soup has dried vegetables (either A choy or bok choy), green onions and potatoes. The broth tastes average, not bland or flavourful, and is nothing special.

GINSENG CHICKEN NOODLE, HAND MADE NOODLE BOILED IN A BROTH WITH CHICKEN, GINSENG, DRIED SEEDED JUJUBE FRUITS, CARROT, ONION AND ZUCCHINI ($10.95). The broth tastes clear with a slight ginger taste and tastes light as well as refreshing. I really enjoy the soup because I like healthier as well as bland dishes (this does not taste bland). If anything, the ginger should have been cooked longer and there was only one jujube fruit which was not cooked long enough either.

The noodles absorb the broth and has a nice chew to them, I am not a fan of noodles but I liked these ones. The piece of chicken given is the thigh and leg, and the chicken tastes very soft and can be pulled apart easily.

SPICY MARINATED PORK SIRLOIN WITH VEGETABLE ON STEAM RICE ($7.95). The pork does not taste spicy or flavourful and the pieces were not cut, being around 2.5" x 3". The pork does not taste chewy or tender and honest to truth, the sauce tastes like the marinade they use with their raw meat.

I have been here 5-6 times for the all you can eat menu because I love meat and they also have sushi (I like simple rolls as long as they use shredded imitation crab meat and not the stick). The AYCE meat does not taste flavourful or tender, but yet I have been here more than once. I know a few people (fine, one girl) who orders a la carte and enjoys it here (short ribs, pork belly, pancake, yada yada), so I assumed that a la carte would be better. The prices for the BBQ meat dishes a la carte are not as high as other Korean restaurants, so it gives me the impression that they possibly use the same meat available for their AYCE (which is not very good). But now after trying the a la carte dishes, I feel like the restaurant is intended for all you can eat only. Although I will admit, the ginseng soup is not bad!

As I was leaving, I also noticed that they changed their menu. The AYCE has nigiri now and some random deep fried items! I should have gotten AYCE. The food does not taste good, but good enough if you are hungry.

Every single time I have been here (except this time) the waitresses are rude, overstaffed, and not efficient. One time, the hostess did not even know how long the wait would be. She said 20 minutes to an hour and half?! That is a big difference, especially for someone like me who needs to eat ASAP, and needs to know if I should leave or not. Another few times, you would literally be standing at the front for 30 minutes with the restaurant not even being full, waitresses ignoring you and no one bothering to get you a hostess including the owner who sees you.

Note: I recommend coming late night so you can get seated faster and avoid unfriendly waitresses

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Kyung Bok Palace 景福宮 on Urbanspoon

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