Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jeong Ga Nae

After having dinner at Wang Ga Ma, I was craving for BBQ meat which they do not serve. So, the next day I made a trip to Jeong Ga Nae. Searching for some Korean restaurants, Jeong Ga Nae caught my attention. Well, the restaurant did not catch my attention, the slightly cheaper $23.95 pork bone hot pot caught my attention.

The restaurant is located by Coquitlam Centre, and is pretty small with less than fifteen tables and one private room. We were seated immediately, neglected for only a short period of time (not a big deal), and had to move tables because only certain tables are set up for table top barbecuing.

The sliced fish cakes have a slight sweet taste, the kimchi radish has a slight mild kimchi taste, and the daikons taste spicy, spicier than the kimchi. The jalapeños, garlic, and ssamjang is for the BBQ meat.

For table top BBQ, there is a minimum requirement of two same or different orders (unlike Jong Ga's, where they have to be the same orders). The BBQ meat comes with onions and sliced potatoes. Potatoes? Damn, that is a bonus for me. Some people are just suckers for the smallest things.

The pork belly tastes fatty and tender, and the short ribs have a flavourful marinade taste and tastes tender as well. Rather than cooking the BBQ meats on the more familiar stainless steel grill, the restaurant has a hot plate grill and the meats cook a lot faster (maybe slightly too fast). The only complaint is that I prefer the traditional korean cut (wang galbi) short ribs over the L.A sliced. The L.A sliced short ribs can be found anywhere, including AYCE Japanese restaurants. This is the first Korean restaurant I have been to that serves L.A sliced beef ribs (although they have their advantages taste wise, I still prefer the traditional Korean style).

The pork bone hot pot looks so… plain. I asked the owner if this was spicy and she said "a little bit, very little". What the? I asked if they could make it spicier and she brought some gochujang and diced jalapeño, which to be honest did nothing for the hot pot.

After adding the gochujang and diced green peppers, the hot pot looked a lot less plain. The hot pot has sliced carrots, zucchini, potato, onions, green onions, and pork neck bones. Around twenty minutes later, we tried the broth and the broth tasted bland, literally, like hot water. This was a first for me. It seems like the owner prejudged us as two Chinese girls who were new to Korean cuisine and may complain about the spiciness.

40 minutes later after finishing our BBQ meat, we tried the hot pot again and it tasted a lot better. The hot pot had a somewhat mild pork broth taste but no hint of spiciness, and the meat tasted bland. The downside of waiting 40 minutes is not because we had to wait, but because the broth dried up! Keep in mind I do not eat hot pot much and the photo on the left is what the hot pot looked like after only one small bowl of food was taken out. Was it worth boiling to get a slight hint of taste even though it dried up? Of course.

We had to ask for the rice, twice, and the restaurant was not busy at all. I like the multigrain rice because I am not a fan of the short grain starchier tasting rice.

- Friendly staff although forgetful (with possibility of prejudging?)
- Love multigrain rice

- Pork bone hot pot needs improvement
- Worst pork bone hot pot I ever had 
- Average tasting dishes

- Make the drive to Burquitlam, Toe Dam Korean tastes a lot better
- Had to ask for kimchi and rice
- I prefer the traditional Korean cut of short ribs rather than L.A
- There are a lot better Korean restaurants
- Hate to say this but I rather go back to Jong Ga than come back here

Food: 2.5/5 (2/5 hot pot if I was picky)
Service: 2.5/5

Jeong Ga Nae on Urbanspoon

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