Insadong is one of our favorite places to go for Korean food. Out of the numerous Korean restaurants around the Lougheed area, it is probably the most popular, acclaimed, and well known (it is the winner of 'Best Korean Restaurant' in the weekly paper). We always come here for Korean BBQ. Prices are a little high, but the portions are usually enormous.

It is located in a little strip mall on the corner of North Road and Lougheed Highway, and although the sign is clearly lit in neon, the entrance is modest and off to the side. Inside, the seating consists of many wooden booths, ensuring a bit of privacy. It is a very large restaurant, with a few private rooms as well.

It was dinner time on a Saturday holiday weekend, so the place was packed. There was a line up when we arrived and we had to wait for about 15 minutes.

Shane and I took my two cousins from out of town there and it was quite an experience, because neither of them had been before, and S had never tried Korean BBQ.

Instead of the usual tea in Chinese or Japanese restaurants, we get served barley tea here. It has a light, nutty taste. In many Korean restaurants there is the the 'call bell', to call your server. I like this system--you get left alone when you want to be and get help when you want help.

We also get served some side dishes (Banchan): stewed potatoes, cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, sprouts, and julienne of pickled turnip.

We decided to share an assorted tempura appetizer ($13.99). This was good--light and crunchy.

We also choose to share the 2-3 person BBQ combo ($59.99), which comes with so many items.

This is the beef salad - slices of blanched beef with tomatoes, pineapple, lettuce, sprouts, broccoli with a delicious tangy dressing.

The vegetable roll: turnip and other vegetables wrapped in turnip. This is not one of my favorites. It tasted bland, but was refreshing.

Seafood pancake. Insadong's version is thick and a little oily, but delicious. It was filled with octopus and other seafood.

The seafood soup arrived in a big bowl, and we spooned it out for everyone to share. There was clam, a prawn, and other seafood. The tofu and broth had a very delicate flavour.

Now on to the meat! The server brought out a ginormous platter of raw meat and seafood (it barely fit on to the table, actually), and put the grill right in the middle of the table. There was short rib, marinated beef rib, chicken bulgogi, spicy pork bulgogi, and beef bulgogi, along with shrimp, mussels, and oysters.

Cooking at the table is always pretty fun, though the smell of the meat transfers to your clothes. There was a lot of food, and all of us were pretty stuffed.

Insadong is a great experience especially for Korean cuisine newbies. It's fun, delicious, and interactive. What more can you ask for?

Insadong Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment