Do you know what the greatest advantage to being a single diner is? It’s that you don’t have to share your food with anyone. Case in point, I’ve only had Hae-mool Pajun (Korean seafood pancake) once and it was during an outing with about a dozen people for one of my highschool friends’ birthdays (and yes, as shocking as it may seem, I do actually have a few friends). We went to some Korean place in Richmond and ordered all the dishes to share, and one of the dishes was their seafood pancake. Unfortuantely, of course, I wasn’t able to get much of the pancake as we were all sharing, and I couldn’t be some giant a-hole hogging all of the food. I think that I might have gotten 1/2 a slice, and I seriously cannot even remember what it tasted like.
So I’ve been wanting to try Korean pancakes again for a while, and one of the restaurants that apparently makes a mean Hae-mool Pajun (according to Yelp) is So Hyang Korean Cuisine. I made the trip to the restaunt this Monday and got their pancake.
Hae Mool Pa Jun ($18.95):
This came out fresh, crispy and sizzling hot, so much so in fact that I burned my hand a bit while trying to eat my first slice (painful but worth it!). I loved this pancake. It is kind of a cross between a pizza and a Chinese scallion pancake, and was topped with various vegetables, seafood (mostly squid), and shreds of crispy potatoes. It was served with a sweet and tangy vinaigrette that complimented the pancake very well. Although this is meant to be an appetizer (that’s supposed to be shared between 2-3 people), it served well as a main lunch for me.
I decided to return to So Hyang Korean Cuisine two days later (I learned my lesson from Teriyaki Bowl and checked the restaurant’s hours and did not come back on Tuesday, when the place is closed). This time I got their Dol Sot Bibim Bap.
Dol Sot Bibim Bap ($12.95):
This consisted of rice topped with vegetables (mushrooms, bean sprouts, cucumbers, carrots), bulgogi beef, and a runny fried egg that’s served in a sizzling hot bowl. I was very happy to find that the vegetables were seasoned and actually had flavour. The bulgogi was well-marinated and had a really nice sweet, slightly spicy taste. The rice was well-cooked and not mushy, and fantastic when crisped up by the hot stone bowl. My main gripe with the dish is that I did find them to be a bit stingy on the beef; I really could have done with a larger portion.
Side Dishes (Banchan):
The main courses are all served with four sides, including some kimchi, bean curd, bean sprouts and potatoes. I personally didn’t really care for the kimchi – I do think it’s a bit of an acquired taste – I actually ended up mixing it in with my bibimbap, which lent a nice flavour to the rice. The remaining three dishes were all quite tasty; my favourites were the potato and the bean curd. The staff offer free refills of the sides as well.
I’ve quite enjoyed the food at So Hyang Korean Cuisine. The service was also great; the food arrived quickly and the staff athe front (all of them young ladies) were very friendly and attentive, and provided customers with complimentary re-fills of tea as well as side dishes. Overall, this is a very good restaurant and I highly recommend this place to anyone wanting Korean food.