Sunday, February 13, 2011

Korean Garden

On Friday we found ourselves south of the river and I insisted that we try Korean Garden. The last time I was in this building it was a Red Lobster (yes, I know, I'm showing my age). We arrived early to a nearly empty restaurant, but as the evening progressed more diners entered.

The menu offered Korean specialties as well as traditional Japanese dishes and sushi. But we came for the Korean dishes. Since we had a hard time deciding we ordered some steamed dumplings and hot tea to start. The dumpling wrappers were delicate and filled with beef. Our waitress, dressed in a traditional outfit of red and black, realized we still had problems deciding and suggested that we order Bul Gogi, one beef and one spicy pork. We readily agreed. Both dishes featured thinly sliced seasoned meat. With the Korean BBQ dishes a bevy of traditional side dishes accompany the meal as well as rice and lettuce leaves. To eat the meat, one takes a lettuce leaf, spreads a bit of flavorful paste on the leaf, adds a dollop of rice, and then some of the meat. Wrap the leaf around everything and consume. The lettuce was red leaf and of high quality - no bad spots or blemishes. Very delicious.

The side dishes were small but numerous and featured spicy hot, vinegary/sour, sweet, and salty as well as steamed eggs with a bit of green onion. My favorites were the radish in a sweet/sour vinegar, seaweed, noodles, and kimchi. Hubby liked the bean sprouts, the black beans, and the radish. Anchovy slivers were also served and we tried them, but they were not as appealing to us.

We were clumsy in making our wraps, but enjoyed the food and the different flavors immensely. The wait staff brought more lettuce as we continued to devour our meat. The meat portions were big with the side dishes being small and served family style.

A tasty evening. The little side dishes were the surprise of the evening and gave us a peek into the flavors of this cuisine. In the back of the building is a Korean market with a wide variety of items including big jars of kimchi.

Korean Garden
6827 Midlothian Tnpk
Richmond, VA


Korean Garden  on Urbanspoon


cfootsoup said...

Back when we we were getting snow, last month, this place was great for getting a big hot bowl of their oxtail soup.

Downtown Foodie of Richmond said...

It's very expensive, but the market there has the best store kimchi! It's not a prepackaged commercial one, rather, it's a homemade kimchi and the flavors are definitely on point. No weird tin-iness or bitterness. Very fresh and high quality. Unlike the commercial stuff, it actually makes its own juice, as it should, so that you can use it in your dishes. It makes a great kimchi pancake or kimchi fried rice with some pork and egg.

Downtown Foodie of Richmond said...

Although expensive, they have the best store-bought kimchi there. It's homemade rather than the commercial brands. It has perfect flavor and is very fresh and high quality. Unlike the yucky commercial brands, it actually makes its own juice and has great flavor for dishes such as kimchi pajeon (pancake)and kimchi bokkeum bap (fried rice) Mmmm!