Recently I've been addicted to Korean sweet rice cakes, so I found myself looking for them in Coquitlam after my stock ran out. Since I was already in the area, I thought I would try one of the more popular Korean BBQ restaurants in town — Insadong. The place was relatively packed, considering it was a Monday night. Good sign! Complimentary hot roasted barley tea was offered and promptly refilled throughout the meal.
Most of the items on the menu cost around $20, so we decided to get the couple BBQ combo ($59.99) that serves 2-3 people which seemed like a pretty good deal. Little did we know just how good of a deal it was. The food we got could easily have fed 4 people. In preparation of the meal, we were given sauces and lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat in. The sauce in the front that looks like soy sauce tasted exactly like the pink pickled ginger that's usually served with sushi. It was very light, just a bit sweet, and I found it quite refreshing with the heavily marinated meat.
As with any typical Korean meal, side dishes were complimentary and could be refilled as many times as desired. The only exception being the radish roll on the lower right, which was actually an appetizer that was part of the combo. Veggie shreds were stuffed in a hallow piece of radish with a dash of vinegar. It was perfect for cleansing the palate before indulging in the meat.
The meat and seafood came on a huge platter. The server started the fire and threw a bunch of items on the grill to start us off. All of the meat (beef, chicken, pork) was really tender, juicy and well-marinated. I ate the meat with a little bit of sauce and kimchi all wrapped up in a small piece of lettuce. Mmmm... perfect combination! The seafood (oysters, mussels, prawns) was fresh and juicy as well, and everything just tasted great.
The beef salad was another appetizer included in the combo. I loved the vinaigrette and the thin beef slices were amazingly soft. I had no idea that cooked beef could be so tender.
There was a choice of seafood pancake or japchae, and we opted for japchae thinking there was already seafood in the combo. I didn't have the chance to taste this at all because we figured it would be the easiest to pack, so we decided to finish the other food first. In the end we brought the whole dish home untouched.
There was also a choice of soft tofu soup or soybean soup. I always have soybean soup at home, so I decided to go for the tofu. It was probably the least impressive part of the meal. It wasn't bad at all, but it tasted relatively bland after the savoury meat. I'm sure it would have tasted great by itself though.
I was happy enough with the meal. There was more than enough food for everyone, and everything tasted great in terms of both flavour and texture. It was a lot of meat for one night though, so I'm not sure I'll be doing this very often.