Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
There are two well-known Korean restaurants along this Chuan Da area street, with this relative newcomer gradually drawing more of the crowds. We went in to check the place out, and our first impression was of their Beef Stone Pot Bi Bim Bap, which proved to have one of the highest taste/appearance ratios of the dishes we've eaten in recent memory. Our favourite part of eating stone pot bi bim bap is the how the pot turns the rice all golden and crispy, and we were impressed that the sizzle of the stone pot lasted for nearly a minute after the server put it down, long enough to get a really good crust on the rice. It was well complemented by the beef and sauce.
The menu is in Chinese and Korean and is illustrated, so it's easy to order by pointing. Many of the tables were digging into the Korean style “stir fry hot pot” (部队火锅), which is a spin on Korean fried rice cake with rice cakes, ramen noodles, meat, luncheon meat and little sausages and vegetables in a spicy broth. We briefly considered ordering this, but it seemed like a cold weather dish, and we really wanted to try some of their other Korean classics. The Stir Fried Squid was delicious, if cooked a bit chewy. The Barbecue Pork Belly was served with the proper accoutrements of seasonings, garlic and lettuce leaves to wrap it. The Chap Chae Fried Sweet Potato Noodles were chewy and fragrant, a definite reorder. The Kimchi Pancake was bright in colour, but we'd try some of the other pancakes before ordering this again. Their rice roll was freshly made and pretty good. Other menu items that caught our eye were the stir fried rice cake and 'fried sauce noodle', Jajiang Mian.
The food served was tasty but did show a lot of fusion influence, with the Korean banchan little side dishes resembling Chinese kaiweicai – served at room temperature and featuring some local style boiled peanuts and pickled cabbage – and the squid dish reminding us of Sichuan style dry pot. At an average of less than fifty yuan per person, this place offers solid value for your cash and appears popular with students and groups of friends. There is often a lineup at mealtimes, especially on the weekend. The tables by the window are the best real estate in the dining room.