By Tana Kosiyabong
Last week I got on a Canada Line skytrain to the Arberdeen Station in Richmond again. But this time, instead of going straight to the Arberdeen Centre Food Court, I headed the opposite direction. On my previous trips, I had noticed a strip mall located next to the Arberdeen Station, (across the street from the Richmond Acura Dealer). So I was curious to see if could find any interesting restaurant there.
Once I was in the strip mall, I then realized it was a lot bigger than I saw from the station. This mall is the home of many Asian restaurants. But I was drawn to a promo sign in front of a Korean restaurant called Kim Ga Nae. The huge yellow banner featured “Any 5 Items only $7.99.” I wasn’t sure exactly what the deal was, but it made me want to check it out.
As I walked closer to the restaurant, a small poster revealed the promo details. Patrons can choose five out of twenty different Korean dishes for $7.99. The additional dish can be added at $1.99 each. It sounded like fun. So I glanced through the list to make sure there were at least 5 items I would like to try. Then the new Cheap Appetite mission was activated.
As if I had the word “Cheap” written on my forehead, the waitress somehow knew that I was there for the 5-item deals. It took me a while to narrow down to the choices but eventually I got my five: No. 6 Sweet Chicken, No. 10 Bulgogi, No. 13 Pork Rib, No. 14 Chicken Wings and No. 15 Kimchi Fried Rice.
Shortly after, most dishes except the bulgogi were served on small plates and bowls. As I expected, they were already pre-cooked. It wouldn’t make sense to cook all these dishes to order in such small portions. About five minutes later, the waitress brought the bulgogi to the table.
After a quick photo session, it was time for the taste test. First, the Sweet Chicken was pretty good. The deep fried chicken nuggets was crispy on the outside but a bit dry on the inside. The sauce was sweet, tangy and spicy. It definitely complimented the chicken well.
The Bulgogi was the only dish that was freshly cooked. Not sure if this is always the case, or perhaps, the pre-cooked bulgogi had run out? It was the best of the five dishes I tried. The beef was tender, garlicky and perfectly seasoned.
There were two big chunks of pork ribs on the plate. Good portion for the price. They were perhaps slow-cooked until tender, but not fall-off-the-bone. The rib was greasier and milder than the bulgogi.
The chicken wings tasted similar to the sweet chicken. I wish I could trade one of them for a totally different dish such as the seafood pancake.
The Kimchi fried rice was nice, but I was quite disappointed by the serving portion. Given that it was pretty much made of rice and a little bit of kimchi, Kim Ga Nae could have been more generous with the portion.
Overall, I had a great time sampling all the five different dishes. The food was decent. Some dishes were better than others. However, they weren’t enough to fill me up. With that said, I wished I visited Kim Ga Nae with three friends so that we could share the whole twenty dishes.
Kim Ga Nae’s Sweet Chicken ©©©1/3
Kim Ga Nae’s Bulgogi ©©©3/4
Kim Ga Nae’s Pork Rib ©©©1/3
Kim Ga Nae’s Chicken Wings ©©©1/2
Kim Ga Nae’s Kim Chi Fried Rice ©©©
Kim Ga Nae is located at 180-4260 No. 3 Road, Richmond, V6x 2C2 (T) 604.273.4747
©2011 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.