CheapAppetite.com – Cheap Eats and Good Eats Vancouver

Kim Ga Nae’s Five-Item Special—The Choices Are Yours.

In asian cuisine, cheap eats vancouver under $10, cheap lunch, restaurants on April 25, 2011 at 12:26 am

By Tana Kosiyabong

Kim Ga Nae 5-item special $7.99

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.

Kim Ga Nae 20 menu items

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.

No. 6 Kim Ga Nae Sweet Chicken

Kim Ga Nae No. 10 Bulgogi

Kim Ga Nae No. 13 Pork Rib

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.

Kim Ga Nae No. 14 Chicken Wings

Kim Ga Nae No. 15 Kimchi Fried Rice
Kim Ga Nae's 5-item special for $7.99

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.

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  1. Tana, I’m not sure about you but I am salivating here just by looking at those food. Everything looks really well presented too. Hope you’re having a great week ahead.
    Blessings, Kristy

  2. FIVE? At this price, you could back again and again – looks like the combinations are endless. Too bad though that only the bulgogki was fresh! Still looks fantastic.

    • yup five dishes. small dishes though. :) Still I have fun sampling them all. It would be too costly for them to freshly prepare all five dishes on all orders for the price they charged. So I’m ok with that.

  3. LOL! How on earth did you rate a dish 3.75 or 3.66? That is so precise. You are funny, Tana.

    Hey, question for you … what is the cheapest meal you can ever get in Vancouver? If there is one place you can name, what would that be?

    • Hey Ben,
      Sorry for the late reply. I blamed it on a bad cold and busy work :) lol. Well… some dishes I feel like it’s a bit better than 3-1/2 but not enough to get the 3-3/4. So i put it in between. When you put it in decimal format, it sounds too precise like you said :) I never look at it that way though.

      Well… the cheapest meat has gotta be at Ikea. $1 breakfast, $1 marinara pasta, 50c hot dogs are hard to beat! Although you’d have to order a couple of them to fill up. Shrimp wonton noodle soup at East used to be under $3 (now $3.88). Yummy sushi Breakfast and Bon’s of Broadway breakfast are $2.99. They both are good value. Black bean pork rib on rice and a couple other dishes are only $3. Quite a few noodle soups and congee at Gain Wha are $3.75. And Hon’s fast food takeout shop (a few doors down from Hon’s restaurant in Chinatown) which is now closed until further notice, offers a lot of cheap dishes. I miss that hole-in-the-wall joint.

  4. A great deal and sounds like it was fun to sample the dishes even if some of them didn’t quite meet your expectations.

  5. @ Ben – not to jump ahead of Tana in answering your question, but I would say the cheapest “meal” (fast food, $0.99 pizza etc don’t count) would be Kent’s Kitchen. 2 Items on Rice for $4.50 before HST. I’m sure Tana’s has tons of other rec’s.

    • Yup and of course Kent’s Kitchen. $4.50 plus tax. you get a big pile of food. The price used to include sales tax, but not after the HST came out. Thanks Lotusrapper :)

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