Insadong Korean BBQ And Seafood Restaurant is a popular choice for Korean food in Coquitlam since it’s a large restaurant with multiple private rooms, perfect for parties. We’ve dined at Insadong once before a couple years ago and don’t recall the restaurant being all that exceptional. But we were in the mood for Korean and thought we’d give it another shot.
We arrived early in the evening so it was easy to get a table. After we were seated, corn tea was presented to us with our menus. Traditional roasted corn tea (oksusu cha) is not my favourite type of tisane, perhaps because I drank so much of it in Seoul. However, if you enjoy this type of plant infused beverage, then you’ll like this particular drink.
#59. Dolsot Bibimbap ($9.99) – Vegetables and beef on rice, served in a hot stone bowl. Generally bibimbap (both the hot and cold versions) in Korea are also served with a raw of sunny side up egg on top. It’s always fun to mix the egg into the dish as the rice gets crispy and crunchy on the bottom of the pipping hot stone. Despite the lack of egg, this was a delicious dolsot bibimbap. It had generous portions of meat and veggies, and was a really satisfying dish.
Plenty of complimentary sides were provided with our meal – kimchi, potatoes, bean sprouts, etc. – and promptly refilled when requested.
#17. Sliced Pork Brisket Non-Marinated ($13.99) – Called samgyeopsal in Korean, it’s thick and fatty slices of pork belly meat, essentially uncured bacon. Sliced with scissors and accompanied on the platter with raw button mushrooms, it’s straight up meat slices – neither marinated nor seasoned. The idea is to grill it yourself to your desired level of doneness and add meat with condiments to customize to your specific taste. Dipping sauces were ssamjang and gireumjang. The latter being like crack – salt, sesame oil, and a little bit of black pepper. Then wrap it up in lettuce leaves. Generally, you’re required to order two orders to be able to barbecue the meat at your table, if it’s one order they will cook it in the kitchen for you. Our server let us order one which was nice. Not sure if she was just being kind that day or if it’s a new policy for them – the menu says minimum two orders.
Above is a finished samgyeopsal wrap in all its glory. We like to grill the garlic and kimchi to intensity their flavours, but you can also include them raw. That’s the beauty of samgyeopsal and Korean barbecue in general: do what you want!
Insadong is authentic, right down to its spotty service. Our call button didn’t work, so we had to ring the one at the table behind us. Don’t be afraid to press the button to call for a server – that’s what it’s there for. Usually, your server won’t come unless it’s rung – or even if it is rung, often she still won’t respond!