Food Review: Korean Barbeque and Sushi, Newark, DE
A new semi-regular feature here will be restaurant reviews when I try a place or get around to writing about it. Here is the first.
This weekend, I went to Korean Barbeque and Sushi Bar in Newark, Delaware, the Home of Tax-Free Shopping. I’ve lived here for 4 years but never tried the place, but friends of ours recommended it highly, so my wife and I went along with our friends, a dating couple. The dress code was casual, and since it was a Saturday night my friend made reservations. I was glad he did; the place is small, about a dozen tables or so, and all but one four-top was filled when we got there.
I was impressed to see that the place was full of what could possibly be Koreans, dining and enjoying the food. To me, an ethnic restaurant that doesn’t attract that ethnicity tells me a lot about a place, so I was happy to see that at least the food appealed to those who would know the difference.
The service was friendly and polite and the place was bustling. We had to speak loudly to hear ourselves over the noise of patrons, but as the night went on one particularly loud table left and the loud voices were no longer necessary. Anyway, enough jibba-jabba and on to the food.
We ordered two appetizers, one Haemul Pajeon, seafood-and-scallion pancake, and a seaweed salad (my wife adores them). The pancake (a loose term) was a mixture of scallions and scallops, shrimp, and crab, held together by a bit of doughy “pancake” and served with a spiced soy sauce for dipping. The order was large with plenty of food available for all four of us. My wife loved the salad, but I didn’t try any for fear she’d attack me with her chopsticks (kidding, she offered of her own free will).
We were also provided with a free array of kim che dishes, from traditional cabbage to fish to turnip to cucumber to potato to – you get the idea. An amazing array, really, with plenty for everyone to sample, and I enjoyed all of them. The only spicy one was the traditional, with a sneaky heat that was nevertheless tangy and delicious.
For entrees, we had Bulgogi, marinated and sliced prime rib, Saewood Tang Soo, a sweet-and-sour shrimp dish, Chicken Yaki, a chicken and vegetable mix in a teriyaki-based sauce, and Jaeyuk Bokkum, pan-fried pork in, as the menu describes, “a special sauce.” Special doesn’t begin to explain it. The explosion of flavor as soon as the food hits your mouth was intense and absolutely pleasure-filled. Every dish was exquisite and excellent. The entrees serve 5 normal people, and I could have happily stopped with satisfaction at any point, but I refused to stop eating as long as there was food on the table. Every – and I mean every – plate was empty by the time we finished, appetizer, side, and main. I haven’t been this satisfied with a meal in probably 4 years. I highly encourage you to go, and to be adventurous: the only dish with heat was the pork dish, and I am not a lover of spicy foods, and I was enraptured by all of them. I have found a new favorite place to eat in Delaware!