Friday, December 6, 2013

Kyung Bok Palace 景福宮 (2nd visit)

FIRST POST ON KYUNG BOK PALACE [HERE]


Oh this is embarrassing... to quote my previous post, "I should have gotten AYCE. The food does not taste good, but good enough if you are hungry." When I am not sure what to eat, I always choose AYCE (regardless of Western or Japanese cuisine) because it is a lot easier than driving around in circles and looking for a restaurant. I find AYCE restaurants easier to choose because you know what to expect and can order many items on the menu. Having tried a la carte on my previous visit, I concluded that Kyung Bok Palace is a restaurant intended for only AYCE.


The restaurant's interior is spacious with booth seating and a couple private rooms. The interior actually somewhat resembles Insadong.


ADULT $19.95 CHILD (6-9) 14.95 CHILD (3-5) $4.95
DELUXE $21.95 CHILD (6-9) $15.95 (3-5) $5.95



The price difference between the regular and deluxe menu is $2.00 and for an extra couple of dollars, sushi rolls are included. The waiters/waitresses use a cart to bring the dishes. I was a bit surprised that the raw meat was placed right in front of our face, rather than to the side of the table or beside our plates (I think it is because the waiter tossed the plates and it felt awkward). The waiter who brought the dishes also tilted the plate of chicken causing a good amount of marinade to spill on my plate. I felt bad asking for a new plate because he looked at me like I was a hassle. 

MARINATED TENDER BEEF AND FRESH PORK BELLY. The marinated tender beef tastes somewhat tender but not flavourful or tasty, and the fresh pork belly tastes bland and not fatty. The presentation of the meats look neat and tidy though right?!

MARINATED CHICKEN AND SLICED BEEF BRISKET. The deboned chicken thigh tastes juicy, fatty and tender, our favourite out of the meats. The sliced beef brisket tastes bland but I like that the exact amount of pieces we ordered is served.

SEASONED MILD PORK SIRLOIN  AND SPICY PORK SIRLOIN. The seasoned mild pork sirloin tastes chewy, flavourless and not tasty. For the spicy pork sirloin, it tastes slightly oilier than the seasoned pork but not spicy.

SESAME OIL SAUCE, SOY SAUCE AND SPICY RICE CAKE. I like the sesame oil with salt n' pepper and think it is one of the better ones I have had at a Korean restaurant (due to the extra amount of salt and pepper). The rice cake is served cold and tastes like cold rice cake with kimchi sauce. 

BANCHAN, KOREAN SIDE DISHES. KIMCHI, KIMCHI RADISH, SWEET POTATOES AND TAKOYAKI. The kimchi tastes like cheap pickled vegetables and does not taste spicy. Next, the radish has no kimchi taste and tastes like Chinese pickled vegetables. Continuing, the sweet potatoes taste barely cooked but has a slight sweetness, and the takoyaki has a mushy raw like texture but is cooked.

GINSENG WHOLE CHICKEN SOUP, A WHOLE YOUNG CHICKEN STUFFED WITH RICE AND BOILED IN A BROTH OF GINSENG WITH DRIED SEEDED JUJUBE FRUITS, GARLIC AND GINGER [SAMGYETANG] ($10.95). The soup has a light ginseng and somewhat mild chicken broth taste. The one jujube fruit was still dry and not edible, it would have been nice if it was cooked longer in the soup. For the whole chicken, the chicken tastes tender as well as bland (which I am okay with) and is stuffed with rice. I like that the chicken is actually stuffed with rice, rather than Sura's version where the chicken is not stuffed with rice and is more like a chicken congee. The ginseng chicken noodle soup from my previous visit tasted a lot better and the chicken was tasty as well.

SALMON, CALIFORNIA, DYNAMITE AND BEEF TERIYAKI ROLL, AND SWEET AND SPICY CHICKEN AND SWEET AND SOUR PORK. The sushi rolls taste average, edible and not heavy on the mayonnaise. The rice tastes a bit stiff and hard but not as bad as it sounds. The rolls are a nice break to munch on in between the meats and I like that some of the rolls are sprinkled with sesame seeds. The sweet and spicy chicken and sweet and sour pork are both a bit overly battered but not over deep fried. The sweet and spicy chicken has a nice honey garlic sauce taste, and the sweet and sour pork has a kimchi spicy sauce taste.

POSITIVES
- All you can eat?
- Spacious and comfortable restaurant 

NEGATIVES
- Previous AYCE menu was better (had short ribs and pork chops which tasted pretty good)
- Meats are not tasty (except chicken only because it is the thigh and tastes juicy)
- Food takes too long to come out (even if restaurant is not busy) and may not taste good enough for round two
- Service is odd.. a bit rude, careless and only understandable if you have been here

LITTLE THINGS
- First post on Kyung Bok Palace [here]
- Ginseng chicken noodle soup tastes better than the ginseng whole chicken soup
- Normal to walk up to a waiter/waitress and hand them an order sheet
- Restaurant is always overstaffed but never efficient. For a 30% capacity, the food took forty minutes to come
- For roughly around the same price, Insadong's combo is a better value and tastes good
- Depending how much you can eat or like the dishes, another Korean restaurant may be a better bang for your buck. I previously said the AYCE is good enough if you are hungry but that was for the old AYCE menu, not the new one

Food: 1/5
Service: 2/5

Kyung Bok Palace 景福宮 on Urbanspoon

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