So, the next thing you know there were, all eight of us, at this sleek and modern Korean bbq restaurant at the corner of First and Renfrew.
One thing that impressed us early on was the extent of the banchan. I counted 15 items all lined up around the grill. Surprising to me was a taste of pasta salad and broccoli with a spicy sauce. None of these was really mind-blowing and I would not return just for that feature but at least there was something for everyone.
The above photo is of roughly half of the bbq items for the Combination for Six. We sat at 2 tables for four that were adjacent to each other. Tables can't be moved all over the place because each has a grill (and a very good and unimposing fan system) but they split the order between each table for us. The appeal of combinations is that it is hard to know otherwise, how much of the different meats for the grill to order. If you want the combo details you can check their website otherwise, you know, ribs, beef, pork, chicken...all pretty good.
This combo comes with a couple of additional dishes namely, Deep Fried Pork with Sweet and Sour Sauce and Seafood Pancake. The pork was as advertised. I am not a huge sweet and sour fan and the pork was a bit on the chewy side but at least there were some vegetables. My opinion may have been in the minority though as this dish was mostly finished off.
The seafood pancake came very hot and with a nice dipping sauce. It was quite good and curiously made up more of imitation crab then actual batter.
Rounding out the combo, there was Soft Tofu Soup and rice for everyone. In hindsight, the combo for six probably would have sufficed for all 8 of us (we have one young'un in our number). At $165, I consider this to be a pretty good deal. But as always we tend to follow the rule that too much is better than not enough (as if we have never heard of ordering an extra dish after if we are still hungry).
So we ordered Korean Deep Fried Chicken with Spicy Garlic Sauce. We asked for the sauce on the side which the folks were cooperative enough to arrange although it does not result in anything Instagram worthy. While the sauce was quite impressive the chicken was much more batter than bird and left me a little disappointed. I'm guessing that I would not have noticed if the dish was combined with sauce and protein together.
Overall our experience was fine. Cooking for yourself whether barbeque or hot pot or even fondue for that matter is more of a novelty than the path to really good eats. For my money, I like to leave the restaurant food to more talented cooks than myself. I will continue to practice my cooking at home for myself and Marie.
Nevertheless, this was a comfortable experience and the staff were very accommodating.
For what it's worth and the Combo for Six, we give Kook Korean BBQ 3 1/2 out of 5.