Sura Korean BBQ is located inside Aberdeen Centre in Richmond. Sura is definitely leaning towards in becoming a high end restaurant, aiming to represent the luxury side of Korean cuisine. Their grand opening was just a few months ago with less than a year in business. We called to make a reservation on a Saturday night and they said they don’t take reservations. There was a line when we arrived around 7:30pm but it was not long. There’s probably only 3-5 tables ahead of us. The wait was short (considering this is a BBQ place which normally people take their time). We got our table within 35-40 minutes.
What I must point out is the environment. It is super clean and tidy considering this is a BBQ place. Maybe because the place is still new? But it definitely shouts decent date night/ decent hangout place to me. Each table has its own BBQ stove. If you’re wondering what that metal thing on the table is… That is a sprinkler for the BBQ stove in case of fire. Usually they are above each table on the celling but the celling is pretty high and I guess for safety regulations, they had to build it on the table. It didn’t bother the dinning experience tho.
For the side dishes, we got some kimchi, sweet potatoes, and mushroom with cucumbers. The server there said their side dishes change everyday.
For the BBQ, we ordered three different meat dishes – ox tongue ($15), pork jowl ($19), and the royal marinated galbi (beef) ($28). There’s two different kind of Korean BBQ place. One, severs will come and do the BBQ for you and the other, the servers let you deal with your own BBQ. Sura was the first one. Our server came and tried to do our BBQ for us which kind of bugs me cause I want to play with my own BBQ stove! But she gave us great tips.
Apparently there’s an order to follow when you grill your food. She said you’re suppose to start with the one that has the lightest taste. Just like eating sushi! (Not a lot of people know about the right way to eat sushi. In Japan, sushi means nigiri sushi instead of the rolls we eat here. That’s another story, maybe I can write about that later on.) Anyways, we had to grill our ox tongue first, then the pork jowl, lastly the royal marinated galbi (beef). When we grill the ox tongue, we had to turn down the heat because the meat were super thin. If the heat is too high, the tongue might just melt and disappeared.
It was a disappointment because they don’t provide you oil on your table. Our server just brushed a thin layer of oil on our stove and put our meat on it. There was not enough oil. The tongue was sticked to our stove and it eventually got burned before we could save it. Luckily she didn’t throw all our meat in. We asked for more oil before grilling again. Overall, the tongue is not on my recommended list. It’s not because it wasn’t seasoned or marinated, but it just doesn’t have a nice flavour not even the fresh flavour of meat. No taste at all. Plus, the slices are so thin! It’s really not worth it.
When you’re done with the tongue, you turn the heat back up for the pork jowl. The pork jowl was better. Probably because the stove was now warmed up. And that the jowl have more fat content so it produces its own oil while grilling. The meat quality is very decent. I will recommend the pork jowl.
The royal marinated galbi (beef) comes in a huge piece. You have to cut them down to little pieces before grilling. I would say it tasted decent. The marinated sauce was pretty nice. A little sweet and not too salty. However, the price is just way too expensive for this piece of meat.
Everything on the menu is pretty pricy. We couldn’t order more meat to grill because we know we won’t be fed full and our wallet will hurt. So we ordered some starch hoping it will fill our tummies.
We had the seafood pancake ($20). First of all, that is expensive for the portion we got! It was consider tiny compared to the other Korean places I’ve been to. Second of all, there’s not even anything exciting about the taste of the pancake. It tasted alright. So disappointed!
Then we had the stone rice. I forgot how much that cost us, probably around $12. Again, it was alright. Really nothing special and the portion is small.
This meal costed us $100 before tips but our tummies were barely half stuffed (sorry I forgot to mention there were 5 of us). Let’s just say if I was wealthy, I might come back and stand in line for their food.