A Nibble at Haru Korean Kitchen

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Honey, I’m home!!

After four months away in DC, I’m finally back in Vancouver and eager to try out new places that sprung up in my absence. I met up with Nafiza recently and to fulfill our cravings for Korean food, we visited the new Haru Korean Kitchen in Gastown. We were surprisingly pleased.

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Modern, and minimalist aesthetic inside the restaurant mixed with some traditional, bright Korean prints in the upholstery of the benches. Loved the large windows that lets in lots of beautiful natural light.

The menu at Haru seems to be medium priced for a Korean restaurant that serves mostly simple Korean dishes like mandu, japchae, with some new dishes mixed in. For Gastown, Haru’s price range leans towards the economical side, which is a plus.

This is our modest spread. We have major plans for dessert for our date, so we were rather restrained when we ordered lunch. We usually cover a 4-seat table when we eat Korean food. Ha.

The seafood and green onion jeon was the star. The pancake had a lot of green onion and seafood, mostly squid, and just enough pancake batter to hold the shape and form a nice crust. The pancake tasted very light, and sweet from the fried green onion. And unlike the seafood pancakes we’ve had before, which were more expensive and also more carbby, this was a delight, and not that greasy either. We managed to finish it without getting a food coma.

The stone bowl al-bap, which had rice topped with cappelin roe, pickled radish, cucumber and others was a very light tasting stone bowl. It was salty from the roe and the pickled radish, but refreshing overall and had a very enticing smell of the sea. I wish there were more seafood, maybe more fish to make it more substantial

The japchae with assorted vegetables was very lightly seasoned, not too greasy. It tasted like japchae that could be made at home, but nothing worth writing home about.

Overall, it was a great lunch and reasonably priced. We are both curious to try more dishes at Haru, such as the tofu stew, vegetable fritters, and the braised spicy pork ribs. Also, I like that the kimchi at Haru was quite spicy and stinky. However, we had to specifically order the banchan, it was not complimentary like in most other Korean restaurants, and I wish the side dishes had more varieties as well.

 

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