To ease the stress of the new school year, there is nothing better than a home-cooked meal — cooked for you by a professional. Good thing that Vancouver has no shortage of family-style Korean restaurants that make you feel right at home.
Right in the centre of downtown’s Robson Street lies roughly 10 Korean BBQ establishments. With so many choices, it is almost impossible to pick one out. I am here today to speed-run for you the stressful moment of choosing the proper restaurant: Sura, located at 1518 Robson Street, is an excellent choice.
I am not Korean so I'm no expert, but my food recommendations have never failed to impress. Sura delivers excellent Korean dining experiences to anyone looking for spectacular (if extravagant) food in a comfortable location.
A relaxing aura washes over you when you enter. The interior weaves a modern aesthetic with that of a Korean traditional household. Sura’s minimalist decor matches the deceptively simple menu placed on the table. It offers only dumplings, salad, rice and four kinds of BBQ meat.
Makes my life easier! “I will take the cheapest meat, please.” Let's be honest here, none of us here are looking to pay 15 dollars for the “green salad” they have to offer.
In my experience, going to a Korean BBQ restaurant, while nourishing, can feel almost like a chore. You have to cook your own meat on the table grill while you sweat profusely over all the banchan. Either that or you bring your Korean friend and hope that you can act clueless enough for them to do the cooking for you. However, there is no need for that at Sura because the amazing waitresses will magically appear next to your table with the food already cooked.
Their speciality is definitely the galbi, described on the menu as “wholesome grilled beef short ribs marinated in authentic Korean barbecue sauce.” The price is eye-watering, but even if I were to report my credit card stolen, it would be worth the hassle to enjoy this plate of sizzling beef.
It is delivered to you on a heated cast-iron plate with the bone still attached to some of the sexiest pieces of meat I have borne witness to. There is something magical about that first bite where the meat dissolves and coats your palates with a glorious umami flavour.
I have no idea what goes into their authentic Korean BBQ sauce but whatever it is, I need more of it. The sweet tart marinade balances out the richness of the fat.
There are three rice dishes to choose from on the menu to go with your choice of meat. I personally chose the kimchi fried rice because it had the least amount of vegetables and I am not here to pay for vegetables. I will be completely honest and state that it is absolutely not worth the price. However, if you did manage to stumble across 19 dollars on your way to the restaurant, there would be no better accompaniment to the meat. I found that the slight spiciness from the fried rice was just enough to harmonize with the flavor of the Galbi without overpowering it.
Sura is definitely worth the try next time you are downtown, especially if you're coming hungry and ready to shell out for some meat.
Trust Me is The Ubyssey's restauraunt review and food writing column. If you're interested in writing about a favourite (or least favourite) restauraunt, or sharing a story about cooking and eating, email firstname.lastname@example.org!