Monday, January 14, 2013

Large portions at Ap Gu Jung

Ap Gu Jung Korean on Urbanspoon Like many places on Robson Street, the storefront is deceptive compared to the actual amount of seating inside. Ap Gu Jung has two levels, and they need it because they are really quite a busy place. Table access is a bit of a squeeze between seats and tables, however.

If you are upstairs, you may have a bit of difficulty getting the attention of a server, so you may have to actually wave your hand at one. Try to ask for individual bills early. Also, you pay downstairs at the bar. If you are stuck with a group bill, you can pay individually by citing your seat and/or order number (it's listed on the bill). They can reprint one on the spot. Then, just tell them how much you are putting toward the bill.

Service is probably fine if you're Korean, but if you're not, it can be tricky. Our trainee server (it said "trainee" on his name tag) was polite and patient, but there was clearly a language issue. This is not to say that it's their fault, since most of their clientele was Korean, so we were the aliens there. Just be aware and speak more slowly and clearly than you normally do. When using the menu,  give them the number, and if possible, point to it since the menu also lists the item in Korean.

I was here a few years ago and had a cold noodle dish that was sweet, super-spicy, and had sea snails (which were sort of tough, actually). I couldn't find that on the menu this time, but there's still plenty of interesting animal body parts if you're looking for it.
  • Pan fried chicken gizzards and vegetables with sesame oil ($10.95)
    • There's an oily sauce of some kind that's salty. It does go well with the item.
    • The "vegetables" are almost entirely large wedges of onion, and it can look like most of the dish is onion, but there's actually a good amount of meat here.
    • The small pieces of grey meat is the chicken gizzard. A long time ago, when I was still a lil' one, my parents discovered marinated chicken gizzard in a can and they just kept buying it because we found it so tasty, if a bit hard. This dish, unfortunately, didn't bring back that nice nostalgia. The pieces are rubbery crunchy tough.
    • Overall, give this a pass. It works out to onion plus tough bits of meat.
    • It's listed as a "share plate as a starter" and the portion is main course sized.
  • Homemade steamed pork & vegetable dumplings ($10.95, or $12.95 with prawns)
    • This is four tennis-ball sized round dumplings. The white dough skin is a bit mushy, but there's so much meat that's all you taste anyway. There's also actually quite a bit of vegetables mixed into the meat. Otherwise, it's like an oversized serving of something you might get in a dim sum place.
    • Tastes OK. Nothing special here except for the startlingly large portion size. One order of this would make a somewhat monotonous but definitely filling meal.
  • BBQ Chicken Heart Skewers ($7.95)
    • I ordered this, but it sort-of never came. Apparently it did come to the table, but it was announced as "chicken skewers". Someone had ordered BBQ Chicken Skewers (#12), so they took it. Later his order of Chicken Skewers came, and only then did we realize that the earlier order was chicken heart skewers.
    • It was a disappointing error since our server seemed to carefully write down our orders, but apparently just put them together assuming we were going to share. Every item that came to the table had to be announced, so clearly they didn't know or remember who had ordered what.
Overall, the large potions you commonly get here makes this place better for small groups so you can all order and share stuff.

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