After 10 days of being in Vancouver, my uncle had to leave to go back :( My sister suggested Haroo to have the farewell dinner there as she quite liked it the last time she was here. We had 7 people so we took two cars. Parking in that mall was a nightmare! With limited parking spots during dinner hours and Richmond renowned driving skill, it was almost not worth coming into this mall… (C: But as you’ll see, Haroo is definitely worth it!)
This restaurant is quite small but homey. It is like a little mom and pop kind of restaurant. It is quite unique that you get your own utensil at the table’s drawer. I just find that quite neat! (C: I think it’s run by the husband/wife duo. Haroo took over the space that used to be an Asian dessert shop, so if you’ve been to that little dessert shop across from Deer Garden, you’ll relive that general layout in Haroo).
We ordered A LOT of food. We simply could not wait! By that time it was around 7:45pm which is close to an hour past our usual dinner time. We were so glad that some complementary congee arrived fairly quickly after we ordered. The texture of the congee is great! The rice is all “opened” and “綿”. I guess 綿 means like soft and smooth? My uncle tasted fish was added to the congee but I couldn’t taste it at all. I just know it is delicious :) (C: I couldn’t really taste much fish either, but I could taste a sort of sesame flavour. It’s a thicker congee that is well seasoned, making it a really nice appetizer!)
Salad…the dressing is like the store brought raspberry salad dressing. From the picture, you can see the portion is quite big. It is quite refreshing to eat on a very hot day.
The main dishes and the little dishes arrived at the same time. I went in attack mode on the main dishes and barely tried the side dishes. We had to clear dishes out fast as we were running out of table space to put the plates. The kitchen sure pushed out dishes at such a fast rate… (C: The little dishes were great. I especially liked the green seaweed dish, kimchi dish, and the black fungus dish. I’ve had better potatoes though)
THE SEAFOOD PANCAKE! It is a must to order at Korean restaurant! This the BEST one I’ve had! I give them props for putting the pancake on a rack to keep the crispiness on both side and to prevent the pancake becoming too oil as time passes. The funny thing is…I am not a fan of seafood. I picked out a lot of squid, shrimps and Chinese chives for C to eat! ;p The pancake is quite tasty on its own so I did not even eat it with the sauce!
(C: She gave me all the good fillings! It was quite crispy, and not as oily as the seafood pancake of some other places. There was a lot of fillings, which is good. Exterior was crispy and the cake wasn’t overly doughy).
Tteokbokki…this is a dish my mom and I loved as it taste like the Chinese 年糕 (Rice cake). I love the chewiness/gluten of the rice cake pair with the sweet/chili sauce. The sauce is the soul of this dish I believe as rice cake is similar everywhere. There was so much sauce and so tasty that C used rice to mop up the last bit of sauce! (C: This dish was sooooo good! The sauce was very spicy and the rice cakes were just the right amount of chewy. What I really liked about the overall dish was that it wasn’t just pure spiciness like you might get at H-mart; this sauce had some slight sweetness and seasoning as well).
How can you go to a Korean restaurant without trying the bulgogi? This dish didn’t disappoint. The beef was buttery and tender. The marinate/sauce is sweet with teriyaki flavor. The mushrooms and onions were great on their own too! This dish came on a sizzling hot plate. I got oil splattered on me a few time I did not like that! (C: Besides splashing oil on Q, this was one of my favourite dishes! Nice thick beef but tender and easy to chew through. Bulgogi isn’t hard to do, but it isn’t easy to make it stand out from the other places. Haroo makes it stand out!)
The jap chae arrived on the table steaming hot. Jap chae is a stir fry of sweet potato noodles in assorted veggies and meat with sesame oil. The noodle is clear, chewy and moist. You almost had to slurp up the noodle. Again, we all cleared the plate really quickly cuz it was just that delicious. (C: It’s Japchae, enough said. Japchae is always good!)
This is my favourite dish: kimchi pork fried rice! C loved it even more after we popped the yolk and let it run…(again YUCK TO RUNNY EGG YOLK!) The kimchi was nicely fermented without overly spicy. The pork, like the beef, was tender. I have nothing bad to say about this dish other then you have to try it! (C: yummy runny egg yolks! Really nice fried rice, and awesome presentation. The way it was plated did make it a bit messy to scoop the rice though…)
C saw this on the menu and requested if we could get this. This is a bimbimbap shaped into a cake. Doesn’t it look pretty? (C: you mean, doesn’t this look EPIC?) But by this time, we were so stuffed! Everybody wanted only half a slice of the flower but not C. He requested a whole piece of flower pedal to himself! (C: This caught my eye immediately. I’ve never heard of any restaurant having a bimbimbap cake before. It came out in a beautiful dish and even had a sort of candle in the middle! Perfect for those who don’t want an orthodox cake!)
It is layer of rices with assorted veggies and topped off with beef. I was too stuff to even eat it. I packed it for lunch the next day and it was still very good. Beside looking impressive, it is a mediocre dish compared to all the other dishes on the table. (C: It tasted pretty good to me! It’s not the stone bowl type of bimbimbap (dolsot bimbimbap), rather, it’s the classic version. I was a bit disappointed that there was no egg, but overall it tasted better than the average bimbimbap (the non-stone bowl type) and I would totally order it again! The rice is also flavoured and the beef was really good.)
My mom watches a lot of Korean drama. She wanted to get soju but was distracted by this plum wine instead. They all liked the sweetness of it but to me, it is just alcohol. People liked it and my mom took the unfinished bottle home because there were 3 plums in it. (C: I really liked this drink! It’s nothing like the Japanese plum wine, which I find actually tastes weirdly bitter. This one is very sweet, yet high in the alcoholic content. I could have bottles of this stuff!) Mom said the wine tasted better after a few days and the plum flavour became stronger and prominent. I find it kind of neat how this is similar to the Japanese marple cola where you have to break the glass to get to the marple (or plums).
All in all, a nice family style restaurant with good, basic Korean food being served at a fast rate. If the parking situation isn’t that horrific, I would definitely come back again.