Chinatown · Korean · Restaurants

No Man’s Dinner – Moon Korean BBQ

On Thursday, @loaf2go and I hosted our third No Man’s Dinner at Moon Korean BBQ. We named this dinner “Lovers’ Feast” because the event was the night before Valentine’s Day and we wanted to order from the all-you-can-eat menu. For this post, let’s listen to “Love Machine” by The Miracles.

Originally, our reservation was for 12 guests. By noon that day, one member said she was sick. A couple of hours later, another member said something came up. Loaf2go, T, YYCFoodiePak and Mr. YYCFoodie arrived early at Moon Korean BBQ. I arrived two minutes before 6:30 p.m. Pink Baller  arrived exactly on time. True to her name, Pink Baller brought a cake from Wow Bakery.

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 11.45.57 AM

Loaf2go, YYCFoodiePak and I were excited to finally meet Pink Baller. We all follow her on Instagram and I’m intrigued with her travel posts. I like to be frugal when I travel, so I enjoy living vicariously through her. In her last trip, I followed her fancy footsteps to top restaurants, helicopter excursions, and a Vegas Knights hockey game.

sides

By 7:00 p.m., I made the executive decision to order our food, even though Seashell and her guest were absent. We ordered from the basic all-you-can-eat menu ($24.50): fried chili tofu; Korean vegetarian pancake; braised pork side ribs; sweet and sour pork; spicy pork bulgogi; spicy beef bulgogi; pork ribs; spicy pork bulgogi; spicy chicken; kimchi; bean sprouts; sweet potatoes; lettuce; beef udon soup; vegetarian japchae; and cold buckwheat noodles.

Our server told us to order some dishes in smaller quantities as he thought we ordered too much. I’m glad we listened to him because it was a lot of food. Below are pictures I stole from Pink Baller and Loaf2go’s Instagram accounts. All the photos under NoMansDinner are Loaf2go’s photos.

tofu

The fried chili tofu wasn’t that spicy. The exterior was crispy and the tofu on the inside was light with an airy texture. I thought the tofu could have used a little salt.

pancake

The vegetarian pancake was cooked well – each side was nicely crisp. I would have liked it with some seafood or more sauce as I found the flavours muted.

nood pull

Pink Baller and I thought the vegetarian japae noodles were delicious. The noodles were soft and pliable with a sweet, salty, savoury seasoning. The medley of onions and greens were cooked so that it still had a bite to it. Loaf2go noted there was too much white pepper in the noodles.

ribs

The Korean BBQ meats were the best thing on the menu. All the meats arrived hot and freshly cooked. Our group’s favourite was the pork ribs. The pork was tender and juicy. I’d order the pork ribs and spicy chicken again.

pork

The pork side ribs reminded me of pi gwat – a Chinese dim sum dish of steamed pork ribs with black beans sauce. The ribs were meaty and soft. We were given one condiment to use for our BBQ meats – a reddish sauce that reminded me of Chinese mustard. The meats weren’t heavily seasoned. Loaf2go said for Korean food, she is used to more potency and individual flavour notes within a dish as opposed to one sauce.

pork bones

YYCFoodiePak enjoyed the cold buckwheat noodles. I found the coldness of the buckwheat noodles jarring. I preferred the beef udon. The broth was flavourful and the beef itself was very tasty. The noodles were hot and slippery.

tofu bite

I thought the sweet and sour pork was similar to ginger beef. The pork was cut into strips and battered. The sauce was light and syrupy.

sweet and sour

We were so full, we didn’t order a second round. At this time, we began to play the guilt trip game because no one wanted to eat more but we were worried we would get charged for the leftover food.

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 11.46.07 AM

Loaf2go took on the beef udon and complained that she was doing all the eating. I rolled my eyes and said I came on hot and heavy in the beginning of the meal and I ate more than anyone. I could see Pink Baller was tactful and she politely picked at the sweet and sour pork and a pork side rib. T finished up the japae noodles and ate more of the BBQ meats. YYCFoodiePak said she was going to order strawberry ice-cream. She’s not a team player. Mr. YYCFoodie ate more meats and reassured us we wouldn’t get charged for the little amount left on the plates. I could tell he’s done the all-you-can-eat before.

ake

Pink Baller was so sweet to bring a cake to her first No Man’s Dinner. I love combination of the fresh strawberries with whip cream and vanilla sponge cake. Strawberry cake is simplicity at its best. I told Pink Baller she’s invited to my upcoming fried chicken party, an off-the-record No Man’s Dinner event.

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 4.19.52 PM

For all-you-can-eat, Moon Korean BBQ doesn’t disappoint. Unlike other similar venues, all the hot food tasted freshly prepared. Stay tuned for the next No Man’s Dinner at Sukiyaki House. However, we are going to have to enforce our house rules. Bring out the Chinese feather duster!

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 10.03.28 AM

For those of you who didn’t grow up in a Chinese household, the chicken feather duster is used to discipline children for the slightest infraction. Before my father would use this atrocious device to “clean house” he would solemnly say, “This is going to hurt me more than you.” Based on the expression on his face as he levied the feather duster on our tiny, outstretched hands, he didn’t look like he was suffering.

Moon Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Korean · Restaurants

Soban

I went for lunch with Office Dad, Ms. Biz and her friend Karplop. Karlop is good friends with Miss Foodie, a well-known food photographer in Calgary. Karlop and Miss Foodie get invited to all the fancy events in Calgary, Banff and BC. Karlop informed me that Miss Foodie spends an enormous amount of time taking and editing her photos. Miss Foodie sounds like my polar opposite. Even if my picture is blurry or my friend’s finger is in the photo (on purpose of course), I’ll still use it. Karplop suggested we dine at Soban, a Korean restaurant in Chinatown. For this post, let’s listen to Gangnam Style.

I mentioned I wanted to eat light, so Ms. Biz purposely ordered fewer dishes than we would normally eat. We settled on three items – Pork Neck Soup, Chicken Bulgogi, and Beef Bibimbap. The five complimentary side dishes we received were awesome.  Each item was so different in taste and texture. The grated white vegetable was spicy and tart, reminding me a bit of KFC’s coleslaw.  The potatoes tasted like they just come out of the fryer. I also liked the pickled daikon, bean sprouts and seaweed. Refills are free too. I could just snack on these refreshing dishes for lunch if the server would let me.

I enjoyed eating the Pork Neck Soup ($13.99). The broth was hot and salty. Cabbage, onions and potatoes made up most of the ingredients. The meat in between the pork bones was fall off the bone tender. A good meal if you want something soupy and nourishing.

soup.jpg

The Chicken Bulgogi ($13.50) was well prepared. The portion was small but what was there was good. The chicken was nicely browned, flavourful, spicy and tasted like good quality meat.

hcicken.jpg

The Beef Bibimbap ($11.50) was bespeckled with pickled vegetables, egg and bits of beef. The portion was on the small side.

Ms. Biz and Carplop like Soban for their bento boxes and noodle soups. The bento boxes I saw other customers eating looked like good value. If you haven’t been before, I’d recommend Soban out for the pork neck soup, bento boxes and the delightful side dishes.

Soban Korean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinatown · Korean

Bon-Ga – Hot Pot

Office Daddy and I went out for lunch. I wanted to go somewhere new. I was thinking Kingfisher, New Tang or Auntie’s Chinese Burger. Office Daddy reminded me we haven’t checked out Bon-Ga. So off we went.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.09.58 PM.png

The restaurant wasn’t that busy, so the owner Sunny let us sit in the spacious booths. Sunny spent quite a bit of time guiding us through the menu and talking about the food. We ordered the Gam-Ja Tang Hot Pot for three ($29.99), which was way too much food for the two of us.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.10.40 PM

Sunny told us the pork broth is cooked for six hours, then seasoned with spices like garlic, onions, and red pepper. His wife and son are the chefs, while he manages the front of the restaurant.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.09.34 PM

We received complimentary tea, rice, sides of cold potato, sprouts, kimchi and a whole lot of dishes to use for our hotpot. Sunny instructed us to break the bones apart and suck up all the good bits and soft pieces around the bones. He gave us a metal container to put the cartilage in when we finished as well as extra napkins.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.09.41 PM.png

The Gam-Ja Tang comes with loads of pork still on the bone, green onions, potatoes and kimchi. The broth wasn’t spicy, as Sunny wanted to ease us into our first experience eating Korean hotpot. I really appreciated his sincere desire to ensure we enjoyed the food and that any questions we had were answered.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.09.50 PM

The pork was super tender and easily fell of the bone. Office Daddy liked the soup so much, he drank all of it. The potatoes were soft and almost melted on your tongue. I enjoyed eating the cooked green onions and cabbage with the rice and soup.

Next time, I want to also try the fried chicken, rice bowl and seafood pancake. I saw other people ordering the fried chicken, which smelled amazing. I could see that the bento boxes were also popular options with customers.

Check it out, particularly if you aren’t well-versed in Korean cuisine. Sunny will walk you through the menu. I recommend trying the hotpot, but beware, it is messy to eat.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Bon-Ga Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato