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Monday 30 April 2012

Ginseng Restaurant Edmonton, AB - Awesome Korean BBQ chicken, boneless beef ribs, grilled veges and yummy bi bim bap!

Delectable Korean BBQ boneless beef ribs, chicken and veges 
Marinated uncooked items 8/10
Menu items 8/10
Cooked buffet items 6/10

With a deep primordial craving for meeeeeaaat, we called up like minded hungry friends and left all our jackets in the car before heading into Ginseng as we knew from past experiences, your clothes will be saturated with the smell of BBQ'ed meat for days to come. Decor is wood panelling, with touches of gold and warm browns, with cozy private dining booths available for larger groups as well as plenty of tables in the dinning area - all have stainless steel exhaust hoods to help vent the delicious aroma of grilled veges and savory meat. A couple of us went with the all you can eat Korean BBQ while others went with the hot stone bowl ricebowl full of goodies otherwise knows as bi bim bap. Mmmm... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Bi Bim Bap
A traditional dish where a hot stone bowl is heated up super hot, and rice, sauteed or grilled meat, vegetables and an egg is layered in, so at the end of your meal, the rice has absorbed all the savory juices from everything else, and the hot stone bowl has crisped up the rice into a lovely crispy crunchiness. Mmmmm! Ginseng's version has chicken or beef or seafood marinated in a sweet fruit based marinade before its sauteed and layered along with a bean sprout salad fragrant in its sesame dressing, lightly pickled and tangy shredded carrots and cucumbers. Its finished off with a sunny side up egg that has a perfectly warm and runny yolk you use as sauce along with the sweetened garlic-chili sauce you add in yourself. Garnished with some crisp nori, this is a super satisfying bowl of soul food - soft, crispy, savory, sweet, salty, spicy, savory tangy and comforting nom!

There's a decent selection of cooked items in the buffet tables - stir fried rice, noodles, a Korean soup of the day (sometimes a ginseng laced chicken soup, or sweet and sour vegetable soup, tonight's a savory vegetarian soup chock full of tofu, bamboo shoots and julienned veges), fried chicken, fish, cooked mussels, cooked veges, salads, and kimchi.  

I stick to the uncooked marinated items cuz I'm here to BBQ! The boneless beef ribs were calling my name!

 Marinated in a fruit marinade that had a fresh kiwi component (some bits of kiwi were still dotting the meat), once grilled to your own liking at the grill at the table.. super tender with just a touch of sweetness from the fruit to really bring out the savoriness of the beef. YOM!  

We threw in some baby squid too.. grilled up nice and tender sweet Mmmm!
BBQ Korean boneless beef ribs and some squid to change it up

The beef is so delicious it deserves another closeup. We had vegetables that night as well.. mushrooms, zucchini, sweet bell peppers mmmmm!

Next up was the BBQ chicken. We had the lamb and super spicy pork, but we enjoyed the succulent chicken thighs better. Moist and packed full of flavor, it was hard to remember to eat our grilled veges!

We finished off a languorous dinner with some fresh fruit, and almost had to waddle out after our fill of deliciously marinated Korean BBQ items and Korean food. Mmmm!

Ginseng Restaurant
7-9261 34 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6E
Phone (780) 450-3330
Hours Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm

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KimHo said...

There are different versions of bi bim bap, the one served in the picture above would be the one called "dolsot bi bim bap" because of the hot stone bowl. What I find somewhat odd from the picture above is the egg: in pretty much every place I have had it - except in Edmonton - the egg is raw. In a way (and in my opinion), it works way better to bind the different components together. Now, the "regular" version of bi bim bap (served in a metal bowl or, in some cases, take out containers) does come with the egg cooked.

Also, about the galbi, it is interesting yours came without the bones. Once again, in pretty much all Korean places I have been, they are served bone it. Granted, eating them is more of a pain because you have to go through the bones; however, it adds a lot more flavour.

As for myself, I find that eating in Korean restaurants by yourself is a bit of a pain. The main reason is that the "interesting" dishes aren't usually served for single customers but larger groups. Still, even then, I do go for one particular dish: sundubu jigae. It is a tofu soup with seafood and it works well for one! :)

nomnomnom said...

Yup - the pictured is a dol-sot, since its served in a super duper piping hot stone bowl.. otherwise no crunchy flavoured rice at the end of the meal!! :P

The egg is just barely cooked - the egg yolk is super runny, and the egg white is barely set. I think they cook it a little, as customers may "quail" at *gasp* a completely raw large egg sitting in a saw of cooked items. hahaha.. sorry, couldn't help but use the pun.

As for the boneless beef ribs - yeah, the bones give it a bit more flavour, but I hate bone shards, and with boneless ribs.. besides making it quite child-friendly, these ones had plenty of flavour and I didn't miss wrestling with the bones to get a the yummy meaaaaat! And there's an additional plus to bones ribs - there isn't a giant pile of bones as evidence to how much of the ribs anyone ate :D

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