Choon Ha Choo Dong Korean Restaurant, All You Can Eat (Vancouver, BC)  » Restaurants  »
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36 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T1V4
  • Normally, we are quite picky about restaurants, so I decided to scope it out with some coworkers first before taking the family
  • I think it was recently renovated, so the floors and walls are clean and bright
  • I thought that the variety was decent for lunch, and you really don't want too many choices anyway
  • Their chefs got creative, and the rolls were made well (I used to work at a restaurant and I know good rolls)
  • Definitely a place we would go back to regularly

    • by Stephanie Angeles

      all reviews
      My family and decided to try out this Korean/Japanese Restaurant on Broadway after seeing an ad in the paper for it. Normally, we are quite picky about restaurants, so I decided to scope it out with some coworkers first before taking the family.

      The location is not great. It’s on Broadway between the “good” parts — too far from Cambie, and not quite close enough to Main– so it does not really get much traffic. I did not find it difficult to get to, but that’s because I work in the area. The entrance is a bit shady, too. All you see is a huge sign on the second floor that says “Korean Japanese Restaurant”; the restaurant is on the second floor, so the first thing you see are stairs. When I went with my coworkers (I had suggested the place and rounded up 5 boys), they thought I was leading them to some sketchy Asian place. Upon reaching the restaurant itself though, the place actually doesn’t look half bad. I think it was recently renovated, so the floors and walls are clean and bright. There is a sushi bar right up front, and lots of seating. I really liked that they had open seating and private seating (rooms that closed off through sliding panels). Our family usually gets quite loud, with a baby and all, and I usually find Asian restaurants to be so loud you have to yell; so private rooms was a great feature.

      We went for the all you can eat, and I had it both at lunch and at dinner. The lunch menu was pretty good. They had the standard rolls, california, dynamite, spicy tuna, etc. Sashimi was limited to 8 pieces per person, which was a

      good amount for lunch. They offered three kinds of meat for Korean BBQ - chicken, beef, and pork. I thought that the variety was decent for lunch, and you really don’t want too many choices anyway. The dinner menu was what got me. I was honestly impressed. They even put specialty rolls on there, which you rarely see at Japanese/Korean places. While we were ordering and eating, I thought of a dinner that I had recently at Shabusen, and felt ripped off (by Shabusen). Dinner gave you a wider selection of meats to grill, including spicy and non-spicy options, which was great. We had kids in the group, so having the choice was great.

      Taste & Quality - When we read reviews for this place, most of the food websites had not-so-good reviews. People did not like the service, they weren’t happy with the food. Either they changed chefs from the time the reviews were written to the time we went, or those people were on crack, because we all thought it was great, and I went with two separate groups of people. The first group was mostly Caucasian boys, and the second group was well-seasoned all-you-can-eat Asians. Although the sauces were sweeter than most Japanese restaurants, I think this would have been the Korean influence. I grew up in a household where sugar was added to SALSA, so my palate is fine with a hint of sweetness added. I especially liked their spicy sashimi sauce — a good balance of zing and sweet, while not overpowering your palate so you actually still taste the fish. All the rolls were great (I still can’t get over the variety!) They even had deep fried rolls on the menu, which were delicious.

      Their chefs got ...

      • creative, and the rolls were made well (I used to work at a restaurant and I know good rolls). They didn’t fall apart on you when you picked them up. The sashimi (and this is important for sushi places) was quite fresh. Not the freshest fish, but for a $25 all you can eat, this was more than decent. I would not recommend the octopus. This was my personal favourite sashimi, but I don’t think they were busy enough to have a decent turnover of the octopus. I felt it was dry and a bit rubbery. The chicken karage… (stopped for a moment to think about it there) was AMAZING. The batter was great, really crunchy but light, chicken was seasoned perfectly, and did not come out greasy. The grilled meats were seasoned well, spicy pork was great, although too spicy for my sister (who doesn’t eat anything spicy at all). Even pieces that were left a bit long on the grill were tender. Their dessert choice was either Jello or Tapioca, and having grown up half in North America and half in South East Asia, this was a dream. The jello was great consistency, not too stiff, not too soft; the Tapioca was basically a coconut milk base with tapioca in it –super refreshing. Despite a sweeter palate, the dessert was not overly sweet, and after a very, very big meal, the tapioca hit the spot. Overall, I think food quality was good, both on the Japanese side and the Korean side.

        Service - Again, in the reviews, we kept reading that they had terrible reviews, but our server was amazing! He was one of those people who really loved his job. Efficient, fast, cheerful, very personable, despite poor English, he did an

        amazing job and kept us all happy. Food was served quickly, and the best part was that they actually gave you what you ordered. We have been to many AYCE places, and they usually slash your order down by a few pieces or sometimes slash your order all together. We got every thing we ordered, and the food came out in a timely manner. Another thing I liked was their menu was simple. It was all done by 1 piece. Sometimes, AYCE places make it confusing, like making each order a set of 3 or 4, so if you make the mistake of writing 2 orders of california roll, you expect 2 pieces but get 6. I always feel like I get tricked. This place kept it simple, one was one. Another thing to mention, and this is something I haven’t seen anywhere else before, they actually came and changed your grill. We got 3 grill changes in our dinner meal and 1 grill change during lunch. It just shows a level of service and care that none of us expected but really appreciated. One thing that needed work was their vents, as the place got a bit smoky on occassion, but the grill-changing really helped keep the smoke clear.

        We each paid $30 with tax and tip, which was very reasonable for Vancouver. All of us left happy — food was great, service was great. The location isn’t the best, but parking was so much easier compared to other places on broadway. We came in three cars and all parked in a row; $2 meter parking got us 2 hours (can’t get that rate anywhere on West Broadway). Definitely a place we would go back to regularly! I can’t wait to get more chicken karage…

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 715071584710431/k2311a0715/7.15.12
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