We So Excited by Ian

24 March 2011

  1. hungryhungryhippo · March 24, 2011

    You know what? This is my new favourite restaurant in St. John’s. The food was amazing. Delicate but still bold. Simple ingredients but sophisticated flavours. It looks like a fancy restaurant inside but the prices are mid to low.

    I ordered the bibimbap, which I’d never had before, but it was great. I imagine you could pick anything from the menu and it would be.. Like with Chinese or Japanese restaurants, be sure to share your entree with all of your tablemates.

    Sure they have a few minor service kinks to iron out it being their first week and everything, but this restaurant blew me away.

    Can’t wait for their liquor license to arrive.

  2. Stantos · March 24, 2011

    First of all, the atmosphere was outstanding. The restaurant is beautifully decorated up and the attention to detail far exceeds the vast majority of restaurants in St. John’s.
    The owner, Julia, deeply cares about the restaurant and shows to be fully committed in showing customers a great experience of Korean food and culture.
    The portion size of the food was perfect and delicious.
    We will definitely go back again soon.

  3. Nathan Downey · March 24, 2011

    I have to say, based on one visit, I agree: my lunch here was fantastic. The food was fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced. The decor is, indeed, a lot more than one could ask and the atmosphere is great too.

    J Korean Restaurant joins Bistro Sofia at the top of my list of places to go for casual dining.

  4. Kandorc · March 24, 2011

    this restaurant has great potential to be in the #1 spot for the greatest tasting restaurant of all time!
    The owner, Julia, was a really friendly woman and was very kind too.
    when I went inside I was blown away by the decorations and the tables and chairs were very decorative!

    J Korean Restaurant will be the tastiest Asian restaurant in my mind

  5. TheTheory · March 24, 2011

    I was excited, yet somewhat expecting disappointment from the moment I saw the sign for this restaurant go up prior to opening. I never thought I would find good, authentic Korean food in St. John’s. I was more then pleasantly surprised after my first visit.

    The food is authentic and delicious right down to the side dishes (which have been different on each of my visits). Now that they have their liquor license I’m hoping that soju won’t be far behind.

    The owner and staff are excellent and the atmosphere/decor is next level all at a reasonable price.

  6. klimax · March 24, 2011

    This new restaurant is strikingly attractive and elegant. The owner greets people as they come in and the waitstaff are helpful and professional. And the food is really special: authentic Korean entrees with all the little soups, salads, and side-dishes you would expect. For all that, two can eat, drink, enjoy dessert, and leave a tip for under $80.

  7. 4Real Foodie · March 24, 2011

    I went there for take-out and was so disappointed (and trust me,I have learned to lower the bar). The menu listed a bunch of dishes that said “these dishes are served with soup and 2 side sishes”. I asked what the soup and side dishes were and was told,”bean paste/seaweed soup,kimchi and potato salad.Besides one table (a deuce) I was the only person there. The ladies at the table were screaming for a server so they could pay their bill. The server was ringing in my order and I told her to go take care of her eat-in customers seeing how my take-out order was nowhere near being ready. Now the server had 2 bills to deal with and looked perplexed at how she would cope. Someone came and helped her. When she rang in my order it looked like she had no idea how to make change for $15.80 from $20. Word: learn to use your computerized cash system and how to make change BEFORE you open for business. Back to the meal. When I was handed my take-out order,the package was so light it nearly flew out of my hand. It was a nice day so I took my meal down by the lake to eat. When I opened the package,there was NO SOUP at all. The side dishes consisted of a spoonful of kimchi (which was bok choi tossed with sriracha,not even fermented) the other side dish was a spoonful of potato salad,with apples,mayonnaise and 2 blueberries-the salad wasn’t terrific but it wasn’t even a good accoutrement to the main dish which was a paltry sized serving of beef bulgogi (I could easily replicate this dish at home) on a bed fo rice.Not impressed.Nice decor will never atone for subpar food/service.

  8. M · March 24, 2011

    I was pleasantly surprised to see such nice decor inside. Small details make the place very nice. The Food was fantastic, very delicious, and the portion size was just right. My only qualm was that the service could have been more attentive. I had to flag the waitress down for a glass of water, and it took several minutes to get it.

    Only being open for less than two months, I can’t expect perfection, so I will go back, but I’ll give them a little time to completely adjust to it all :)

  9. Jacob · March 24, 2011

    I went to J Korean expecting good food at a moderate price and (providing it’s not heat lamps and Hits FM blaring) not really caring about atmosphere.

    The food was good, the servers were definitely new but were visibly trying to do well and didn’t seem put off that I went in late… But I have no idea what people here are talking about when they talk about how “lovely” Julia is. My experience in this restaurant went sour when I overheard Julia trying to usher the servers to sign out and leave. There were two servers, one at my table and another serving a small group, and we were both just about finished. What I gathered from the ensuing conversation was that the owner hadn’t been giving them their tips, and was trying to get them to leave before either of us had paid and left.

    This sort of conduct is revolting. I don’t know what’s acceptable in Korea, but if your profit is coming straight from the till, you shouldn’t be trying to pocket the tips of your workers. There are Labour Standards in this province — I will NOT be going back, and I encourage others to do the same.

  10. Matt · March 24, 2011

    I went there with my girlfriend couple of weeks ago. The food was very delicious and the decorations were really nice. However, I was not impressed with their service at all.

    We sat at the bar but we weren’t given menues until I asked for them after 5 minutes. We never got our salad, soup and the side-dishes that supposed to come with our meal (as written on the menu) either. The waitresses were busy washing dishes in the small sink at the bar, rather than serving us. In addition, they were piling up dirty dishes on the same counter we were eating at, which was absolutely disgusting.

    The two servers seemed somewhat stressed and confused and I also noticed the owner’s poor attitude towards the servers. Watching them while dining was not a pleasant experience. I understand it is very difficult to make everyone happy with limited staff, and I can’t expect perfection, but they should know better now that they’ve been opened for months..

  11. Allison · March 24, 2011

    Having lived in South Korea for a year, I entered J Korean with very high expectations, expectations I honestly didn’t think any restaurant could come close to meeting. Reminiscing about a place and a culture that I loved had a way of making its cuisine almost perfect in my mind (which Korean food basically is, in my opinion) J Korean also had to live up to the expectations that my friends and family had about Korean food (which I had created due to my ramblings of perfection) And the fact that I could experience all this on Newfoundland soil? Wow. It was almost too perfect.

    I’m glad to report, though, that everyone – the newbie’s and myself included – thoroughly enjoyed their J Korean experience. I had authentic, wonderfully spicy kimchi jiggae (which wasn’t on the menu but the chef prepared when asked) while dolsot bibimbap and galbi were some of the other hits of the evening. Julia also brought some kimbap for everyone to try, along with some green tea ice cream at the end, even when I didn’t order it. She was also quite accommodating to various spice requests.

    My only complaint wasn’t food related. The ambience and décor was lovely (you should use the washroom just to see what they’ve done with the upstairs) but somewhat diminished by having to listen to Hits FM throughout half the meal. I kind of wish I had have discretely left my traditional Korean CD on the table as I was leaving. But hey, a somewhat minor flaw in an otherwise GREAT evening.

  12. Katie · March 24, 2011

    We though J was a great new haunt for date night. The dragon roll was delicious.


  13. Mark · March 24, 2011

    I visited St. John’s last week with my partner and we decided to come to J Korean on the recommendation of a good friend. Honestly, the best Korean I have tried in Canada (& I live in Toronto) and service was impeccable. The staff is super-friendly and generous. Both my partner & I lived in Korea and struck up a quick friendship with the owners there, they offered us ‘service’ which in Korea means free dishes, got some free kimbap and the most delicious green tea ice cream. After a wonderful 3-hour dining experience with new friends we took pictures with the staff in the beautiful surroundings. Went upstairs to use the fabulous washrooms and saw the gorgeous private dining rooms. This is a top-notch restaurant, I hope it doesn’t lose steam for being so personal and friendly while providing delicious food at reasonable prices. p.s. We order most of our items off menu, and the chef was more than happy to oblige!!

  14. TJ Lee Williams · March 24, 2011

    First off let me say that I’m a huge fan of Korean food, but this place tastes like Ricky from the trailer park boys tried to replicate Korean food on his toaster oven. It’s that bad, and incredibly overpriced. I can’t understand these reviews, because if you think this is good Korean food somebody needs to examine your bimbimbap my friend.
    Worst food in St. Johns ever, and that’s quite a feat. In fact, there should be an award just for that, because there’s some really awful food here. Love India Gate. Love Asian Taste. But J. Korean ought to be called J Rock Korean ’cause it’s trailer park ghetto y’all.

  15. Bethany Dawe · March 24, 2011

    Having also lived in South Korea for a period, my Husband and I had a hankering for some Authentic Kalbi and Samgypsal, and boy were we pleased with J Korea. It had been quite a while since either of us had tried our favourite Korean dishes, but as we entered the restaurant, the familiar smells brought it all back. The service was impeccable – as was the atmosphere and most importantly, the food! Just as we had remembered it, maybe even a little better!! Wonderful spot!!

  16. Dayle · March 24, 2011

    Went last night with friends… wanted a light supper and the Gimbab (basically sushi) was excellent. Decor was nice, servers were very friendly and service was reasonably quick. Green tea ice cream for dessert was a lovely finish. Another big plus for diners: the kitchen appeared to be impeccable. Definitely will return, my only wish is for more seafood/vegetarian options on the menu. Great addition to the St. John’s resto scene.

  17. Rick Rosstein · March 24, 2011

    Went to this restaurant a few weeks ago and totally do not recommend it. The prices are outrageous and the service is horrible! Better spend your money at a restaurant that actually buys quality ingredients and treats its staff properly.

  18. Julie · March 24, 2011

    Great service, the people were sweet and the owner even gave my friend and I free green tea ice cream! How nice!

    I am korean and to be honest with you, personally I didn’t LOVE the food as far as authenticity is concerned. Every dish seemed to be a diluted version of it. The bulgogi didn’t have enough flavor, naeng-myun was really bland in comparison to that which I’ve eaten before, etc.

    If you’re not korean and do not eat korean food all the time, then you will most likely enjoy this restaurant. The food is good, but for a “korean-food-enthusiast”, it may not hit the spot exactly.

  19. Kristen · March 24, 2011

    Does anyone have any information about an online menu of Facebook group with an online menu? I usually dine with a couple friends who are picky eaters and sometimes finding places to go and things to order requires some creativity and advanced menu investigation.

  20. Elling Lien · March 24, 2011

    I happen to have a takeout menu. It’s is a little old, but it might help:

  21. D'Arcy · March 24, 2011

    I went to J Korean for the first time this evening, though it certainly will not be the last time. The service was great. We went in an told them that we did not have a lot of time and they accommodated us. The food was fantastic and the decor was great. It was far more than I had expected from the outside perspective.

    A fantastic addition to the food culture of the city.

  22. Scott · March 24, 2011

    Really interesting food. Reasonable prices. Comfortable atmosphere. Multiple servers, so you are not left alone. Dragon roll sushi was best I’ve had in the city. You are given small complementary appetizers which means a lot to me. Have not had to make a reservation.

  23. Saeedeh · March 24, 2011

    We went to this resturant expecting authentic food in a nice atmosphere. The decore was really beautiful but we did not have the best experience. We were four but two of us had dinner already and they’d like to have just dessert. We asked for the table barbeque and ordered two main dishes (the menu says that you should order at least two dishes for the table barbeque). The waitress took the order and came back telling that her manager wants us to order two more dishes !! This attitude is not acceptable at all for a resturant manager (at least in Canadian standards) to force the client to order more food! We should have left then but we ordered one more dish because we did not want to ruin our night. Just remeber you will have a food police (Manager Julia) if you go to this resturant and you have to obey her!!!!

  24. nivlekgt · March 24, 2011

    went to J-Korean on May 5, 2012 for the 2nd. time and it did not disappoint. The two of us just walked in – didn’t need a reservation. We ordered the seaweed salad app and for mains the tofu kimchi and fried noodle with beef dishes. The seaweed salad had a delightful sesame taste to it and was absolutely delicious. The main dishes were also excellent – the kimchi had a slight spice and was not overwhelming. Mixed in with the rice and it was very tasty – the tofu had a nice soft texture to it. The fried noodle dish had nice spices to it and had a little kick (we ordered the spicy version – non-spicy is also available). We liked how a soup and small side dishes of potato and kimchi were also served with the meal at no extra charge. The server was very friendly. All-in-all a good meal and we would come back again.

  25. Eric · March 24, 2011

    I have travelled all over South Korea in a few years staying there. For those who say that the food is not authentic I would have to say there there is so much regional variation in Korean food (Seoul kimchi often taste quite different Kimchi in the southern areas, with somewhat different ingredients in variable proportions. Food will also vary from restaurant to restaurant there.

    So to those who say this isn’t authentic Korean food I emphatically disagree. I went there about a week ago. Ate Kimchi Jigae which was lovely and spicy. The side dishes included the usual fare: cabbage kimchi, potatoes in a sweet sauce, a cucumber kimchi and Miso soup. Of course a bowl of rice to ease the heat and fill up. Everything here was tasty, portioned well and satisfying. I have nothing negative to say about the food at all–I just can’t comment on other aspects of their menu yet.

    THe best part though was the decor which was outstanding. From my experience here and in Korea most Korean restuarants lack atmosphere and are brilliantly light with flourescent lighting. This one combines the natural beauty of the old house with simple yet effective decor and lighting. well done!

  26. Stephen · March 24, 2011

    Excellent food and a great group of people that run the place. My family and I have been getting take-out from them since they opened. The quality has been consistent for multiple years and there are few places in St. John’s about which I can say the same.

  27. martin · March 24, 2011

    I’ve been to Korea,and travelled all over the country for several years. The main staple in this country is Kimchi. However the kimchi in this restaurant is terrible. The owner uses too much salt in place of hot pepper flakes, making the kimchi not hot, just salty. (cheaping out because it costs more for the gochu karu)Also she doesn’t let it ferment. So to julia, I’ve been here twice and never plan to return until you start making suitable kimchi. If you don’t know how to make it then go to maangchi.com and she’ll teach you step by step. Prices are too high for any meals that use this terrible kimchi.

    Sadly disappointed

  28. Bee · March 24, 2011

    Good times.

  29. p · March 24, 2011

    I have lived in Korea for a long, long, time, and I was very disappointed with this restaurant. Yes, the food is authentic, but its just not very good. Prices were extremely high, the kimchi was extremely salty, and the soup I had was not even close to how it should taste, or look for that matter. Side dishes were not up to par either.
    I stay away from Asian style food in Newfoundland, and take advantage of the great local fare. You wont find good authentic Asian food in Newfoundland, with one exception: Newfound Sushi in Corner Brook. That place puts every other place to shame!

  30. dwayne · March 24, 2011

    Arguably the best meal I’ve ever had. I’ve lived in Korea, visited twice, and always make a point of having korean food whenever I can (we don’t have a Korean restaurant in my current city). This was the best korean food I’ve ever had, including the incredible meals I had in Korea. I made a point of bringing multiple family members, who would probably otherwise have never tried Korean food, to this place the two nights after I went for the first time, and everyone loved it… including children who my aunt says are extremely picky.
    If you are from Newfoundland and are not really open to food from other cultures, you might not like this… but if you in any way enjoy Korean food, this is the without hesitation one of my favourite restaurants ever.

  31. timh212 · March 24, 2011

    I had a wonderful experience at J Korean! I would definitely recommend this to anyone! The best service everrr!