Kwon Ji Sook – J Korean owner and self-proclaimed honorary Newfoundlander – pays attention to the little things: perfectly folded napkins that rest below finely polished metal chopsticks, a decor that’s traditional yet modern, classical music rhythmically filling the delicious-smelling air.
Kwon Ji Sook (Julia Kwon) opened J Korean in May of 2010, to much acclaimed praise. And luckily for her, at a time when the St. John’s restaurant industry was beginning to boom, mostly due to a newly thriving oil and gas industry. While fish and chips used to satisfy local palates, the same can’t be said anymore. Authentic Afghan, Italian, Japanese and of course, Korean cuisine, are all part of our diversifying international restaurant options.
“We see many new customers boldly try their first Korean dishes without having a clue as to how they may taste,” said Kwon.
There are some important things to keep in mind before you indulge in an unknown Korean food territory. Some people falsely believe that all Korean dishes are spicy or hot, which isn’t true. Variety is perhaps one of the greatest differences in Korean cuisine. Generally, a main is accompanied by numerous side dishes that compliment rice. Korean food is also known to be very healthy, with J Korean in particular not using MSG or any artificial flavours.
Popular menu choices by locals at J Korean:
And while local palates may be changing ever so slightly, our infamous Newfoundland hospitality – something that drew Kwon and her husband to our province in the first place – has not. They spent seven years in Toronto, but returned to Newfoundland in 1998.
“We liked the warm and friendly nature of local people,” said Kwon. “We feel more at home these days in Newfoundland than in Korea.”