Location: West End – 1638 Robson St, Vancouver, BC
I’m fonder of this place than warranted. While thinking of an article idea, this little place popped into my head. “EXCUSE FOUND TO GO TO BOOK KYUNG!” ^ a ^
On a Friday night, I phoned up a Korean friend and headed over to Book Kyung. It’s very accessible by bus – you get off the skytrain and take the 5-Robson for a few stops. It’s along a strip of Korean/Japanese stores and restaurants which makes it my favorite street in the city. The restaurant front is discreet, but they have neon signs to compensate. Walk in, and you’ll see two routes – on the left is the hallway of karaoke rooms, on the right is the restaurant.
The restaurant is narrow but extends quite a bit down. Decor is minimal – a row of empty bottles down the side, some hand drawn posters on the walls. There are both booths and open tables. We arrived around 9pm to a mostly-empty restaurant, which filled to near capacity in the next half hour. There’s usually 3-4 staff on hand, which means okay wait time but not instant service. They’re all very polite and greeted me in Korean which made me stupidly happy…until one of them asked “if I parked in the back” in Korean and I gave him this utterly lost “I-don’t-understand-you” expression. Points for authenticity?
My friend and I ordered짜장면 (jjajangmyun), 짬뽕 (jjambbong) and 깐풍기 (kkan poong gi), which is as typical as it gets. The portion sizes are very decent for the pricing, which was ~$9 for the noodles and $18 for the chicken.
Now onto the food itself – one of my Korean friends took me here once saying “it has really good noodles”. It’s pretty true. The jjajangmyun sauce went smoothly over the noodles and the onions weren’t soggy or weirdly crunchy. It made for good comfort food. My friend let me try her jjambbong but I’m not the best with spicy. Seeing how she devoured it though I’m going to take a chance here and say that was good as well. The chicken, however, was the highlight of the night. (WE BOTH LOVE CHICKEN) It wasn’t too spicy that it overpowered the chicken, and we had a grand time nomming on it.
All in all, our bill came to ~37$.
A brief note on karaoke – very typical 2 mic/room with a remote control in Korean and reasonably updated song list. (warbling out 내일은 없어 and drama OSTs is my favourite activity)
Now, onto the specials! On weekdays (Mon-Thurs), 30 minutes of free karaoke are included with a meal purchase. Similarly, on 1-4pm on weekdays, there’s half price karaoke, and half price off appetizers (HALFPRICEOFFCHICKEN). Seeing how karaoke runs 25$/hr for 1-4 person, it’s a pretty good idea to come on an afternoon for noms and songs. So the next time you’re wandering around West End, give this place a try!
Any questions? You want to invite me to a karaoke session? Leave a comment below! :)
(Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by Book Kyung.)