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HWASARANG: KOREAN-STYLE JAPANESE RESTAURANT 광어횟집

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Since Kingyo was fully-booked last Thursday night, we went to Hwasarang, the newly renovated (or opened) Korean-owned Japanese restaurant a few doors away from Kingyo. Because my friend was craving sushi rolls, we ordered three different speciality rolls and Hirame sashimi (광어회) that all Koreans die for. 
I apologize in advance that I don't have full information about each item. We were drinking soju that night and I completely forgot to bring their take-out menu back home (as well as my cellphone.......T_T)
TUNA TATAKI ROLL (bottom) consisted of spicy tuna topped with capers, parsley, black sesame seeds and torched tuna. It was served with their homemade ponzu sauce on the side. Although my friend liked it, it didn't meet my expectation at all. The roll was bland and the sauce didn't go well with the roll. HOUSE ROLL (pretty much house roll, but it had a different name) consisted of salmon, tuna, imitation crab meat, avocado, cucumbers and topped with tobiko. This one was alright, maybe just above the average. 
TORO NIGIRI was not consistent in terms of quality and size. Two pieces had nice layers of fat but the other two didn't. THE UNNAMED ROLL (sorry!) in the above picture consisted of avocado, prawn tempura, unagi, salmon and topped with unagi sauce, tobiko and green onions. It had a nice texture and flavour when I had a bite. But I honestly think that the unagi sauce did all the job. There was too much sauce that overwhelmed the overall taste of the roll.

SEVEN SIDE DISHES (See below) for HIRAME SASHIMI (Large) were served: Calamari, komochi shishamo (deep-fried smelt fish with eggs), gomae (spinach with sesame sauce), wakame (seaweed salad), sashimi salad, 4 pieces of ebi sushi and deep-fried California roll.

CALAMARI, SHISHAMO, GOMAE - Our favourites were shishamo and gomae. Smelt fish had a nice crisp and it was filled with eggs. And as for gomae, it just cannot be bad in any other restaurants. 
SASHIMI SALAD consisted of assorted sashimi on a bed of green salad topped with house dressing, spicy sauce (초고추장), sprouts and nori. J found it spicy although I didn't agree.
WAKAME
EBI SUSHI and DEEP-FRIED CALIFORNIA ROLL also came along with all other side dishes. The roll was topped with tobiko, green onions, unagi and spicy mayo sauce. It tasted better than it looked. The batter was crispy enough giving a nice crunchy texture.
Finally, we got our HIRAME SASHIMI (L) after waiting over an hour. It came with spicy sauce, ssam jang, and 6 (yup.. only six) lettuce leaves. The portion was far less than we expected (it seemed like a medium size). It wasn't fresh nor tasty. Definitely not worth the money and time we waited. After sashimi, our waitress asked us if we wanted a Maeuntang (Korean spicy fish soup) that made out of the hirame fish bones. Koreans usually finish the meal with Maeuntang when they have hirame sashimi. We, of course, wanted the soup. It tastes even better on a rainy day. The soup was pretty decent, but again, small in portion.
One of the major downsides of this restaurant is a lack of staff. There was only ONE sushiman and two or three waitresses. We had to wait 10min+ for every other dish to come. It seemed like they didn't expect that many people to come on a Thursday night.
After finishing all food and two bottles of soju, it costed around $185. 

PROS
+ Spacious
+ Not busy during the peak time (?)
+ Cheap sushi compared to other places in downtown
+ A variety of food

CONS
- Hirame wasn't fresh
- Food came so slow!
- A lack of staff
- Nothing special about this place especially when hirame is not good

RATING

Food                3.0/5.0 (Hirame 1.0/5.0)
Ambience        3.0/5.0
Service            3.0/5.0
Price                $$

Hwasarang on Urbanspoon

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ABOUT ME

As the name indicates, I'm Sophia who Eats - a lot, and possibly everything. I basically love to do anything involved with food: eating, cooking, and even watching food documentaries! I will regularly update the lists of Must-Visit-Eateries and Hidden Gems in Metro Vancouver, so stay tuned! Hope you guys discover new restaurants and cafes that will give you great dining experiences and become your favourite spots as well!

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