BukJang, an authentic Korean restaurant
You know it’s a legit Korean restaurant when everything is in Korean, and you don’t recognize 89% of what is on the menu.
One of my good friends was in town and was craving some authentic old-school Korean food. Where do we go? Obviously, the Coquitlam area along Lougheed Highway and North Road.
While I do frequent Korean restaurants fairly often, I’ve never really gone to such an authentic place like Bukchigo Jangguchigo (or as the local Koreans call it BukJang). Tucked inside a small, slightly hidden, complex along North Road is a few of hidden Korean food joints. BukJang is actually next to one of my favourite Kimbap places: Kimbap Cheonguk. But I’ll talk about that place another time.
When entering this place, there’s a sign only in Korean that basically says “Wait to be seated”. I would not have known that if it wasn’t for one of my friends who translated. While this place was relatively quiet–we did arrive at 2:00 pm on a Monday afternoon—the waitress seemed to be alone and it took a while to be seated.
The inside of BukJang
I’ve got to say, I was surprised by what I found inside. While the exterior contains a plain entrance with a simple white sign, the interior was completely opposite. BukJang gives off this homey feel that is accentuated by its wood-style décor: from their wooden tables to wooden chairs, and even wood-covered walls, this place gives the vibe of comfort and homeyness. To put it in another way, BukJang feels like coming home after being soaked in the pouring rain; and with a city known for its rain, having their menu full of soups is a definitely smart idea.
Super like. Will definitely come back for those shameless insta-worthy photos.
What we ordered
First thing’s first. I barely recognized what was on the menu save for some stews or the well-known Korean bibimbap. I mean the menu is in English, but I just didn’t know what to order. This is especially so since a large portion of the menu was blocked off and not available for order.
I’ve only ever tried the typical Jokbal that is cooked with soy sauce and Korean spices, so it was nice to try a new variation like BukJang’s spicy Jokbal.
I usually find this dish best paired with a nice pitcher of cold beer. But since my friends were nursing a hangover, beer was out of the question this time.
When ordering, BukJang gives customers the option to customize their spice level for the Jokbal. I really appreciated this since I find Korean dishes can sometimes melt my mouth off with its spiciness! From the sizzle of the plate, and the steam wafting over the trotters, it seemed like it was brought directly from the oven! We were given a metal bowl for the bones, and gloves so we could eat it with our hands. Because it was so so hot, I had to wait in torture before I was able to take a bite.
The pork was melt-off-the-bone, extremely flavourful, and just downright delicious.
Definite thumbs-up. I recommend.
This was my first time trying Soondae (also known as Korean blood sausage) with pork organs. I’ve tried blood sausages in the past and I typically like it, but this one tasted different. Maybe it was the texture? I don’t call myself a blood sausage connoisseur, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I found the flavour married a nice balance between being strong and savoury, which is always good since taste is an important factor lol. The texture was a bit rubbery, and not as seared (or steamed idk) as much as I would have liked. I thought it was a little too fatty for my liking.
While the taste was good, I wasn’t a fan of the texture. I may try this again, depending on how I feel—but I would not go out of my way for this specific dish.
I’m planning to come back to BukJang to try their other dishes and their Makgeolli (sparkling Korean wine). One of my Korean friends actually mentioned that BukJang makes their own Makgeolli and its unlike any other in Vancouver or Coquitlam. With that, keep an eye out for my next BukJang post that will mostly likely touch on my experience drinking a unique and one-of-a-kind Makgeolli.
Have you tried BukJang before?
What would you recommend?
Let me know in the comment section below—I’d love to try more of their dishes!