Aug 6, 2011

Gyeongju Restaurant 慶州館


Gyeongju Restaurant is a very well known and 30 year old korean restaurant closeby the Nanjing East Rd MRT station. There is a wall of celebrities that have visited the restaurant over the years. They are also the first korean restaurant that I've been to that have Spicy Raw Crab on the menu. They serve the usual korean items like Bibimbap, Soon Dubu, and BBQ items. The decor and service is very average and the food items were just a bit above average. However to my knowledge, if you have a hankering for Spicy Raw Crab, this Gyeongju Restaurant is the closest place to get it near the East District.

Address:  台北市中山區復興北路62號1樓之2
     No. 62, FùXìng North Rd, Jhongshan District Taipei City
Phone #: 02-2776-9928
Business Hours: 11:00-22:00 (guesstimation)
Website: N/A
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.17 out of 5
Recommendation: It has spicy raw crab.


The interior isn't spectacular. A couple tables with a gas stoves in the middle lined with wooden chairs. The lighting fixtures are very simple. They are an old an established restaurant, and they attract their customers mostly with their food and relative fame. This is still a very mom and pop shop feel, where there are a couple of workers that seem to be like a family unit. The service is average, and since they are a little under staffed they are mostly busying about and taking a few moments to take your order. The rest of the time the servers would be serving food and busting tables like clockwork. Despite the average decor and service, this restaurant does offer a things the average korean eatery in Taipei doesn't.

They give each table the full set of appetizers. The kimchi was not bad. Maybe I've been eating too much bad yoshinoya type kimchi that just a little better quality seems like a lot better. It had just the right amount of bite, the caggage wasn't too wet and soggy, but more crunchy and crisp. Their bean sprouts were just average and the seaweed was also just a bland dish. The radish was also standard, but a dish I never had was the spicy pickled gourd. It tasted the same as the kimchi and radish, but the texture is a lot more soft.
Honestly, the only reason I came to this restaurant was that I saw Kang Xi Lai Le 康熙來了 and they introduced this place as a old restaurant that offers quality korean food. In that episode they also mentioned that they sold Spicy Raw Crab, and I was sold. Ari Tofu house and JBSD both don't carry this item. When I used to get my Soon Dubu fix either at BCD in LA or Koba in Irvine, I would pair my Soon dubu with either a side of kalbi or a side of spicy raw crab. The soft semi sweet raw meat blends well with that red hot sauce to provide a crab experience that is unparalleled with crab dishes around the world.
 This place delivered just what I wanted. The spicy sauce was the right amount of heat and flavor and the meat was marinated so well that the color was very deep. The crab meat seemed deeper and sinewy than the ones I remembered in Cali. I would make the trip back to this restaurant just to satisfy my spicy crab. I hear there is also another very authentic Korean restaurant in Tien Mu, but that is too far from Gong Guan. The only thing mars this place from perfection is the lack of a satisfactory bowl of soon dubu.
 I guess it is ok, but its kind of below the quality of JBSD and Ari tofu house. The tofu is very sparse and coagulated wierdly inside the soup. It isn't really the soft tofu, but a more of a medium. There are little beef chunks, little shrimp, and clams. The soup itself is flavorful, but it is not mixed with enough of whatever sauce they use to season the soon dubu at BCD or Koba. The soup is just average. After eating places like Han Court State in Gong Guan and multiple other disappointing Taiwanese-Korean Restaurants, something like this would be average and acceptable.
 At the end of the meal they give you these Brown Sugar Red Bean Mochi-like desserts. It was tasty, sweet enough and the bean paste mixed well with the chewy outher jelly. Just imagine a mochi made out of brown sugar and it's pretty much what it is.
They also cap you off with this pine nut tea. It tastes like almond tea without almond. Its very milky and soothing after a spicy meal. Gyeongju Restaurant is a reputable restaurant in Taipei, and I would come back for the Spicy Raw Crab, but instead of getting their soon dubu I might try one of their other soups paired with the BBQ. I think BBQ paired with the Spicy Raw Crab would be less dissapointing than pairing it with their soon dubu. I guess the specialty of this place isn't really the soon dubu, but more for the BBQ because each table has a stove and the first page of the menu are BBQ items. So come and try the BBQ and spicy raw crab, and this is possibly the best in Taipei.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...