Aug 1, 2011

Han Court State 韓庭州


Han Court State in the west entrance area of NTU. This is probably one of the better korean restaurants that are available in the area. It is really hard to find a good bowl of soon dubu, and you can't really find a fulfilling one here either. However, compared to the other options available in this 1 km radius from the main campus area, Han Family State is actually not bad. They also offer Korean BBQ with copper plates at this restaurant. The decor is not appealing, but the variety and low cost make this place a good option to curb a korean craving around the NTU area.

Address:  台北市大安區溫州街87號
     No. 87, WēnZhōu St, Daan District, Taipei City
Phone #: 02-8369-1302
Business Hours: 11:00-22:00 (guesstimation)
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3 out of 5
Decor:  2 out of 5
Service: 2.5 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Below Average Korean Food


 The interior design isn't that interesting. Red sofas lined on the walls with a lot of tables and old looking chairs. The space seems cramped and old. However, there is still a steady influx of customers on a sunday night. There really isn't anything amazing about the interior design nor the service of this restaurant. A lot of the restaurants around NTU are targeting students on a student budget. Consequently, decor, service, and even food quality will be sacrificed to make their menu affordable to the surrounding community. That is why the decor and service is low here. They are a bit understaffed to serve their table ratio effectively. They pretty much seat you, bring you your side dishes, and your main dishes, and then you need to ring up your check at the cashier manually. You also need to go pour your own tea and water at this restaurant. Although that is a norm around NTU, that is enough to dock off on their service points.
 The side dishes they give you seem to be proportionate to the people seated at your table. Since I went alone,  only received 2 sides, but people with 4 at a table seemed to get all the varieties of side dishes and more. The seaweed was not flavored well and very bland. It is good to contrast the saltier and spicier soon dubu though. Their kimchi is a fail. It wasn't spicy, the cabbage didn't have that soury bite to it, and it just seemed like a boiled cabbage dribbled in hot sauce and left marinating for a couple hours. I felt really ripped off.
 The soon dubu also was not very good. However, it is indeed very filling. They have two big shrimp, one egg, rice noodles, tofu, enoki mushrooms, calamari, and clams all in this pot. THe soup base didn't have the rich flavor and spiciness that I would would desire from a bowl of soon dubu. The tofu itself was soft, but since the soup base itself lacked taste, each spoonful was not as satisfying as a bowl from BCD or Koba. The shrimp they used were the taiwanese sand shrimp and not the more flavorful sweet small shrimp that they commonly use in the soon dubu I get in Los Angeles. This soon dubu stands lower than Ari or JBSD, so then it is really low on the grand scheme of soon dubu.
 I wanted to get Kalbi to pair with my Soon Dubu. I usually get the set meals that come with a hot plate of Kalbi. When they plopped this plate of raw short ribs I was kind of stunned. Then they put a portable gas stove-grill set up next to me and then I was stupid-eyed (傻眼). I wanted a hassle free plate of succulently, nicely marinated kalbi, but what I got instead was a DIY grill experience. This would be cool if I knew about it and had more people to share all this meat with. If you can notice, this is a really half assed plate of kalbi too. It is not marinated at all except for a bit of salt and pepper. I guess its good because you can taste the original flavor of the meat, but what I wanted was something marinated in that Korean soy-sauce sesame concoction that koreans use to flavor their kalbi.
The quality of the meat itself was mediocre. The dish was better with a little bit of bean paste, spicy soy sauce, and wrapped in lettuce, but it was not what I had in mind when I orderd BBQ short ribs. If you do happen to stop by here, I reccomending splitting this with 3-4 people while you individually get a main entree like soon dubu or black bean sauce noodles. I don't recommend this place as a good place for soon dubu or bbq, but it is a good place for a semblance of korean food in the NTU area.

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