Sura Korean Restaurant's master chef, Paul Kim, gives diners the opportunity to make their own Korean barbecue on personal tabletop grills. At granite-topped tables, fresh veggies go for a dip in shabu shabu hot pots, a traditional Japanese fondue of lemon ponzu or sesame dipping sauce, and savory slices of barbecue pork or beef brisket sizzle on metal grates. The dining room sports sleek, modern decor punctuated by dark-wood chairs.
Behind the sushi bar at Sushi Seoul, an ocean of fresh seafood acts as an artistic medium. Skilled chefs fold neat slices of freshwater eel, plump morsels of Dungeness crab, and colorful clusters of salmon roe into specialty rolls topped with dashes of color—crisp green onions, sweet mango, creamy avocado. And to highlight how much their finished works resemble edible art, they eschew lackluster names such as “Roll #2” or “Biology Homework” in favor of appropriately poetic titles such as “Red Moon” and “Rising Sun.”
Out of the spotlight, specialty chefs do something similar with the Japanese and Korean entrees they whip up in the kitchen. Five kinds of ramen simmer with cuts of tender pork or sprigs of scallions while pans flash-fry mushrooms and black tiger prawn tempura. What results are plates as pleasing to the eye as they are to the tongue. But to keep them from bearing the responsibility of the meal alone, they pair expertly with draft brews, fruity bubble teas, and bites of mochi—a sweet, traditional treat that has the soft consistency of a marshmallow or an incredibly ineffective bank vault.
Wok Box was founded in 2004 in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, and has successfully expanded to 60 locations throughout Canada and the United States by offering fast pan-Asian cuisine full of nutritious ingredients in a family-friendly setting. The menu ornaments chopsticks with Thai, Indian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine, and some of its options follow the Health Check program guidelines put together by the Heart and Stroke Foundation's registered dietitians. At every location, patrons delight in chicken, shrimp, beef, tofu, and vegetables clinging to jasmine rice and noodles while watching flat-screen TVs and celebrating this Chinese New Year, the Year of the Heffalump.
Josun Korean Grill’s experienced chefs dazzle diners with a menu of Korean fusion cuisine served in a modern, elegant dining room. In the pork egg roll, tendrils of glass noodles snake around pork and vegetables within a deep-fried envelope, ready to ship to eager stomachs without assistance from a Forever stamp ($3.50). A lightly salted pollock fillet debates the merits of surf and turf with banchan and steamed rice on the grilled pollock platter ($10.50), and chefs prepare the seafood jun-gol hot pot in front of customers' awestruck peepers, uniting assorted seafood with noodles in a spicy stew ($12.95). A half-rack of special Josun barbecue pork ribs soak in Korean spices before upstaging banchan and provoking white rice to get really steamed ($11.95).
Fresh, never-frozen beef constitutes the hamburger patties that the cooks of Burger Lovers sizzle in a kitchen smelling of tasty Americana. The staff crowns the philly cream-cheese burger ($5.99) with melted swiss and an eponymous spread, and the beef of mega-size cheeseburgers ($7.50) underlines cheddar cheese. The kitchen team further solidifies its dairy bona fides by flipping grilled-cheese sandwiches ($3.99) that unite slices of sourdough with a dynamic duo of swiss and cheddar. All burgers and sandwiches arrive with an entourage of fries, the item that burger joints' mascots most often use when signing autographs in ketchup. Burger Lovers also prepares po boys and a teriyaki-drenched hawaiian burger packed with pineapple and ham to diversify its culinary portfolio.