While looking for a place to have dinner, Sangria suggested South Castle Korean Restaurant. She’s driven by it many times and has been wanting to try it for awhile.
The name sounded familiar to me, and after looking it up, I saw that they also have a location in North Van. I remember hearing good things about the North Van location so I was looking forward to trying the Burquitlam location.
One thing you should know is that parking is tricky here. There are only a couple of spots in the front. This entire street is one long connected strip mall and you can only enter from one direction of Austin Avenue, going eastbound. If you’re coming from westbound, you will have to do a left turn and U-turn to get on the other side of Austin Avenue, then drive down the strip mall stretch.
We did a couple of loops until I saw a sign at the end of the strip mall by the auto shop, that there was parking underground. We parked in the underground parking underneath the auto shop, but then realized that each store has their own small underground lot and moved the cars under South Castle. Phew!
When Sangria and I finally came in after the parking confusion and the guys were moving the cars, we were greeted coldly by the waitress.
This set the tone for service during the rest of the evening. We all found her to be cold, dismissive and rude the entire visit, more on that below.
Banchan: We started off with some banchan. The kimchi here was served in cubes and were more sour than spicy. The fish cakes were delicious although a bit on the salty side. Lastly, we’ve never had this type of preserved onion banchan before. By itself, the taste was very strong but it went well with the rice.
Seafood pancake: The seafood pancake was not cut up already, but we were provided scissors so no big deal. The pancake was delicious, with lots of veggies as you can see! There was more veggie than batter, I’m not complaining about that.
Sun du bu: Sangria had a hard time choosing what to get, and eventually decided on the spicy tofu and seafood soup. At first, she was underwhelmed because she only found 1 measly shrimp inside the bowl. However, turns out the rest of the seafood was at the bottom so all was good. The spicy tofu and seafood soup packed a spicy punch and she enjoyed it.
I forgot to take a photo, but all of our bowls came with rice too. They added some purple rice in there which has more health benefits and nutrients than white rice. Plus, the purple rice was cool to look at haha.
Gam ja tang: Lager and the fiance both ordered the spicy pork stew. When this first arrived at the table, the cold waitress said the name of it very quickly in Korean.
Since we didn’t know the Korean name, we were all a bit confused and she repeated the same thing in Korean. I tried to stand up to see if I could tell whose dish it was, but then she got exasperated at us and dropped it on the table for us quite rudely and left. To quote Lager, she was intense! We also asked for a water refill but it didn’t come until I asked for it again.
Despite her attitude, the gam ja tang was delicious. It was very spicy and flavourful. The pork was tender and fell off the bone too. Both the fiance and Lager really enjoyed it.
Kal bi tang: I went with the beef rib stew. This was delicious as well! The broth was very flavourful and the beef was tender.
All in all, the food was delicious. However, the service was really rude that day and that put a damper on the visit. With a plethora of delicious and authentic Korean restaurants here, I would rather go somewhere with better service.