I was supposed to have a meeting with Q. in Richmond one Monday afternoon, but it was cancelled last minute, so I decided to go grab a bite at Kyung Bok Palace inside Lansdowne Centre shopping mall.
Kyung Bok is a very spacious restaurant, and at that particular hour it was nearly empty. I was seated right away by a Korean waitress, who also brought me the menu. After going through the pages, I picked the Beef with Steamed Rice in Stone Bowl (though the name printed on the menu was clumsily written as ‘Steam rice in stone bowl with various vegetables and beef served with Korean spicy sauce to mix thoroughly’). I also ordered a Coke, which was a mistake, especially since soft drinks are expensive in restaurants and there was already hot tea being served.
Well, the problem with the Coke, when I received it, was the fact that it wasn’t cold. It was room temperature, like those cases of pop that you get off the shelves at the supermarket. Of course, with Korean restaurants, they just hand you the can of Coke with a straw and that’s it. I suppose I could have asked for a glass of ice with it, but whatever. These sorts of things should be automatic and obvious for waitresses/servers without me having to tell them, and if they fail to do their jobs, then I shall rate accordingly on this blog. (I mean, I understand Korean dishes are hot and they also serve hot tea, but a Coke served in room temperature? C’mon…)
As for the main dish, it was fairly mediocre. Yes, there were some side dishes that came with my stone bowl, which is typical of Korean restaurants. However, I didn’t enjoy the stone bowl. I mean, yes, it came exactly as advertised, with veggies mixed with beef and rice, but it was very ordinary.
As for the ambience, well, as mentioned above, it wasn’t busy at the time I came in. There was a Canucks-Panthers hockey game on at the time, and the flatscreens were showing that contest, so that was good. (Alas, the bad guys, the Canucks, were ahead 2-0 at that time.) The service? Non-existent. The waitress who seated me, the Korean girl, seemed rather timid and unassertive when she took my order, and other than bringing me my pop and dishes, was invisible. I could hear an older woman call her name from time to time to get her to do stuff – the owner or manager, I presume. I later heard that same older voice talk to another staff member in Cantonese, which led me to believe Kyung Bok was operated by Chinese/Cantonese management. (Well, the other clue was that there were Chinese words on posters advertising their dishes outside the restaurant by the mall entrance.)
Oh, when I wanted to pay, I believe the waitress didn’t know how to use the portable debit/credit card machine, because a waiter came over to show her. I guess she was new.
Overall, a mediocre experience. I’m pretty sure I will not be back.
When: Monday, January 19, 2015
What: Beef with Steamed Rice in Stone Bowl; Coke
Where: Byung Bok Palace, Lansdowne Centre, 720 – 5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 2X9
How Much: C$10.95; C$1.95
Final Thoughts: One and done.