We’ve been meaning to try Anju for quite some time – but it’s either too busy for reservations or we get distracted by another new restaurant in the area. The fact that it’s so busy seemed to be a testament to its quality, and the other night we were able to snag a reso for dinner.
We walked down in the sun and grabbed a spot on the patio – eager to soak up some of the last few sun rays of the summer. Immediately we were consumed by the spicy yet sweet scents of Korean spices and sauces, coating the dishes at the tables around us. I was a little hesitant about the food at first, but this quickly put me at ease.
We quickly looked through the menu and began to make a game plan. Everything is made for sharing, and there are a variety of raw plates, small appetizers, and larger entrée style dishes.
C looked through the list of soju, but instead ordered himself a cocktail and we sat back and relaxed.
Coated in a mouth-watering sauce, with bits of kiwi, pineapple and peas floating around, the meat literally fell off the bone with each bite. We scooped up the thick sauce, licking our fingers so as to not waste a single drop. They set the bar high for the dinner ahead, and I must say – ended up being my absolute favourite item of the night.
Next came out the fried chicken wings – tossed in salt and Szechuan pepper, with a spicy Gochujang sauce on the side. I’m not a big fan of spicy food, so I was not brave enough to allow them to coat the wings in it as they usually would.
Each wing was hearty and full of meat and seasoned to perfection. Rotating between wings and ribs, my taste buds were going crazy.
After our small appetizers we had a bit of a reprieve. We figured we should add some carbs to the mix – having ordered a variety of meat dishes – and decided to select the special of the night. A pork-belly carbonara pasta with ramen noodles.
I wasn’t a big fan of this dish because I didn’t like the ramen broth but C thought it was his favourite of the night. He happily slurped up the soft ramen noodles and we shared the yummy, chewy bits of pork belly.
Needing another refreshment, C picked another cocktail which was a tropical looking drink, perfect for a night on the patio. Very fruity and paired with a few blueberries.
Our final dish was the grilled flank steak with chimichurri. Sliced into small pieces and cooked medium to medium rare, the meat is ever so tender and hardly fatty. Paired with kale, it’s coated in an Asian-fusion vinaigrette, topped with bits of tomatoes, almonds, and cranberries to add a bit of crunchy and sweet flavour.
We considered ordering dessert, but I had just baked a cake back home and we were eager to pair it with some ice cream. Next time, we’ll have to give the frozen soufflé a try.
Overall, the meal was excellent and exceeded my expectations. Some of the dishes are a little pricey, but I like the idea of sharing everything. I’m already planning what to order for next time – which obviously includes the sweet and sour ribs. For larger groups they have large options which sound like a tremendous feast – perfect for a dinner party or family gathering.
Give them a try – Anju Restaurant. I would recommend a reservation in advance.