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Finally! Korean BBQ in Colonie/Albany!

AmyH | Nov 19, 201412:50 PM

Namu Korean BBQ just opened last week on Central Ave near Kohl's (in the same strip mall as Harbor Freight Tools). We went last night. The space is lovely – very sleek and modern. Korean pop videos were playing on 4 or 5 large screens, but the music wasn’t too loud. The service was good and pleasant. The food was fresh and nicely prepared and plated. The meals came with little salads with ginger dressing like at a Japanese hibachi place, and an assortment of 7 ban chan. There was kimchi, some things that looked like tater tots but better, some green beans, some mashed potato salad that was hard to eat with chopsticks, some noodle things made from acorn powder that were also hard to eat with chopsticks, some pickle I think made from cucumber but maybe it was zucchini, a tiny bit of jap chae noodles, and some tiny beans in a sweet soy sauce. We had bibim bop with bulgogi beef, which was very good and had some other vegetables on it. It came in a hot stone bowl and for $13 was a lot of food. Other places charge more for bibim bop not in a stone bowl so this was a bargain. We also had a "spicy" noodle salad which came with the noodles (also made from acorn), sauce and vegetables arranged so you had to do your own mixing. Not easy in the small bowl. Everything tasted good, but the only problem was that nothing was spicy at all. The gochu jang accompanying the bibim bop was no spicier than tomato paste (even by itself on the end of my chopstick) and the “spicy” noodle salad was also not spicy. Only the kimchi had some heat. When I commented on the lack of spiciness to the waitress, she said maybe I was used to it. I suspect, but have no proof, that they served us less spicy food than the Korean customers. At least I hope that's the case, because I can’t imagine the Koreans would have been happy with the lack of spice, and since they were >90% of the customers last night, the place won’t last long if they don’t make them happy. I do plan to go back and try some other dishes, and will ask for them to be made extra spicy. Maybe that will help. They have lots of different meats for BBQ, although the staff does the cooking for you at your table. They have some hotpots, too, and stews and rice dishes and other common Korean dishes. The BBQ meats seemed a bit pricy, but from the other tables it looked like you got a lot of meat. They don't have a liquor license, but they have soda and the list of sodas indicated that they were all Mexican and were served in glass bottles. I think they had a couple of desserts, too, but I can't recall what they were. All in all I think it's a great addition to the Albany dining scene and I hope they do well.

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