Eight Chowhounds gathered for a truly impressive meal at Han Gang, the brand new Korean restaurant in Annandale. Finally, FINALLY, I got to eat Korean BBQ that was exceptional.
Our elaborate meal started off with a black sesame porridge and a fruit salad and then came the Panchan, about a dozen very high quality dishes. A+. These included small mackerel, sauteed mushrooms, a slaw with a touch of horseradish, and several delicious pickled dishes, each unique and tasty. Completely outstanding.
The first three dishes that we ordered came out: a nice seafood pancake (very greaseless), jap chae in which you really tasted the noodles, and a stir fry of abalone and mushrooms. The stir fry was exceptional.
Next came three bbq meats. We were given both lettuce and large marinated radish slices to wrap. The galbi #1 (Spacial chef's sauce) was so rich and tender and juicy, it was the bbq of my dreams and my first really exceptional experiance with Korean bbq. The #2 galbi was very good, among the best you'll have here, but still second fiddle to #1. Our one mistake in ordering was the #10 daeji (pork) which we should have ordered spicy. It would have countered some of the sweetness. The meat was supremely tender, had some nice crackle from the bbq, and I bet if ordered spicy would be sensational.
Three final orders were: rice cake soup, monkfish stew ordered spicy, and soon doo boo (tofu stew). The rice cake soup was simple, restorative, and delicious, the monkfish was hard to eat the way it was chopped up - this would have been better as a seafood stew, and the tofu was very simple and supremely fresh tasting.
We ended up with small cups of cold cinammon soup.
It was spectacular.