Hot Pot at Korean Palace
Korean Palace
Bulgogi at Korean Palace
Korean Palace
Foods from Korean Palace

2012 Dec 10
Went with a large group for a work party. We had plenty of room and staff was friendly and attentive. Food was very good, colleagues enjoyed their bulgogi/pork/seafood grills, bibimbhaps and we loved our hotpot.

2012 Jan 11
I went tonight (a Wednesday night) at 6pm with my sister and 2yo daughter. We ordered the Beef and mushroom broth which was served on a hibachi-type stove priced at $25.95.

We both really enjoyed it, especially on a cold winter night! It was tasty (a mix of sweet and salty - tasted like mirin with soy sauce). We both liked the fact that it was not too salty and that we could really taste the flavour of the beef and mushrooms.

It came with a bowl of rice each and the usual side dishes. One disappointment is that they did not serve the potato side. We had soy sauce tofu instead. There was enough food for the 3 of us although my daughter admittedly is not a big eater.

The service was great and the décor is cute and relaxing.

This is my new Korean spot in Ottawa. I will return to try other dishes.

2011 Nov 30
Went to Korean Palace for dinner and was disappointed. There were three of us dining and we all ordered the dolsot bibimbap. The veggies were okay - not totally fresh. There was an oddly large amount of mushrooms (I love mushrooms, but this isn't meant to be a mushroom bowl). The hot sauce was toned down so you have to add a ton to get any real spice, meaning your bowl is drenched in sauce.

The side dishes were really sub-par. I've been to several Korean restaurants now and these were some of the worst side dishes. We got two small pieces of sweet tofu which didn't taste good - the skin was overcooked. The kimchi seemed really old and slimy. The seaweed was tasteless.

Would probably not return. We are looking for a tasty Korean restaurant and this was not it. My fiance lived in Korea for four years and really disliked the food at Korean Palace. The basics were there, but the quality needs to be improved.

2010 Dec 1
Went to Korean Palace last night for dinner, we met the new owner who took it over from Soora. The service was excellent the resturant was about to close but they stayed open for us and still gave us great service. Being a small business owner myself you know that the quality and service will be good when they take you after hours. The food was excellent we had the ribs and the bulgogi (not sure if I spelt that right). In all I would highly recommend this resturant.

2010 Sep 29
Was here last week, mid Sept 2010.

Nice looking place, wood furniture, clean and roomy.

Had the fried veg dumplings, which are addictive and yummy in a deep-fried goodness sort of way, and the beef bibimbap, which was very tasty and a huge portion, ample for one person, with decent miso, kimchi, two tasty little veg sides and a red flour and sauteed onions 'korean pancake' thingy that was tasty enough that I could have eaten six... I mean that in an entirely good way.

That and 2 beers ran me $30. Totally reasonable.

Services was fast, pleasant and efficient - one lesson learned: everything comes at once if you don't tell them otherwise.

Will be back, will send others.

2010 Sep 26
SooRa is now called "Korean Palace"

2010 Mar 22
(By the way, it seems the website is gone...)

Went tonight (Sunday) a little after 6pm with three friends. We pretty much had the place to ourselves until after we had our food, so speed and freshness were obviously excellent.

We started with the #2 appetizers, the fried dumplings. Excellent: slightly crunchy, not too greasy, the kind of coating that puffed up in places, flavourful and not too hot, in a nice black sauce. Couldn't say a bad thing about it.

A friend had the spicy rice cake appetizer; the waitress warned him that it was really spicy, but as my friend collects hot sauces, he assured her it was exactly what he wanted. The texture is downright odd for your basic north american palate, but not impossible; like a really thick noodle, but changing once in your mouth. And the spice level was a very nice kick. There's lots of them in a bowl with small shredded vegetables, so it's a good one to share.

I had the spicy pork with vegetables. At $21, I thought it a bit expensive when other Specials were in the $15 range, until they brought the heaping large plate in. Wow. I managed to get through 2/3 of it because I was ravenous, but normally would not be able to do more than half. A most generous portion indeed, good for 2 meals; this makes the price much more reasonable. The spiciness was to me really nicely flavourful, some complexity, and more burning than kicking - a slowly-roasting small fire under my tongue instead of at the lips or at the throat. Getting some rice helped to keep it in control, and the brown rice tea suddenly tasted really nice with the food (and very odd on its own at first).

Other friends had the squid special with vegetables (sliiightly off perfect, the lightest bit of rubberiness, but perfectly edible still), and two bibimbaps which were happily devoured.

Service was attentive, but since we were the only ones for 2/3 or our meal, it's difficult to properly judge. But we did get explanations when asked, and warnings of spice levels, which I can understand giving. I've no idea how authentic the food was, but it was very tasty, filling and priced to match the portions.

2010 Jan 16
Was here tonight with my wife to see how it's doing. Pretty similar to my last visit a year and a half ago, with the following changes:

* They use portable burners for grilling rather than the units built into each table. It makes the loss of leg room to accommodate the built-in burner seem kind of pointless.

* The menu is a little different. I think there are fewer grill-at-your-table meat options than before.

I wanted to try the tempura that looked so good last time I was there, but alas they were not able to make tempura tonight.

We opted for the Bulgogi Beef and the Marinated Beef Rib. Included in the price of those meals (roughly $20 each) were some nice appetizers and side dishes:
* 4 delicious vegetable dumplings with dipping sauce
* Bowls of tasty (but lukewarm) miso soup
* Kimchi
* Bean sprouts in sesame oil dressing
* Spicy-sweet pickled julienne of daikon
* Marinated seaweed
* Marinated gherkin slices (or were they peppers? can't remember)
* Marinated firm tofu
* Steamed rice
* Plenty of lettuce leaves for wrapping hot meat
* Tasty chili paste
* That toasted rice green tea

The meat portion was very generous for us, and we didn't miss the tempura in a belly-filling sense.

My one big complaint about the meal is that our server appeared oblivious to the risks of cross-contamination between raw and cooked meats. There was a pair of tongs in the raw meat, which were used to lift the raw meat onto the grill. We then used those tongs to turn the meat, and finally switched to our (metal) chopsticks to remove the cooked meat onto our plates. This was all good until our server (trying to be helpful) started lifting cooked meat off the grill onto a plate using the raw meat tongs. I stopped her immediately and returned the meat to the grill, saying, "We won't eat that because you lifted it with the tongs that were in the raw meat!" She left us alone after that.

Later, we saw her doing the exact same thing to the couple at the table next to us. Mind you, those people had already been committing the complementary crime of handling half-cooked meat on the grill with their eating chopsticks.

Anyway, maybe I'm a little conservative with my meat handling procedures but I've had food poisoning from undercooked meat at a local restaurant and I do not want to repeat that experience!

We will return to SooRa, but will likely never again opt for the bulgogi grill experience. The large, boiling bowls of spicy soup and jjigae looked particularly tempting. Next time!

2009 Jun 29
I'm told SooRa has reopened under new management.

2008 Jul 27
Of course I had to try this place given the controversial reviews! I was not disappointed. Service was friendly and casual. The decor and atmosphere are bigger and fancier than any other Korean restaurant I've been to in Ottawa. Carved wooden chairs are a nice touch.

I was there at 7pm on a Saturday night and it really wasn't very busy (maybe 20% capacity). I think word needs to get out.

Prices are not low but they certainly aren't unreasonable for what you get! See my food comments under Bulgogi.



2008 Jul 20
I've had worse (and far worse) in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, the States and at the homes of 1st generation Koreans. Since we established you're not a troll (right?) and we should take your reviews at face value, maybe the meal you had was sub-standard. That's possible: the restaurant's been open for a month or so, and there's always a risk trying a place still hitting its stride, or maybe they're on a decline since opening? Maybe try again in a couple months? Its a good experience, sometimes, to try out restaurants that are still evolving, working things out.

As to the other facts you "perpetuate", the prices are on par w/ other Korean restaurants--maybe tad more expensive(?), but not outrageous. (The menu's available from the website if others are interested.) Generally, restaurant prices have to be compared to others in the same genre in the local economy. You're going to frustrate yourself if you continue comparing the costs directly to what you might have paid in LA or NY (or wherever).

And, the owner *is* Korean--its not a case of "might be". If you speak Korean, chat him up, you'll find out. No need to obfuscate w/ references to "Corean".

(NB: i just saw FF's reply, but decided to post anyway.)

2008 Jul 20
peterrabbit's comment on Bibimbap at SooRa is a textbook example of how not to write a useful review:

* it shows disrespect to other users of this site.
* it makes vague and general references to "horrible food" without detail or explanation
* it is melodramatic and uses hyperbole and coarse language in an ineffective way
* it includes an angry and off-topic slur, by suggesting that the owner isn't "Corean". This implies peterrabbit is either more than 100 years old or he will slam any Korean restaurant that offers sushi.

[EDIT: I was just looking at SooRa's menu and there's no sushi there! So is it the presence of Soba and Tempura that suggest it isn't "Corean?" Recommended reading: the "Harry Potter" series, with focus on the Mudblood subtext.]

2008 Jul 20
ho-ooooooooooooooooly cow.

this is the worst korean food i've ever had in my life.

the decor is nice, people are nice, but the food is horrible AND overpriced. the owner might be korean, but def not corean. it's people like yous (who like crap food like this) that perpetuate shit food in ottawa. wake up.


2008 Jul 27
The tabletop barbecue is the main attraction here (although the tempura at another table looked good -- will try that another time). Each table has a burner in its center. There are a bunch of different meat choices, ranging from $17 to $22 per person for individual portions. That might sound like a lot, except it's all you need to pay. Side dishes, appetizers, etc are all included in that price. We didn't even pay for tea (tasted like toasted rice green tea) so I assume that is included too. Or they made a mistake. ?

I asked the server which meat is the tastiest and she recommended the beef rib spare marinated in soy sauce. You get two thin sheets of marinated beef, about 3 inches by 8, with a rib bone at one end. You grill the whole thing on one side and then cut it into little strips with scissors once it has firmed up a bit. It was very good. Maybe better than the bulgogi I make at home using flank steak. ;-)

I was there with my bro-in-law and we opted to have the pork neck as a second choice. The pork neck is somewhwat less fatty than the pork belly. It is not marinated in any way so the delicious, seemingly homemade, chili garlic sauce comes in handy here.

We were given a thick orange squash "soup" to start. It was more like a small warm savoury pudding. Very nice. Then all the side dishes came: kimchi, green salad with sweet sesame dressing, marinated daikon strips, and a nice one made with wilted zucchini slices. Bowls of rice (the only thing we got two of) and a plate of lettuce leaves for wrapping. The server brought a bowl of tofu soup, which kind of stumped me. When I asked how we were meant to share it, she brought a serving spoon and two small bowls. ;-) The soup was awesome.

As we reached the end of our side dishes, we were offered refills. I asked for some more kimchi and it was presented promptly at no extra cost. Very nice indeed.

The picture here was snapped in some haste and is missing a few things, like the plates of raw meat. Small technicality. LOL

Anyway, my bro-in-law is a hungry university student and I have a very healthy appetite. We left very satisfied, so at just over $25 per person, including tax and tip, I take exception to any claim that the food here is overpriced.

I'm looking forward to my next visit!



2013 Feb 13
Said hot pot looked like this! I know The picture doesn't look like much, but this should give you an idea of the size.

2012 Dec 10
I had the kimchi, pork dumpling, pork and tofu hotpot. At $26 for 2 people (would have been enough for 3), we had a big pot of spicy(ish) broth filled with tasty pork dumplings, tender seasoned pork, mushrooms (one big chunk of enoki mushrooms, easy to avoid if you're not a fan but they were tasty), lots of kimchi and 2 slices of soft tofu. We had sides of rice, sprouded beans, kimchi and marinated radish (?). It was delicious!

2010 Oct 24
we ate here tonite. here's the website:
they have a menu on it and everything. prices are a bit expensive for quite a few things, but what we ordered was not too badly priced. we had the bulgogi HOT POT.. which was actually called "BEEF JEONGJOL".. 25 bucks total for 2 people. includes rice and kimchi too. it was very tasty. definitely coming back for more!