Edmonton Korean food scene always seem to be improving. I came here about 3 years ago and didn’t enjoy the food; however, my friend said the quality has improved drastically since then. We were craving Korean food and didn’t want to make a drive all the way down to Miga, so I gave Nongbu another chance.
Nongbu offers popular Korean dishes, targeting towards shareable plates and street food items.
I LOVE kimbap. I was craving this particular snack. These Korean-style make rolls are tightly wrapped with yellow picked radish, beaten egg, cucumber, edible burdock root, and BBQ Kimbap ham. It was good but nothing special given how easy it is to make yourself too (which is like most restaurant foods). I could’ve easily ate 10 of these…
Omurice is a popular Japanese creation with Japanese fried rice wrapped with a thin omelette. This pan-fried rice is usually cooked with ketchup and chicken. It has a sweet, tart tomato flavour. Personally, not my favourite but if I was thinking of a quick and easy dish to make, I’d make this!
Build your own lettuce wraps with pork bulgogi, lettuce, and various toppings. The sweet and sour marinade made the pork super addictive and rich. We added an extra $3 to make it into a ssam. I still can’t comprehend how it costed an extra $3 for THREE full lettuce leaves, and an extra $2 for plain white rice. Shouldn’t it be unlimited lettuce leaves if someone were to pay an extra $3? Apparently not to them lol. $1 per lettuce leaf… Nonetheless, it would’ve tasted a lot better with the plain rice.
Nongbu is only decent compared to other Korean restaurants such as Miga or Pocha Seoul. My cravings were half satisfied, and the prices are higher with smaller portions. I’m not sure if I’d come back here — maybe if I’m too lazy to drive further down, and just wanted a small snack before or after dinner?
Nongbu Korean Eatery
8115-104 Street NW Edmonton, AB T6E 4E4
3 thoughts on “Nongbu Korean Eatery”
Might be good to ask ownership about how they price. I mean every Korean restaurant. The business side never gets discussed. It’s def a worthwhile discussion as Korean food gets more popular. Korean food as you know comes with a lot of things ie sides, snacks, teas etc that may or may not be built into prices but the public perceives it all to be free or unlimited. The vitriol when some Korean places charge for things like kimchee is out of control and the public feels it should be “free.” Frankly it just can’t be free. But you’d be surprised how many places eat the cost to keep customers happy. It’s definitely a struggle for both restauranteurs and customers. But in this instance I don’t view it as gouging, but I agree that perceptions matter.
I just like it when people who care and talk about food and the people who work hard making it get some sense of each other.
Thank you for your comment!
While price is a huge factor in a business, I don’t think it’s something to be discussed first hand when going into a restaurant. Banchan (aka. side dishes) are used to compliment your meal, as in, it’s not “free” unless you order a meal. As we all know, there’s no free meal and nothing comes for “free.” If a place charges for kimchi, the opportunity cost would be something else. My only compliant is how I could not understand how a simple lettuce leaf is a dollar each, if you go to any grocery store, you could get $3 for a whole lettuce. It’s good knowledge to know where they source their ingredients from though. I’m just not the type to ask the server how the prices came to be in every restaurant I go to. It’s always good to look into the business side of things though — great perception! 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to write a post about our restaurant. I wanted to respond to address some of your concerns and give some insight about our business. We pride ourselves on using the freshest and best ingredients in every dish that we serve. The lettuce that you mentioned is part of the Ssam add on option on our menu. This includes lettuce, cucumbers, serrano peppers, garlic and ssamjang (ssam sauce). It used to be included with all of our meat dishes, but due to waste, we decided to offer it as an add on option. Over the past few months produce prices have gone up significantly and we can only get 2-3 servings of useable ssam lettuce out of each head that we buy. The portion we strive for is about 8 pieces of lettuce. The portion is made up of whole leaves and if the lettuce is large the leaves are cut in half. If a customer requires a couple of extra pieces to finish their meal, we are always happy to accommodate. Our ssamjang is made using some of the best fermented soybeans available in Korea. It is produced in very small quantities by nuns in the southern coast of Korea and is shipped to us where we put it through an aging process at the restaurant. The current batch that we are serving has been aged for over a year. The rice we use is a premium Korean rice that is not commonly used by restaurants due to cost. We use it because we feel it is the best and refuse to compromise on quality. With all of our banchan we offer free refills as they are essential to the Korean food experience. Banchans will include kimchi, radish pickles and a rotating offering made with the best seasonal ingredients that are available each day. Our kimchi is made weekly and aged naturally without the assistance of lacto fermentation or sweeteners. Our kimchi is aged 2 weeks before serving.
As for our portions being smaller and the prices higher, we stand by what we serve and our pricing. The pork bulgogi you ordered is approximately 250g of pork belly in a sauce that is sweetened with honey and plum extract instead of sugar and corn syrup for $19. If you do a side by side comparison between us and some other Korean restaurants you will find our dish contains more meat at a similar or lesser price.
Please do not take this response as being defensive. We appreciate all reviews…positive and negative. We read them and address areas that may require our attention. We hope you continue to love Korean food and hopefully will give us another shot the next time you have a craving for kimbap.
Keep eating and writing.