Chowdown Sura Korean Restaurant in Oakland, Temescal
We are organizing a Chowdown at a new Korean restaurant in Temescal area. Wednesday October 3rd, 2007. We will pre-order some special dishes such as Ginseng chicken and black goat stew! If you are interested in meeting some other hounds and trying great food this is your chance! Please follow the link to the Evite. If you do sign up for the dinner please make sure to attend since we are pre-ordering the dishes and spaces are limited!!!
13 Hounds attended the dinner at Sura Korean Restaurant. Great company and a varied menu made for a fun evening! A list of the dishes is as follows...comments welcomed!
Panchan with over a dozen dishes including a hot egg custard
Seafood and green onion pancake (a gift from the house)
Ginseng chicken with glutinour rice
black goat stew
BBQ chicken, beef and bacon
cold noodles in sweet sauce
grilled king fish
blood sausage (also a gift)
sesame crunchy dessert (made specially for our group)
did I forget something?
I DID forget my camera so there are no pictures to post! sorry. You will just have to try it on your own. Total cost? $20 per person. Less than we had anticipated. BTW there was a delegation from Korea at another table that invited us to their performance at Zellerbach. Apparently they had heard this was the real thing for Korean food!
Thanks so much, Marlon, for putting this together. It was a lot of fun, with some unusual surprises. The food was excellent quality.
1. Total cost, per person, including a very generous tip: $20
2. None of the dishes was spicy. Even among the numerous Panchan dishes. We finally asked for a spicy dipping sauce. We were asked "Thai-spicy" or "Korean-spicy"? We opted for Korean, and received a sweet, tasty, thick red sauce with about as much heat as Heinz ketchup.
I'll post more later...
Thank you Marlon. This was a great first chowdown for me. Though I tend to favor the spicy/funky end of Korean cuisine, I especially enjoyed:
--the largest assortment of panchan I've ever seen. The egg custard was very nice and light, with a bright flavor from scallions. The very garlicky eggplant was also high on my list.
--the very rich broth with the Ginseng Chicken.
--the Soon Dae (blood sausage). I thought it was especially tasty compared to others I've had. Nice and moist and denser than many I've had. Better blood to noodle ratio seemed responsible for this.
--the meat in the black goat stew was very tender and not funky at all. The skin was easy to chew as well.
--the sweet slices of Asian pear worked very well with the cold noodles.
Finally I'm posting some more about this dinner. There were thirteen people there, so a lot more posts should be forthcoming!
First, we definitely got the royal treatment, figuratively and literally. "Sura" refers to the royal cuisine of Korea. I have occasionally seen a popular Korean TV soap opera that deals with Korean royalty and cooking -- I guess they take it pretty seriously.
One of the dishes was a dessert, made of several different kinds of seeds (sesame, pine nuts etc) in a crunchy candy form. It was prepared especially for us. We were informed that this was a special royal treat; traditionally only for the nobility, illegal for commoners. Fresh jujubes were served alongside.
The Ginseng chicken with glutinous rice has to be ordered a day in advance. The small whole chicken is stuffed with rice, then stewed with ginseng and herbs. The broth was exceptionally rich; it almost gelatinized on my spoon. Very mild, the chicken very tender, a restorative for a cold night.
The steamed dumplings were exceptionally flavorful.
The black goat stew was tasty (no, I still don't know whether the "black" refers to the "goat" or the "Stew"). The version at Sahn Maru is served with much more dipping sauce, and the sauce is a favorite part, so I was a bit disappointed. The meat was boneless, and sliced nicely so that each slice had a portion of gelatinous skin. Marlon said that he's had it with bones at a regular dinner, so maybe they made a special "Royal" version for us.
The kindly ladies who run the place were very accommodating and attentive.
The place is fairly large, and it was about half filled on a Wednesday night, mostly Asian clientele. It was a bit noisy.
Reminder of the dinner tomorrow at Sura Korean Restaurant. Ginseng chicken with sticky brown rice, black goat stew with sesame leafs!! Many other interesting and rare dishes...Your chance to meet some great people (true hounds!) If you have not been to a chowdownh, this is your chance...