Arisu (Kingston) – My favourite for Korean in Kingston

There are a surprising amount of Korean restaurants in Kingston. You just might not know it. Take. Asha. Arigato. Izumo. Akira. Sima. All Korean. Most of them serve sushi but many also some Korean dishes. Of all of them, my favourite for Korean food is Arisu.

It is located where Spaghetti is Ready used to be right on the corner of Queen and Division. It is owned by the former owner of Mr. Dumpling (who specialized in handmade dumplings). He moved his spot across the street to open Arisu (the former location is Arigato sushi, bleh, don’t eat there).

A very fancy roll (I don’t know the name). Panko flakes, raw salmon, avocado, crab. They make some pretty epic rolls here. Very elaborate. I personally find their sushi not quite as good as Akira or Sima but it is quite good. Much better than Take or Asha.

The mandu (steamed dumplings). I love the way Mr. Dumpling made dumplings. I just wish he still made the Mandu soup he used to make. These will have to do. Filled with pork, bits of noodle, with a thin and tender wrapper, they are really quite delicious. I wish he still made the Kimchi Dumplings.

This is the Je Yuk Bok Eum (Pan-fried spicy pork with kimchi and vegetables) for $9.95. So very very delicious. The pork is bouncy and tender. And you get a lot of pork! Beware, the spices they use are uniquely Korean. I find it has a lot of heat but in an interesting way, very much unlike the flavours I am familiar with in Chinese and Vietnamese food. I really like this dish. It comes with side dishes (kimchi, potato, pickled turnip).

There will be more photos to come. I probably go to Arisu and Sima the most of all places in Kingston. I just never write about it because I always forget to bring my camera. They are open late so one of my favourite things to do is to eat food, order a few bottles of Soju and share a drink with friends and with Terry the server.

Addendum: April 23, 2010.

Came back after an interview in Ottawa and was amazed to find that Me, J, L, and R all were not on-call at the same time. As I described above, there is nothing better than sharing a bottle of Soju (chumcharum cool is best!) on ice with friends!

The Dragon Roll for around $9. Nothing special, a California Roll with avocado and salmon around it. Unfortunately this time around, the roll was not packed tightly enough and fell apart pretty easily. The rice and seaweed had good texture otherwise.

The Bi-bim-bap for $12. Rice, vegetables, a sunny-side-up egg, and ground pork served in a hot stone bowl. I do wish it came with a hotter stone bowl so that the egg yolk-rice combination that touched the sides got cooked even further, almost like a rice omelette. This dish is pretty good though, hearty, warm, and satisfying. The amount of starch in this dish does hit your gut like a shot-put so if you aren’t going to go lie down later, you should consider it.

This is my favourite dish: the Gam-Ja-Tang for $10. Cabbage and pork bones in a slightly spicy broth, served with rice. Simply amazing. The best in Kingston. I’ve had it at Asha, and Ta-ke (I know, I know, what was I thinking) but this really is quite fantastic. It is warm, rich, and coats your entire gut with a sedating fullness. It is a bit of a messy eat (as you pick through all the bones) but it is very very tasty. Avoid it if you are on a date but otherwise, if you had a bad day or if it is cold outside, this is your dish.

A stampeder roll (I think). I didn’t order it. I don’t usually get these.

This is the spicy seafood udon soup for around $12. Really quite tasty with udon, a spicy broth, mixed vegetables, shrimp and mussels. The udon is bouncy and the mussels are reasonable. The is broth satisfying and warm. I think this might be better than the gam-ja-tang. Don’t wear a white shirt while you eat it… you’ll get splashed.

This is the Kalbi for around $16. Marinated pork ribs barbecued and served on a sizzling platter (well… usually sizzling). So flavourful, so warm, and so… well… heavy. You feel like your gut is going to explode when you eat this. This is my treat to myself when I am feeling decadent.

Thinking about it… Korean food is really my soul food. Some turn to ice cream when they are down. I turn to pork bone soup. If you haven’t checked out Arisu yet, you really should. It remains my favourite place for Korean in Kingston.

Arisu Sushi and Korean Restaurant, 185 Division Street,Kingston, ON, (613) 531-9265

Arisu on Urbanspoon

~ by Russ on February 27, 2010.

2 Responses to “Arisu (Kingston) – My favourite for Korean in Kingston”

  1. Just in case you ever make it back to Kingston: Arisu no longer makes Korean food. They are now billed as Arisu Japanese Restaurant and specialize in maki 😦

    • Actually, just talking to them if you want to their Korean dishes 🙂 It’s a bit of a secret but they’ll whip out a mean Gam Ja Tang for ya despite not being on the menu

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