Jang Mo Jib

Jang Mo Jib Korean Restaurant

1719 Robson Street, Vancouver (near Denman)

604.642.0712

Jang Mo Jib is a great little Korean family-owned chain (there are other locations in Vancouver and Richmond). This particular location is set in what I jokingly refer to as “Little Korea” — so what sets it apart from the mass of other Korean restaurants in the area? Three main things:

1-It’s more traditional Korean and less americanized than some other nearby places.

2-It’s a little more expensive with better quality food and larger portions.

3-It’s open until 5am on Friday/Saturday and 2am the rest of the week!!

Of course, the restaurant starts you off with the traditional Korean sides (kimchi, cabbage, seaweed, potatoes, and radish — but don’t get your hopes up: no kiwi salad here), and a jug of Barley tea. The tea is usually served lukewarm — which seems sorta gross but works out really well; because we all know it’s nice to have a sorta warm drink in the winter and that it sucks to have hot drink in the summer.

Lukewarm tea = perfect year-round. 

The dishes here are huge and fantastically delicious! Three of my favorites are the Jap Che ($15), the Bulgogi, and the seafood pancake ($15).

The Jap Che (or Chap Chae) has thick chewy noodles, the transparent kind…potato noodles?.., and loads of yummy marinated vegetables with amazingly flavorful beef. It arrives at the table as a huge steaming hot iron platter. 

The Bulgogi is a dish I find to be very similar to the Jap Che. It has delicious marinated sirloin slices that are barbecued (bulgogi literally means ‘fire meat’ in Korean…but not fire as in ‘spicy’ – fire as in ‘cooked over a fire’) and then they toss in a bunch of tasty veggies and it all comes down to some goo-ood eatin’.

Jang Mo Jib’s seafood pancake is the best I’ve ever had. It is huge and super crispy with a really good amount of squid, shrimp, shredded crab, and green onion. Crispy outside and almost a cakey inside.

Jang Mo Jib is known for its beef broth soups — the light, flavorful broths are made over a 24 hour simmer. The broth is used in a variety of soups — so far I’ve only had the tofu soup; but it is fabulous! The soups are served either in a small iron pot as individual dishes or at the table in a giant pot set bubbling over a portable tabletop burner. The soup will continue to simmer throughout the meal and the liquid reduces, becoming a delicious concentrate of spicy goodness.

When I say the dishes are big — I mean it. Think of chinese food and the style of everyone sharing a couple plates. One dish per person is more than enough. I’d recommend that you take the leftovers home — but sometimes the service is pretty bad and maybe you don’t want to wait around for 45 minutes for someone to pack up your food. 

If you have a problem with spicy food — I don’t generally recommend Korean, but this place has a ton of great alternatives that won’t melt your face off. 

I give Jang Mo Jib 10 drunk thumbs up for serving me at 3 in the morning every weekend. Plus, when I’m drunk I don’t notice the mediocre forgetful service nearly as much. 

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Perfect pairing:

Sleepercar – West Texas.

jim ward takes a step back from post-hardcore to bring you a lovely alt country album. It will slowly grow on you eventually breaking your heart. Think Old 97’s with less wit and more sad regret. 

or

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

Psychadelic pop that will set you into a relaxed shimmy.

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