It’s been a while since I did a Foodie Friday! We haven’t been eating out much due partly to having packed weekends furniture shopping/wedding planning, and partly to us just trying to save money.
We went out for dinner on Saturday for Valentine’s Day this year. This year, we decided to go to a restaurant called Anju, which is a tapas-style Korean fusion restaurant. According to the restaurant’s website,the word Anju means ‘food you eat with alcohol’…which we didn’t do 😛 The atmosphere was modern and romantic with dim lighting, which was nice for Valentine’s Day.
They had a Valentine’s Day set dinner, which was $40/pp for three courses. It was a pretty good deal, but the items didn’t appeal to either of us, so we ordered off the a la carte menu instead.
The first thing we ordered was the Lemongrass Gochujang Brussels Sprouts. This dish didn’t look very fancy, but it tasted amazing. The brussels sprouts were served with bits of bacon and pickled cucumber (which is just a fancy way of saying a pickle, no??) and drizzled with lemongrass fish sauce. Gochujang is fermented red pepper paste, which made the dish both spicy and salty – this makes perfect sense because we ordered it from the ‘Salty Drinking Food’ category on the menu. If everyone made brussels sprouts this way, no kid would ever refuse to eat them!
The second item was fried tofu with pork belly on a bed of kimchi. It’s funny, because I am not a fan of either tofu nor kimchi, but we had to try it because the online reviews said this menu item was amazing. The reviews did not disappoint! The tofu was melt-in-your mouth and paired really well with the kimchi.
Next was the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) sliders. Our server said that the sliders came in threes and asked if we wanted an extra so that we could have two each. Usually, sliders are pretty small, so we added one more. BAD IDEA. These sliders were huge. I was full after eating two of these, and we still had more food coming. The chicken was really tender and juicy, and the sauce had a great kick to it. My fiance said it tasted a bit like hot buffalo sauce, but spicier.
Next was the Mushroom Ramen Carbonara, which had black truffle, bacon, and grana padano (similar to parmesan cheese) on top. This was good, but a little disappointing because it came cold. My fiance thought it was a little too bitter, which I’m guessing was because of the black truffle. Guess our tastes aren’t refined enough to appreciate fancy mushrooms! 😛
The last one was the Oxtail Tortellini. This dish came with four tortellini sprinkled soy sauce, truffle oil, with grana padano on top, and looked like a typical pretentious upscale-restaurant dish, haha. Considering how small each tortellini were, the inside was packed full of meat. This dish needed a little bit more of a kick, but the oxtail was so tender and melted in our mouths.
From our previous experience, most tapas dishes are pretty small, so we were expecting all of the dishes to be tiny like the oxtail tortellini. However, we definitely could have done with one less dish, or at least not gotten an extra slider. We were intending on getting dessert, but that didn’t happen because we were too stuffed! Another great thing was that the food came out really quickly, which is what they promise to patrons on their menus!
Those looking for authentic Korean food (which we also love!) will probably not enjoy this Anju. It’s definitely a good place to go for someone looking for an interesting twist on Korean food!