9261 34 Ave NW, Edmonton
Korean Barbecue has always been one of my favourite things to eat (MEAT! surprised? haha). I haven’t had too much of it in Edmonton, but finally decided to give it a try, with Ginseng, an AYCE joint.
Ginseng is located on 34 avenue, along with a slew of other Korean restaurants. This area is unofficially known has K-town, or the Korean district due to the high number of Korean establishments around.
To be honest, my experience at Ginseng was just okay. They have a good variety of meat to choose from (sorry I didn’t take a picture), but there are various cuts of pork belly, chicken, beef, top sirloin, etc. Some are marinated, with a spicy marinade and some are just plain that you can use to dip with your sauces. They actually separate the meat in sections that have higher fat and more leaner pieces which was kind of nice. They also have some mussels, shrimp, and squid for seafood.
For vegetables, they have carrots, zucchini, and onions, mushrooms, and lettuce to make lettuce wraps. They also have some banchan which you can get, pickled radishes, bean sprouts, and kim chi. And for carbs, they have some white rice, and fried rice. The best Korean BBQ that I’ve ever had was Sura Hawaii (formerly known has Hawaii 678 in Honolulu, which was amazing, so Ginseng in comparison wasn’t great.
I saw that the table adjacent to us had jalapenos and garlic so that they could cook with, but that option wasn’t offered to us. I didn’t notice until half-way through the meal and asked for some. The service was okay, they changed our grills when it got really dark, but I found that if you didn’t know to ask for something (more sauce, garlic, jalapenos), then they wouldn’t offer it.
Overall, I think it’s worth it to go if you can eat a lot of meat (which I can), but I think if you’re going to be paying $35 per person, your money might go a bit further at a different restaurant. You could go to Miga which is just next door, order some Korean BBQ, (which has better sides… cheesy corn anyone?), and also get other traditional Korean fare. Give Ginseng a try for yourself if all you want is meat and can eat a lot of it. From the reviews that I’ve read, it seems like it’s gone a bit downhill over the years but still worth it once and a while if you can really stuff yourself.
(sorry these photos are so subpar).