Opening night may not provide the most consistent impression of food quality but it’s hard to know how long a restaurant will stay open these days. The Mexican Kitchen on Corn St and Turquoise on Clifton Triangle lasted around six weeks with both closing quite recently.
Surakhan is a new venture, a Korean restaurant which replaces the pan-Asian restaurant which only recently closed down. It opened Monday, 1 November, and a visit to the new place took place with four others for dinner. I mention the number of us because it became a bit of a challenge to fit around the same table.
There were six starters and nine mains on the menu and the prices ranged from £2.99 to £4.99 for a starter and from £7.99 to around £11 for a main. Beef and pork were predominant on the menu with the same dish offered with and without rice as separate options. Kim chee and hoi sin sauce were provided and some dishes were available as vegetarian as well.
I ordred the Japchae with rice which is a Korean dish made from glass noodles, stir fried in sesame oil with various vegetables such as thinly-sliced carrots, onion, spinach, mushrooms and chilli. It was served with beef, and flavoured with soy sauce and sugar. The carbohydrate rich dish was enjoyable and the beef was tasty.
Some slight issues with opening night were apparent with two dishes of Bibimbap – warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables and chili pepper paste, served with a raw egg and sliced meat – brought out within minutes (possibly seconds), audibly sizzling in their earthenware pots. The rest of us had to wait a while for our food.
At one point I turned to see one of the waitresses squatting on the floor next to the kitchen to divide cooked rice among foil containers – also resting on the floor. However I’d had much worse and similar service at the previous establishment and most of the evening went pretty smoothly. The food was good, the service was helpful and there are tables at the front which are not as cramped as the lime green seated confined areas. I would be happy to go back for another visit to this informal little restaurant, I just hope it stays open long enough.
Surakhan, 52 Park Row, Bristol