I am a big fan of Korean food. Maybe it’s the copious amount of meat that is involved. Or the great sides that you get with every meal. Maybe it’s just value. Back in the land of Disney, you can go to a plethora of all you can eat Korean restaurants for under $20. My favorite has just raised their prices a whopping $3 to $16.99. And that’s just for dinner!
My big problem with the Korean restaurants in Phnom Penh is that they aren’t cheap. I have been to La Korea several times for dinner and have never spent less than $30.00 on a meal so it was nice to hear that they have a very reasonable set of lunch specials.
For $5.00 you get the choice of:
Kim Chee Stew
Curd Bean Stew
Soy Bean Steew
Cow Bone and Tripe Soup with Rice
Buckwheat Noodles with Cold Broth
Soup containing Shells and Cabbages
Not bad considering you get water, assorted sides and a complementary glass of cinnamon tea (which is awesome btw) to finish the meal.
I ordered the Kim Chee Stew while Bryse ordered the Bibimbap ($6).
Service is quite fast with the meal coming within 10 minutes from the initial order.
The food came out on a serving cart and looked absolutely delicious. The Bibimbap had a great sizzling sound due to the extremely hot pot that it was served in. My Kim Chee Stew came out right behind and was also so hot that the stew was still bubbling when served.
Chock full of kim chee, tofu, pork belly and funnily enough, hot dogs, the Kim Chee Stew hit the spot. The sourness of the kim chee was counterbalanced nicely with the fatty pork belly and made for a fantastically filling meal. I asked for a side of gochujang, which is the chili paste that comes with the Bibimbap to use as a dip and that took the stew over the top.
Bibimbap translates to “mixed meal” and this rendition keeps with tradition. Tons of ingredients and extremely filling. One notable aspect of the bowl was the layer of crispy rice that formed on the bottom of the very hot pot which gave a crunchy texture that completely won me over.
All in all, a great, cheap meal that I will definitely come back for.
4 out of 5 nyamies
Although Phnom Penh never really has the right weather for Bibimbap, it is one of my favorite lunch dishes so I was really excited when I saw La Korea had a relatively cheap one on their menu.
First the side dishes. The kimchi is great, nice and sour and spicy but not anything crazy sour. This was my second time for lunch in the past few months and the side dishes were a little bit different this time. The first time there were some really tasty potatoes with sesame seeds which they different serve. Unfortunately, I don’t know what any of it is called so I would recommend the potatoes if they do come out. Also, the green stuff was quite nice (very helpful).
When they serve the bibimbap at La Korea they offer to mix the dish for you which I let them do on my first trip. However, they mixed it a bit to vigorously and the rice didn’t get seared at the bottom of the hot stone pot. So this time I gave it a shot and had better success with the rice searing. But I’m not sure if the bowl isn’t as hot as it is supposed to be because there still wasn’t a ton of seared rice and they don’t serve the bibimbap with a raw egg but a fried one instead. It didn’t change the flavor dramatically but the raw egg is kind of fun. You feel pressured to quickly mix the ingredients and get that raw egg cooked with the heat of the bowl.
I tried a bite of Vinh’s kimchi soup and it was pretty tasty. The hot dogs were a bit weird but everything else looked nice. And for desert they served a plate of watermelon and this really great cold cinnamon tea. Perfect way to cool down a bit after the hot bibimbap.
Bryse – 4.25 nyamies (that’s right, two decimal points)
No 128 C1C2
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