Recently my family and I discovered a new spot for Korean food near Coquitlam Centre – Jeong Ga Nae, located in the strip mall facing Glen Drive. We’ve been there a few times and tried a number of dishes. Here I’m highlighting what we’ve liked.
I’m sucker for Korean tofu soup; it’s one of the few things I crave on a cold winter day, or simply my go-to dish at a Korean restaurant. At Jeong Ga Nae, you can order your Spicy Soft Tofu Soup with just kimchi (i.e. vegetarian), pork, beef or seafood. The broth was flavourful, and at the right spicy level, making me sweat and sniffle just a little bit without embarrassing myself and/or my dining companions. Without prompting, I usually ask for a medium, but I never knew if you could actually control the spicy level haha. I’ve had beef and seafood, and they were both very good. I do prefer the beef version, though, because the meat makes it richer and more satisfying. The seafood one was relatively lighter in flavour. This was the standard portion size, with a cracked egg and lots of veggies in the soup.
Another one of my favourites there is the Potato and Pork Bone Soup. This dish sometimes serves two or more people, but this was an individual serving, and it arrived bubbling hot (as were other soups!).
Despite the size, there was no shortage of pork bone pieces in this soup. You would get around 3-4 pieces. The meat was tender, fell right off the bones, and don’t be shy about eating them with your hands! When you take a sip of the broth, you can taste the essence of the pork, but without the funky pork smell. It was aromatic, with decent serving of greens and onions. It just had a hint of heat, not as spicy as the tofu soup. It may get a little bit oily towards the end if you are a slow eater.
The last dish is its Mock Chang Spicy Stew. At first we had no idea what mock chang is, then when the hot pot arrived, we realized it was pork intestines. It may also be called makchang. This is meant for 2 people but honestly it could probably feed 3. It’s basically a hefty amount of pork intestines, with a few pieces of pork, plus tofu, leafy greens, zucchini, vermicelli and carrots. Some of the ingredients aren’t cooked throughout when the hotpot arrives, so make sure to give it a good stir in the beginning. The broth was quite similar to the potato & pork bone soup but not as rich, perhaps diluted with the addition of vegetables and tofu. The vermicelli was the best part, after it has absorbed all the goodness from the soup. Not something to order all the time (pork intestines are quite high in cholesterol) but definitely a good choice for the winter.
As you know, Korean food is often served with rice. The rice here is actually a blend of white and black rice, so it has a purple shade.
Service & Atmosphere
Even though its clientele is mostly Koreans, the staff there make you feel welcomed and are nice and friendly. The decor is simple, but I especially like how they have decorated the store with Soju bottle caps.
You know the food is authentic if the restaurant is mostly serving its own people. I thought the flavours at Jeong Ga Nae were great and seeing all the Koreans eat there just gave me an extra vote of confidence. The restaurant gives me a homey feeling that is inviting, and we will for sure go back again and again.
Jeong Ga Nae
107-2922 Glen Drive, Coquitlam