111 Russell St.
This korean restaurant is a UMass Amherst local Koreans’ favorite! I ventured out here from Springfield (20 mi ish) which is def not the furthest I’ve driven for good food (not ashamed!). Korean food has its staples and so I was excited to go check out this location’s take on some Korean basics. The ambiance is your usual hard-wood tables and I even saw a section for sitting-on-the-floor-dining traditional Korean style.
We started off with an appetizer of Korean dumplings fried. It tasted like the usual frozen Korean dumplings that come in those huge bags in the frozen food section of asian markets. It was served with some soy sauce mixed w vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Dahk-go-gi is Korean marinated chicken which came with a spicy dipping sauce (more like red pepper paste). The thing I love about Korean food is that you get a ton of side dishes FOR FREE! Among them, I saw the usual suspects: kimchi, fish cakes, potato, spinach, white radish. And we got free kimchi refills!
Bulgogi has got to be the 2nd most famous Korean dish after kimchi. The bulgogi is usually thinly sliced rib-eye or sirloin, marinated in soy sauce, sugar and other ingredients. It is usually cooked over an open fire but I think most places just cook it in the back on a stove top. The bulgogi was a very solid choice at this restaurant. Probably the most delicious of all the meat dishes we tried.
Kkam-poong-gi is deep fried strips of chicken covered in batter and then cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. This was pretty good too. Oddly it was listed under the appetizer section when I’ve usually eaten this as an entree. It’s definitely large enough to be an entree.
Koreans almost always have soup during their meals and some members of our group wanted seafood and so this dish was a two-fer! We got a spicy soup with fish in it! Boo-yah! It was pretty good. I’m not the best person to judge soups cuz I’m not a fan. Our overall experience was pretty good. The service was very friendly and able to speak English which is a plus for any asian restaurant. I would say the only hiccup was when we were trying to leave and I had gone up to the cash register to get our check and no one was there (the entire wait-staff was in the kitchen?) And then the other only hiccup (last one, I swear!) was when we tried to split the bill on our credit cards, they have a minimum $20 charge on credit cards which is not unusual. Overall, I would definitely return.