There’s a new Korean spot in #yeg! Located on 99 st, Hanjan offers a unique experience with an outdoor patio vibe, indoors. They seem to be a cafe and restaurant all in one, offering casual dining with drinks and food. Short summary? Amazing decor, relaxing atmosphere but pricey food..
When you first walk in, you walk into a big open space that is inviting and warm. The interior is really beautiful with rustic yet modern touches! It has the look of a trendy cafe and the open space of a restaurant.
There’s a lot of seating and also an upstairs for more accommodation. Overall, the space reminds me of an outdoor patio on a warm summer night – perfect for when the weather’s too cold for an actual patio night. There’s lights strung all over, greenery, patio sets, as well as brick and wooden finishes etc.
As I came on the grand opening (a Friday), service was extremely slow. We were there for around 1 and a 1/2 – 2 hours before our entire order came. However, having worked in customer service myself, I can empathize with them and understand that things won’t always run smoothly, especially on a busy grand opening day. I assume that they are probably a bit quicker to attend to your table on slower days during the week.
One thing that I will commend them for is their “service button” located on the side of each table, which was actually really practical during their busy grand opening. When you need a server, you simply press the button and they’ll come to you.
Their menu has quite a bit – for the evening, they offer the kitchen menu (with set dinners included), drinks and desserts. My first impression was that the prices were really high… (example? $29 for Korean Fried Chicken!!) This is not all that surprising to me though as most Korean places are a little more expensive. But, I’m not sure if I could justify the high prices on something like a date night. To be honest, I think I’d only come here with a group because at least that way, I could split the costs and pay a more reasonable price for our meal.
We started off with the Spicy Sausage Stew ($23) – this dish it literally what it sounds like – a spicy stew with instant-like noodles and sausage (hot dogs + spam). And this may sound crazy, but it was the best dish of the night. The broth had a perfect spice that was not too overpowering and overall, the dish was just really delicious.
We also tried the Grilled Pork Belly ($24), Japchae ($16) and Beef Short Ribs ($24). The presentation for all dishes looked great and the portions were alright.
I was hoping that the portions would’ve been a bit larger for the price that I was paying and also especially since there were 4 of us. Because service was behind for the night, we were starving when the food came out so we were excited to dig in!
The pork belly was the best of the 3 – flavourful and grilled to the perfect crunch. The dish came with a heaping amount of toppings – lettuce, onions, etc. that were tossed in a hot sauce. The dishes also came out on hot clay plates which helped hold the heat for a little longer.
On the other hand, the Japchae (glass noodles) and Beef Short Ribs were not as impressive. The Japchae came with carrots, onions, spinach and some ground beef. It seemed to lacked flavour and was not as fulfilling as I had hoped.
The Beef Short Ribs also came out on a hot clay play and included an abundance of toppings as well. The ribs were kind of chewy and not tender as I was expecting, It would’ve been a lot easier to eat that way..The flavour was alright, it had some heat to it but eventually, the ribs got kind of dry as the sauce started crisping and sticking to the plate.
We also ordered a side of Green Salad ($5 – heart sunk a bit here) to accompany the pork belly and have “lettuce wraps”. I would probably not order these again though because we only had 5 or so pieces in total, not really worth it.
Rice does not come with the dishes and was $1/bowl. As the main dishes were already quite expensive, I was disappointed that rice was not included with them.
So my final verdict… Hanjan has a beautiful interior, I really love that the space feels so welcoming. They also have have late hours and I can definitely see it being a good hang out spot for all occasions. However, the food is mediocre and comes at a high cost. I’d say that if you’re coming here, you’re spending more for the experience in the look/atmosphere of the place than for the taste in food. I think that with time, their service will definitely improve and perhaps, there will also be some tweaks in their menu and pricing. I’d like to come back sometime down the road to try some other dishes and dessert, especially since I wasn’t able to during this visit.
Congrats to the owners of Hanjan for creating a beautiful restaurant. I wish them all the best! If you’ve come this far, thank you for reading + let me know how your visit to Hanjan is 🙂
3735 99 Street, Edmonton