I was working in Burnaby one day and it was time for lunch. I had actually brought lunch that day but for some reason, I felt like going out rather than eating the lunch that Jenkins had so nicely packed for me. Ned is always game for a lunch outing so we headed over to Da Rae Oak on Kingsway. He mentioned he had gone there a few weeks ago and the food was pretty good. As for me, the last time I had been to Da Rae Oak, it had been quite a while ago and all I could remember was that service was really slow. It looked like they had come under new ownership since my last visit so I figured it was time to check it out again.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived was a banner hanging out in the front featuring their lunch specials starting from $5.99. I wasn’t particularly hungry that day and a $5.99 lunch deal certainly appealed to the cheapie in me.
After perusing the menu for a bit, I knew what I was going to order. Shortly after we placed our orders came a selection of banchan, including kimchi, bean sprouts, and potatos. My favourite was definitely the potatos, which were slightly sweet and cooked very well through.
My lunch also came with my choice of soup. I don’t remember what the other option was but I decided to try the spicy soup that day. My soup was indeed very spicy. The spicy soup came with some bean sprouts, sui choy, and perhaps some carrots but all I remember was the soup being very spicy. Did I mention that it was spicy? I could hardly even finish half of this soup and I thought my tolerance for heat was quite high!
Finally, my main lunch dish came. It had been quite a long time since I last had Bibimbap and I had quite a craving for it once I spied it on the menu. It came in a metal bowl with the usual array of veggies including carrots, spinach, radish, and zucchini. On top rested the egg with its yolk still nice and raw.
I quickly dove in and mixed the contents of my bowl together. The veggies provided a great crunch and there was just enough ground beef in this dish to meet my protein quotient in the dish. The egg did a great job of binding everything together and I could taste a hint of sesame oil that tied all the flavours together.
I quite enjoyed my meal at Da Rae Oak and I’m also happy to report that service was much faster than my last visit. I was so pleased with my meal that I even returned a couple of weeks later to try something different. That time around, I had the black bean noodles which I felt was not as good as the Bibimbap. I guess with many restaurants, there are good dishes and not so good dishes so you just need to know what to order. Luckily, I’ve gone ahead and tried two of the dishes here for you already. They also have some lunch dishes that come in a stone bowl that seem to be quite popular.
3510 Kingsway, Burnaby
Price: $ (for lunch)