After living in the Tri-Cities for ~ 5 years, I could say I’ve definitely had my fair share of Korean food. As you all may know, Coquitlam is also commonly known as “Koreantown”, home to one of the larges Korean communities in North America. It’s almost like a hub with lots of Korean businesses and activities with signages translated in Korean more than English. So it’s not a surprise to find multiple Korean restaurants in one plaza! Just outside of Koreantown, is OZ Korean Cuisine, which specializes in Korean Fried Chicken. It’s located right by Coquitlam Centre on the corner of Glen Pine and Pinetree Way, away from all the competition in K-town. One thing to make note of here is that parking is extremely tricky. They offer free parking at the back, but you need a code to get buzzed in. Make sure you call them in advance and ask for the code into the building, and it’s only one way. So you’ll have to do the same thing over again when you leave the restaurant- it’s frustrating!
I came here with the boyfriend’s siblings for a quick lunch on a weekend. We’ve all been here before for their fried chicken and when I make re-visits, you know it’s a good sign that the food’s worth checking out! The place can get quite busy during the evening, so I would suggest coming here during lunch just to make the experience more relaxing and enjoyable- or better yet, make reservations! One thing I like about Korean cuisine is that you’re bound to find items on the menu that are family-style which allows you to try multiple items at once at a reasonable price.
Cabbage Salad (complimentary) Having been to many Korean restaurants in the past, almost always you get some sort of salad with a salad dressing that resembles Thousand Island dressing. I don’t know why but Koreans seem to love serving this type of salad to patrons. Maybe someone could enlighten me 😛 ?
Seafood Pancake ($17) Korean style pancake topped with various types of seafood. Whenever boyfriend and I eat out together, we’re always reluctant to order this dish despite how much we both love Korean seafood pancake because it’s just too damn expensive for two people to share on top of your entrées! But when you eat with a group of 3-4 people, then it becomes easier 🙂 I thought the seafood pancake was just passable. The edges were nice and crisp, but it got kind of doughy towards the middle. Couldn’t really taste much seafood in it either! My favourite is still hands down – House of Tofu
Chicken Platter ($36) Boneless Fried Chicken: Original, Sweet Chili, Padak, and Snowing. At Korean restaurants, whenever you order fried chicken, it usually comes with pickled radish. The tang helps cut out the grease and cleanse the palate.
Original Fried Chicken this came with a mustard dipping sauce. Korean fried chicken is supposedly double fried allowing the skin to be crispy on the outside and juicy, moist on the inside. This one had a very light coating of soy. Eating it on its own can be quite boring, so I definitely recommend dipping ’em in the mustard sauce!
Sweet Chili this one was smothered in sweet chili sauce which made it very sticky/wet to eat. It’s not your typical western-style sweet chili flavour, but more of a smokey flavour profile and also very sweet. For someone who prefers their chicken wings “dry”, I wasn’t much of a fan of this one as I found the sauce was to be overpowering. Boyfriend’s brothers happily demolished this one though!
Snowing :Cheese and fried chicken are coupled together more frequently than you might think at Korean restaurants. If you’ve had your popcorn tossed in white cheddar seasoning then that’s what you could expect from this dish. I was quite skeptical when I had this the first time, but I grew to like this one a lot! Again, the fried chicken was nicely executed.
Padak Korean fried chicken with spring onion and sweet soy sauce. My favourite out of the bunch! Although the chicken was covered in sauce, it still maintained nice and crisp on the outside. This one had a satisfying bite as well- the addition of green onion makes you feel less guilty eating this dish, no? 😛
Multiple restaurants have had turnovers at this particular corner due to low traffic, but I think OZ is here to stay for a while.
112-1190 Pinetree Way