Its a known fact that I love food, but something that I love even more than food itself, are people who also have a passion for it. I had the pleasure of meeting someone who got me out of my food shell and exploring other cuisines. She recently moved to Japan, but before her departure we tried a few places that she recommended and that are highly rated in the area.
The first was Norfolk Garden, a Korean Restaurant in the Military Circle area of Norfolk. You have a choice of having your food cooked in the kitchen or cooking it yourself at a table. We opted for cooking it ourselves which was relaxed, fun and since we had full control we could all cook the meat to our desired temperatures.
For starters we had the Yaki Mandu or Pan Fried Dumplings. Its similar to the texture of a egg roll but with less dough, a softer filling and less grease. If fried things aren't for your thing, you can also order it steamed.
For our meal we ordered the Norfolk Garden Special, which is great if you are indecisive or want to get a taste for everything. It comes with Short Ribs, Bulgogi, Pork, Chicken, a small pot of soup, Rice, Lettuce Wraps and all the Banchan (small dishes of sides/toppings) our hearts desired. Although the menu said it serves 2, there was plenty for the 3 of us.
The Banchan included Kimchi, Bean Sprouts, Tofu, Eggplant, Black Soybeans, Sauteed Zucchini, Seaweed, Fish Cake and so much more that I can't even try to describe. The process was simple, you can make a small meal of rice, meat and banchan or make lettuce wraps out of the same ingredients.
I left in one of the biggest food comas of my life and enjoyed every minute of the experience. If you are up for trying something new with a group of friends, I would recommend coming here.
I'll be sharing our other food experience with you soon, tell me if you can guess the second place we tried out. Here is a hint: Dim Sum.