Sep

17

2010

Feature: SuRa Korean Cuisine

Written By Caroline in Articles

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Building Front by Caroline Wik

SuRa Korean Cuisine

7876 Mason-Montgomery Rd.
Mason, OH 45040
513.204.3456

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 12:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: Closed
Price Range: Lunch: $7-$14
Dinner: $11-$20 (A few dishes do go out of this price range)

www.SuRaKorean.com

SuRa Korean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Before I begin this feature article, there is a small disclaimer we feel is necessary to present to you, the readers. There is a conflict of interest/potential for bias on our part between us and this particular restaurant. As a result, we will not rate nor review SuRa Korean Cuisine. However, as we wanted to let everyone know about SuRa, we decided to do a feature instead of a review. Since we will not be doing a review, we highly encourage all of our readers to post their opinions of this restaurant in the comments.

Opened just this week, SuRa Korean Cuisine adds to the heavily Asian influenced strip mall on Mason-Montgomery (although a little less so now that Mei Grocery is gone – I’ll miss it) sitting just two doors down from the famous Sichuan Bistro.

The interior is a fusion of modern style with some traditional decorations here and there – and most notably the inclusion of the Maru: a slightly raised “floor seating” section (remember to take off your shoes!). The interior color scheme consists of lots of blacks, grays, wood and the occasional colorful decoration.

While designing their menu they toyed with the idea of “Americanizing” their dishes as many ethnic restaurants do, however seeing how wonderfully the traditional menu works for Sichuan, they decided to be all authentic. Their menu consists of everything from the familiar Bulgogi, Bibimbap, and Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew) to lesser known dishes like knuckle soup, and Doenjang Jjigae (a stew made with fermented soybean paste, tofu and seafood). The specialty is the Dwaeji Bulgogi, a spicy pork bulgogi. They were going to put round grills on each table, like many restaurants in Korea have, however Ohio law isn’t exactly okay with that. (The only restaurant I know of in the “area” that does have that is in Florence, Kentucky – Chung Kiwha Korean Barbecue & Sushi)

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Maru by Caroline Wik

Eventually there will be curtains between each table at the Maru section.

SuRa loosely means “King’s Table” or “Table set for the King” and in my opinion for the amount of food that comes in each portion size – king’s table is about spot on. Certain dishes come with a soup starter, plus several banchan (side dishes), then finally your order.

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Table by Caroline Wik

For me, their lunch portions are more than I can eat in one sitting – even without any of the starters. Although I suppose I may not eat as much in one sitting as others may – I know Adam sure has no problem packing down a big plate at any restaurant whereas I rarely ever eat everything I’m given in one sitting – even if I don’t order an appetizer. So, take it with a grain of salt – their portions may be just right for you or, perhaps, too little. Lunch ends at 2 p.m., and the only difference between the lunch and dinner menus is price and slight difference in portion size.

As you can see in the pictures with this article, I got a take-out order of Guen Mandu (fried dumplings) and Galbi (marinated and grilled beef short ribs). The pictures are simply of what I saw when I opened the packages – plus a picture of the inside of the dumpling. The banchan are: Kimchi (picked spicy napa cabbage), Munamul (picked radish), and Miyeok Muchim or Miyeok Joolgi (seasoned and boiled seaweed stems.) The banchan they offer varies each day, however they usually have between four and six.

The Galbi also came with miso soup and a side of rice – both aren’t pictured however you can find pictures of them in our Facebook gallery. They offer brown rice or black rice (white rice mixed with black rice – which makes it look purple. Black rice is just a different varietal of rice.)

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Galbi by Caroline Wik

The Galbi (Grilled Beef Short Rib)

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Beef Guen Mandu by Caroline Wik

Beef Guen Mandu (Deep Fried Dumplings)

I returned later and had the dish pictured below, which is Budae Jjigae or “military stew.” It’s an interesting stew with roots in the period just after the Korean War – meat and food was scarce however the US Military bases always had a surplus of food such as hot dogs, canned ham and spam, which they took and combined with Gochujang (chili paste) and Kimchi to make a kind of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink dish. Today the ingredients vary and can include more modern items like ramen, American cheeses, ground beef, etc. The Budae Jjigae at SuRa is mainly hot dogs, ramen and kimchi.

For more pictures, be sure to check out our Facebook Gallery – as we often take so many pictures that we just can’t possibly fit them all into the articles.

SuRa Korean Cuisine - Budae Jjigae by Caroline Wik

The Military Stew (Budae Jjigae)

Nope, No Verdict This Time. Why Don’t You Tell Us?

We’re holding our tongues on this one, so we’re encouraging readers more than ever to share their experiences with us at this restaurant.

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Share Your Thoughts!

We'd love to hear what you have to say - and we read every comment. Just remember to keep it cool (criticism is fine, but rude or offensive posts will be deleted) and to use a real name or nickname, not a business name. Also, no spam. Have fun and thanks for commenting!

  • Jbranch56

    We visited SuRa on Christmas Eve, believe it or not. We were the only people there and it was around 8:00 pm. We felt like we were keeping the staff from going home, but they were very accommodating and friendly. When we mentioned that this was our first experiment with Korean cuisine, they kicked it in to high gear and we were showered with attention and advice. I’m writing this two months later and I don’t remember exactly what we ordered, but we are just getting ready to head back over there this afternoon for lunch. What I DO remember is that the atmosphere was cozy and inviting, the staff was WONDERFUL and that my first experience with Korean was outstanding! SuRa has earned us as repeat customers.

    • http://www.gplus.to/carolinewik Caroline Wik

      Wow, that sounds like an awesome visit. Korean food is amazing – Riverside is the only place in Greater Cinci that can compete with SuRa as far as flavor and authenticity goes.

      Let us know how lunch goes!