Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Han Corea is your stereotypical hole-in-the-wall, with fluorescent lighting, cheap tables and chairs, a small computer in the corner, and a three-man staff that does everything from cooking to serving. Rice, tea and instant coffee are complimentary and self-serve. What made Han Corea so authentic was they didn't really have an English menu. Our original plan was just to randomly point at things and hope for the best, but Terry invited his aunt, who invited her Korean friend Yuri, who did some translating and also some explanation behind some of the dishes for us. While most Korean restaurants in Calgary specialize in bulgogi, or barbecued meats, here they specialized in different stews, as well as a dish called "Sun Dea", pork intestines stuffed with clear noodles, pork blood and other ingredients.
After some back and forth with the cooks, we ordered a few dishes and were served an array of banchan while we waited.
The kimchi chi gae (kimchi stew) was loaded with vegetables and tofu and was very flavourful, but not too spicy. The pork rice soup was much more milder in flavour, and came with sides of green onion, finely chopped jalapeno, soybean paste and little shrimps so that you can adjust the flavour to your liking. The soup had a creaminess from the collagen released from the pork bones, and had lots of pork er... variety meats in it. I enjoyed it, but it might not be for the squeamish.
We were originally a little intimidated by this dish because it was pork intestines and pork blood - I'd expected it to be metallic tasting, like liver, but it actually wasn't at all. The intestine casing was a little chewy, as expected, and the noodles inside gave it a bit of a "meaty" texture. By itself it actually tasted a little bland, but with a sprinkle of the salt that came with it, it was perfect.
We left with full tummies and a little more knowledge of Korean food! While I prefer the bolder flavours of other Korean restaurants around the city, I would go back to Han Corea to try some of their more unique, traditional dishes.
7008 Farrell Rd SE
Calgary AB T2H 0T2