Restaurant Review – Kal-bee Korean Restaurant

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I originally wasn’t planning to do restaurant reviews for this blog, mainly because we don’t eat out very often. However, the restaurant review that I did in August is clicked on pretty often on this blog, so I was thinking that people may be interested in seeing more. I guess we need to eat out more! We discovered this little gem when we first moved here 10 years ago. Kal-bee Korean Restaurant is located in the very small town of Pembroke, Virginia. They are only open Thursday-Sunday, so check the hours before heading out there. This is a one-woman show. All the cooking is done by the Korean lady, who owns the restaurant. Her husband is usually one of the waiters. They are super friendly and the food is delicious. We’ve been bringing our children here since they were babies and they always enjoy the food. There are plenty of options for spicy-food lovers and non-spicy as well. We’ve never tried the dessert because we just never have any room left! I’ve been told by people who have traveled to Korea that this is authentic Korean food and I believe it because everything is homemade. If you’ve never made your way out to this restaurant, I highly recommend it.

I took a few pictures of the menu to give you an idea of what they serve.

Kim-chee is spicy pickled vegetables that are available complimentary with the Korean dishes. Don’t pass these up! The kim-chee that is available is always a little different each time we visit. This visit there were six different things to try. I’ll try to remember what they each were. First, at the far left is Pickled Mulberry Leaves. This was the first time that we had tried this one. I got to have a taste, but Jackson and Addison gobbled up the rest. The next one is fermented cabbage. This one is what most people think of when they hear kim-chee. It has a nice spice and saltiness to it. The third one is pickled dikon radish. This one is spicy and also one of my favorites. The fourth one is a sauteed spinach. This one is not spicy and was gobbled up by Ryan, he loves spinach.

The fifth one was an unfermented napa cabbage and the sixth one was a fermented fish cake strip. Everything was really good and the kids really liked the fish cake strips too. (Hopefully I got these description right, I was trying to remember what they said when they brought them out)

After the kim-chee, we started off with an appetizer – Yaki-mahn-doo. This is a dumpling filled with vegetables and served with a soy dipping sauce. We get these almost every time we come and are never disappointed.

Here’s a pic of Addison and Ryan chowing down. The kids each have a pair of kids chop sticks for such occasions.

The portions of the main dishes at the restaurant are large and can easily be shared, but we usually each get our own dish so that we have leftovers to come home with.

This is the Bea-beam-bop and it is my absolute favorite thing. I get it every time without fail. It’s pretty spicy, but the flavors are amazing. This is a combination of rice, vegetables, mushrooms, ginseng root, and a choice of beef, chicken, tofu, or vegetables topped with a yummy homemade sauce and a fried egg.

Scott is a spicy food fanatic and this was his choice of Sang-chu-ssam, which is lettuce wraps with spicy pork, sticky rice and a special sauce. I didn’t get the rice in the picture. I had to be quick before everyone started to dig in!

We usually get the kids a plate of Korean-style Chicken Fried Rice to share. This is plenty for the three of them with leftovers to bring home. This comes with a homemade-soy-based sauce. This dish is not spicy, but still very good.

This dish is Jhap Chae, which is clear cellophane noodles with vegetables and a choice of beef, chicken, or tofu. It comes with scissors to cut up the noodles and tongs to eat it with. This is a sweeter dish, with no spice to it.

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