On a hot, muggy day, Sara had the brilliant idea of having tofu hotpot for dinner. When its a humid day like this day was, the last thing I wanted to eat was a spicy, hot and soup. Thankfully, the food was good enough to make me forget how humid it was outside.
A Ri Rang Tofu House is fairly new in Richmond. We had a quick chat with who I think was the boss lady, and she revealed that A Ri Rang has only been open for a few months. Inside, A Ri Rang is very spacious. They have two dinning areas divided by the bar and kitchen.
One thing that I did notice was that A Ri Rang had a few fans set up throughout the restaurant. On a hot, humid day, this is a bad sign because that can potentially mean that they do not have AC (or maybe it was temporarily broken). Fans provide decent enough cooling, but I will prefer AC – especially while eating spicy foods on a humid day!
Side Dishes (Banchan) – As with most Korean restaurants, you get some side dishes with every meal. I really like the broccoli side dish. What makes these side dishes even better is that they are refillable! I think we went through a few orders of potatoes and kimchi!
Gamjatang – Even with a vast selection of food, if Sara is in a Korean restaurant, she will order Gamjatang. If there is no Gamjatang, she wouldn’t be there.
The Gamjatang is a fairly big portion, even if it is the single order. There is lots of meaty pork bones in there and lots of other fixings such as potatoes, onions, nappa cabbage and green onions.
While the fixings in the Gamjatang was filling alone, the broth was missing some “oomph”. The broth wasn’t very flavorful and could of used some more seasoning or perhaps simmered for a bit longer.
Oyster Tofu Soup and Grilled Chicken – This was part of their combo meal selection, where you can select a tofu soup and a grill plate.
The Oyster Tofu Soup had lots of tofu and cabbage. There were a few small pieces of oyster in there. The soup had lots of flavor as well. What is interesting is that they give you a raw egg to crack into the boiling soup. If you add the egg into the soup right when it order arrives, you will end up with a nice soft poached egg once the temperature of the soup comes down.
The grilled chicken plate (the first picture) was OK. The grilled chicken was tossed in a good amount of Korean BBQ sauce and onions. The only problem I had with this plate was that the white onions/cabbage the chicken was served on top of was raw. I thought they should have gave the onions and cabbage and quick stir fry before topping onto the plate. Even though the plate was hot, it wasn’t hot enough to cook the onions and cabbage through.
The Bottom Line
A Ri Rang Tofu House is good choice for tofu soup in Richmond. While I don’t feel like they do anything spectacular, they are a safe choice for Korean food. They are reasonably priced, and their combinations make a great choice for people who wants to try the tofu soup and one of their grilled meat plates.
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