Robson Mongolian BBQ

by KimHo on November 10, 2010 · 0 comments under: British Columbia,Food,Restaurant



Robson Mongolian BBQ
1234 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
Robson Mongolian BBQ on Urbanspoon

Restaurant business is, in a way, survival of the fittest… Wait, that is not necessarily true. At times, it does not matter if the food is good or has good value; for the majority of the population, that plays a secondary role. In the case of an area like Robsonstrasse, it is what the public demands and not necessarily good food. A Cafe, a small HK-style cafe was a bit of an odd ball in the area, surrounded by restaurants that in a way are popular (sushi, tacos, Japanese store), cheap (donair/shawarma) or simply places to be seen (one too many to be listed). In fact, PO and I had a bet last time we went as to when (not why) they would fold and, despite we didn’t want that to happen, it closed in late summer. So, given the prime space, it was a matter of what would replace it. That “what” ended up being Robson Mongolian BBQ…

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

So, question #1, is Mongolian BBQ better than A Cafe? In terms of food, that will always be a question mark; however, for some people, it works better. In fact, the day we went (and subsequent instances I walked pass by), the place was quite busy so that should mean something. As for the food itself, given that instead of somewhat standardized dishes you can create your own, it could lean both ways. In a standard restaurant, if you don’t like it, you can “blame” the kitchen. In a Mongolian BBQ place, you choose the ingredients/ratio/sauce so, if it does not turn out, well, don’t blame the cook! Having said that, since not long ago I went to such place in Geat Wall Mongolian in Denman Street, I think a fair comparison can be made this time… Anyway to our dishes.

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

Since this is mostly serve-yourself, we indeed served ourselves, including the soup above. While called a miso soup, forget about it. It wasn’t as much as savoury as sweet… Likewise, there was a self serve mini-salad bar of sorts. Again, it was minimal…

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

Robson Mongolian BBQ, Robson, Mongolian, BBQ, cast iron, all you can eat, buffet, meat, lamb, chicken, beef, noodle, griddle, vegetable

The meats available were beef, pork, lamb and one that I don’t remember. Since it was sliced, frozen and, to use up as much space as possible, “rolled”, it was a balancing act to fit as much as possible in a bowl. This time, knowing that rice would be provided alongwith the meal, we didn’t load much noodles in it as much as meats. However, in the end, I thought rice would be a subpar replacement as carbs in this dish, as the noodles would “soak” the sauces while being cooked. So, for the most part, PO (who tagged along on this trip) and I had pretty much the same order, except I added some leafy vegetables and we used different sauces.

So, how was this compared to the Great Wall Mongolian? Pricewise, the Robson Mongolian prices are slightly higher, which I assume this is because it is located in a primer space. Also, given it opened recently, shows it is “newer”; however, I found the food at the Great Wall cooked “better”, despite neither one really achieved the wok-hei effect – but again, with the caveat that rather than for standarization, I chose the ingredients myself. That aside, Great Wall location serves a spring roll, whereas the Robson Mongolian does not; and Great Wall location prepares fried rice rather than plain rice. And a token price different rounds up the differences between the two. So, in the end, would I come back? It is a case similar to that Great Wall Mongolian: in a hurry and hungry, may be thought I might end up overeating. Otherwise, I think I can think of better places to have lunch/dinner.



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