**Please note that what I’m posting below is no longer offered on the menu as a set, we stopped by the other day and learned that they had changed their menu.**
We started off the meal with some complimentary Korean Rice Tea, it can be served hot or cold. I don’t like it when places charge for tea (like most Japanese restaurants), I’m too used to free tea being Chinese and all.
One of the things I loved about eating at Maru was all the Banchan (Korean side dishes) that came with the meals:
From left to right: miyeok muchim (미역무침), kimchi (김치), and yoengeun jorim (연근조림). Miyeok is a seaweed that’s pickled with sweet vinegar and salt (one of my favourites!), kimchi is just the basic fermented napa cabbage, and yoengeun jorim (I think that’s right) is pickled lotus root. You can also see in the back that the meals came with a fried sardine (?) each.
The meals also came with a light salad:
Now finally, on to the meal itself. Before this new current menu, you could order a protein dish that came with their signature Soon Tofu Soup for around $17.00, but alas, that’s no longer the case. The best thing about this combo was that you could pair the protein with any of the soups offered. That means for $17 – $19 (depending on your choice of protein), you could get their more expensive seafood soups too!
Soon Tofu is pretty much just a super soft, super silky, super custardy tofu, which, is how I like my tofu!
I, of course, being Asian, had to take advantage of the combo, and got their more expensive seafood soup:
Their soups are delicious and very expertly spiced. We had this in the summer months, but it would definitely hit the spot in our -30 winters.
Bf got the kimchi Dweji bulgogi, thinly sliced pork marinated in soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, green onions and black pepper served on a charcoal plate.
And I got the normal bulgogi with beef:
Each meal also came with a side of rice:
The way that Maru teaches you to eat the rice is, first, scoop the rice out into a metal bowl:
Second, pour boiling hot water into the stone pot and cover to make a rice soup. It’s almost kind of like 粥 (congee) but less cooked.
And lastly, later in the meal, you lift the lid, scrape the rice off the sides and, voilà, you have a rice soup!
Overall I really liked Maru. It was one of my favourite Korean restaurants to go to because the food was great and the value of their combos were unbelievable. Now that they no longer offer the combo…it just seems a little pricey. Maybe if they never offered the combos in the first place, I’d be okay with paying what they charge now. But since they used to have it, I just don’t think it’s that great of a deal anymore!
Oh, and I should mention that they play a never-ending loop of K-Pop on their flat screens. While some people might find this obnoxious, I actually finds it adds to the atmosphere. Also, it’s fun to discuss their ridiculous matching outfits and equally ridiculous “story arcs” in their music videos.
MARU RESTAURANT & BAR
550 11 Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T2R 1M7