We got a Honba gift certificate as a housewarming gift. I did a quick Urbanspoon search on the restaurant before heading there. It turned out that the restaurant website wasn’t working properly and revealed that it was hosted on a Korean website, which I figured was a good indicator that the restaurant was owned and operated by Koreans.
The decor in the restaurant was decent. We were seated right away because it wasn’t busy at all… on a Friday night. I was very amused that the waitresses at Honba really didn’t smile all that much, as others have complaint on Urbanspoon.
I was very pleasantly surprised that seafood pancake was on the menu so I ordered it. We also ordered a Katsu-don for Charles, and a sushi combo (dragon & spicy salmon rolls) to share.
While we were waiting for our food, I noticed a sign saying that Honba now serves Pork Bone Soup (Gamjatang), for a whopping $9-ish (can’t remember the exact price)! It made me really miss the cheap and authentic Korean food in Toronto.
The appetizer salad was interesting because they added some vermicelli in it! I actually liked it.
The seafood pancake was really good. Very crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It was also filled with a good variety of seafood, including squid, oysters, scallops, and shrimps. We cleaned the plate in seconds and wanted more!
The rest of our meal wasn’t that satisfying though.
The katsu-don was very bland. The pork cutlet was over-battered and over-cooked. Not having enough sauce certainly did not help with the dryness.
Then the maki was a bigger disappointment. The salmon on the dragon roll was warm. Not sure if this was caused by sushi rice that wasn’t properly chilled, or by sitting the salmon out in room temperature for too long. Regardless of the cause, it killed the texture and taste of the maki. The spicy salmon did not have enough spicy sauce in it and made the roll very bland. The presentation was also poor – the maki was not cut to the same size and the pieces looked a bit squished and slanted. The only good thing I could say about the maki was that it had a good filling vs. rice ratio… Other than that, I think I’ve had better maki from Mac Sushi in malls.
Overall, dinner was quite disappointing and definitely overpriced. However, I would certainly go back to give the Korean food another shot because the seafood pancake was pretty good.