Dae Ji – Burnaby, BC
4501 North Road
Not too long ago, Don’sta existed in this very same location, offering some of the very same kind of dishes. I’d noticed that it soon changed its sign not too long after that visit that I reported on. Initially I thought it was just a simple re-branding, but upon checking it out, I saw it was much more than that. The proprietors seemed to have changed, along with a total re-work of the interior and a greater focused menu. Simple put, it appeared more “professional”. I’ve not gone to their other location downtown, but Dae Ji now has outlet number two.
With Korean-style fried pork cutlets taking center stage alone (no sign of the pasta that existed in the previous incarnation) on the menu now, there were a few twists like the option to have a mixed plate if you will of a cutlet and a hamburger patty. A few variations exist in terms of the pork cutlet, as well such as a cheese, spicy cheese, even a kimchi infused one! The set menus offer more bang for the buck too, as you get a side of rice, a simple cabbage salad and a miso soup.
Volume-wise, it was plenty for me. Going off the beaten path with the cheese covered option, I thought it added something unique. The gravy that smothered it all completed the rather expected flavor element. I think the cutlet itself was still pretty lean, as I remember it being when Don’sta was here. The hamburger patty while looking plump on my plate was rather dense and dry inside as if it was overcooked in the oven. Again, the gravy helped a bit but it was not a winner in my books. If I had the choice, I’d go for the cutlet times two, instead of ordering a mix as I did here.
These kind of pork cutlet houses seem to abound in Korea now, so its not surprising they’ve been transplanted to one of the core Korean communities in the GVRD. Judging from the customer support I saw on a weekday evening, this place appears to have some staying power – slanted towards the younger clientele set.