Korean BBQ in Ikeja GRA
NOSA: I added Hua Han to our the list sometime last year, but we never actually got round to it. The List is basically a never-ending list of restaurants we plan to visit. Yup, it is a thing that exists. The secret is out!
Anyway… Afrolems visited Hua Han and shared it on her instagram story, which brought it back to mind so we decided to check it out over the weekend.
FOLLY: Walking into Hua Han Garden reminded me of my experience at Orchid House.
NOSA: Hua Han is like a little Korea (or maybe China) hidden in Ikeja GRA. You literally have to pop in some “dark alley” to find the place. The address says Sobo Arobiodu Street, but it’s really on Sasegbon Street. Or off it, at least.
FOLLY: On entry, there is a lot of Asian decor and elements that immediately confirms to you that this is the real deal. You also walk past the fridges stocked full with Chinese beverages including the iced tea which I ordered. Then you open the menu and there aren’t even English translations for everything, at this point I was confident I was about to get an authentic experience.
NOSA: Sauf the drink menu, you get menus: Korean and Chinese. Chinese is boring so we opted for the Korean. You should, too, if you end up going there. With Korean BBQ, you basically select your meats off the menu and grill it yourself on the table. Optimizing for Nigeria, Hua Han has a waiter help you with it. It’s like what Grills In n’ Out tried and failed to do some years ago. It’s perfect if you have a big group and you guys can try a whole bunch of stuff.
FOLLY: Nosa always tells this story about the first time his siblings took his dad to a restaurant like this where you “cook” your own food.
NOSA: So I’m not going to tell it again…
FOLLY: Wow okay, For our Korean Barbecue experience, I took the reigns of ordering and we got:
Roast Beef Korean Style
South Korea Imported Boutique Pork
Baked Steamed Bread
Korean Fried Chicken
Steamed Bok Choy
NOSA: I really really wanted to start off with some dumplings, but they had none. Only chicken spring rolls were available. Perhaps they optimised for Nigeria a bit too much by adding the “menu item not available in real life” option.
FOLLY: Of the two meats, the Roast Beef Korean Style was my favourite…
FOLLY: … because the raw meat arrived seasoned and so naturally tasted better when cooked. The taste profile of this was very swalty. The marinade probably had sugar in it that crystallised when it was cooked.
NOSA: Thin cut excellence and marinated to perfection.
NOSA: The Boutique Pork was a bit blander than the roast beef, but I guess that’s by design. Not a fan, but I respect it.
FOLLY: I also found the pork to be bland, bland, and more bland. It tasted much better when dipped in the sauces and spices we were also served as condiments.
NOSA: It’s a very fatty cut and perfect with the sweet & sour sauce you get on the side.
FOLLY: Bok Choy is a leafy vegetable that very common in South Asian menus. It typically will take on the taste of whatever it’s cooked in but it also tend to have a faintly bitter taste. The bitterness was mostly removed by sautéing in garlic but I still could taste the very light bitterness but that’s normal tbh.
FOLLY: Korean Fried Chicken is a popular street food which is fried very crispy and then coated in a variety of sweet/spicy but always sticky glazed sauce.
NOSA: The one at Hua Han reminded me a lot of mall Chinese and I loved mall Chinese when I was a proper fat ass. I could inhale a General Tso’s portion in seconds.
FOLLY: In Los Angeles last year, we checked out the Ganjung - what was nice about that experience was that there were a number of sauce options to choose from.
NOSA: Actually, now that I think about it some more, it did taste a lot like the Ganjung chicken we had in LA and that is probably a better parallel since they’re both Korean Fried Chicken.
FOLLY: Hua Han’s version comes with a default sweet and sour sauce. Their version of Korean Fried Chicken slaps - very tasty crispy balls of chicken. 10/10, I highly recommend.
It won’t go well with rice so please don’t report back and say you ordered it with rice and it was weird. Just eat this on its own as it is, and if you must, wrap in the lettuce that’s served with the meats to make a lettuce chicken wrap.
NOSA: I really loved Hua Han and if it wasn’t so far away, I’d check it out more frequently. If you live in the area, you should definitely do it for Sunday lunch.
FOLLY: The waiter seemed a bit angry sha. I think he was surprised we went with the Korean food.
Bok Choy - N2400
Steamed Bread - N1500
Korean Fried Chicken - N4500
Roast Beef Korean Style - N7600
South Korea Imported Boutique Pork - N5800
It’s not plenty like that lol. Maybe 3/4 cars