Simon Lam loves to eat. Although he isn't a trained chef, he sure knows what good food tastes like.
I Was Not Blown Away
Burning Grill is a recent addition to the Korean restaurant scene in Kingston, Ontario. Their decor offers striking contrasts: dark brown elements stand out from white areas. Asian paintings and artefacts reveal the restaurant's type of cuisine. Overall, the space is comfortable and relaxing.
I ordered the Burning Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbop, so that I could try a real Korean dish. We were also given free pickled vegetable appetizers, including kimchi. I thought all of them were very satisfying. The bibimbop was colourful and had a number of toppings such as carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, egg and beef. However, the poached veggies were a little limp and a bit bland. The spicy sauce definitely improved the taste, but I would have liked it to be better seasoned on its own. I wasn't as thrilled about the bibimbop as I was for the appetizers.
The other aspects of the restaurant were great. The washrooms were roomy, clean and well stocked. As for the service, it was quick, friendly and efficient. Regarding its health record, the restaurant did very well and didn't receive any violations.
I would recommend Burning Grill for its complimentary appetizers, but not for its bibimbop. You would be happier if you tried their other dishes such as the fried chicken wings.
A Bit of History
As I said, Burning Grill is a newcomer to Kingston's Korean restaurant scene. They first opened their doors in December 2019. Many Kingstonians will know that they occupy the former venerable Aunt Lucy's restaurant. After significant renovations and new signage, the building now proudly houses this young Korean eatery.
The dining room is a study of colour contrast. Most of the interior such as the partitions, trim and wall chest are in a dark brown colour. The ceiling is much lighter, in a white colour. Beautiful Asian-themed paintings and Korean artefacts enliven the space. They are really the only thing that would suggest that this space was a Korean restaurant.
The tables are in a darker brown that contrast with white wooden chairs. I get the impression that they kept the furniture from Aunt Lucy's as the chairs have a very country-like style. The place settings are very casual. Metal utensils rest on paper napkins. They are accompanied by water glasses. At some of the tables, there appears to be a grill in the centre. At the time that we went, these were not currently in service.
There is mostly spot lighting throughout the dining room. Some natural light enters from the windows.
I found the dining space to be comfortable and relaxing.
A small group of my friends and I visited Burning Grill in January 2020. We were all very excited to try their food.
Their menu is moderate. There are some barbecue dishes as well as the usual Korean fare and that is what I chose. I got the Burning Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbop, which is a rice bowl with beef, egg and veggies for $15.99. Some of my friends ordered fried chicken, which sounded quite tempting too.
We were also served some complimentary Korean appetizers. These included kimchi and other pickled veggies.
Kimchi and Other Pickled Veggies
We were served three small dishes of pickled vegetables including kimchi. The kimchi was delightful. It was spicy, crunchy and salty. The other pickled veggies were also very good.
Burning Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbop
The Burning Hot Stone Bowl Bi\bimbop was presented, as the name suggests, in a hot stone bowl resting on a wooden plank. The toppings included carrots, mushrooms, cooked bean sprouts, eggs, and beef. It looked quite attractive and colourful.
I was given a spicy sauce to add to the bibimbop. This sauce definitely added a lot more flavour to the dish. Otherwise, everything was quite bland. The toppings didn't sing to me. They seemed to be boiled or poached and thus didn't have a great texture. Overall, I thought it was not bad, but not outstanding either.
We were served by a young server who was very pleasant and friendly. She answered our questions regarding the menu, and the food did not take too long to arrive. I thought the service was very good and efficient.
The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of the cleanliness and upkeep of the establishment. I visited the washroom at the end of our meal. It was quite spacious, very clean and well stocked. I was pleased with their facilities.
The Kingston Public Health Unit regularly inspects the local restaurants and posts their results online. I went on their website to check how Burning Grill did on their last inspection. They were last inspected in November 2019. I'm happy to report they didn't incur any violations. Way to go, Burning Grill!
© 2020 Simon Lam