About a month ago I went with a friend of mine to GooEe’s Oriental Grill House on Stanley Ave for lunch. I had previously been in contact Joann Son, the General Manager of the restaurant and let her know that we were coming. I invited this particular friend to go with me because he lived and worked in Korea for several years and speaks fluent Korean. I wanted his opinion on how authentic the experience was.
Joann works at the restaurant and her fiancé is the chef. They’ve wanted to open a restaurant for a while, and finally opened GooEe’s in November. The word gooee is roughly translated to mean “roasted”. Joann has never worked at a restaurant before, but you would never know as the service she provided was excellent.
They have done a nice job with the building. It was formerly a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. They did some extensive renovations (including putting in windows) and have the main floor setup for the restaurant. The decor was exactly what you would expect if you had walked into a restaurant in Seoul, from the artsy glossy photos on the walls, down to the very mellow instrumental music (called GyoungOoMak in Korean). The downstairs might be used in the future for banquets.
The presentation of the meal was neat and orderly, and most importantly, the food was good. We had Korean Chili Pork. The flavors were as close a blend to what my friend had experienced while living in Korea and he liked the fact that they did not tone it down for us. It was pretty spicy! The only disappointment that my friend had was that the rice was not Korean style. Apparently they had tried it, but the customers didn’t like it, so they switched to a different style of rice that the customers liked more.
As someone who was going to a Korean restaurant for the first time, I couldn’t comment on how authentic things were, but I can say that the restaurant was clean, the service was excellent, and the food was very good. The lunch was reasonably priced and the portions were very generous. My friend can see it becoming very popular with the local Koreans. He thought it was the best Korean experience in the Niagara region. We’d both recommend it!
I took a few pictures with my cell phone while we were there. You can see the thumbnails below, or the full version in the GooEe’s Oriental Grill House in Summer 2010 gallery.
Note: There are now 3,214 images in 253 galleries in the Niagara Falls Image Gallery.