Hanugin Mongolian BBQ

Restaurant: Hanugin Mongolian BBQ
Address: 1604 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2J3
Cuisine: Mongolian
Summary: Hanugin Mongolian BBQ teaches you how to Mongo. The food is good and the taste depends on your mix of ingredients. It offers good value for the portion and price, and it seems to be one of the only Mongolian BBQ places on the North Shore, but I will not be eating here anytime soon. Continue Reading to find out why!

I have never really had such a bad experience at any restaurant that I would get all boiled up just thinking or talking about it, except for this one place in Taiwan and now this restaurant. I didn’t have bad experiences because of the food, but because of the way the owners treated me as a paying customer. Not only did I lose my appetite, but ultimately my respect for these restaurants as businesses.

A few weekends ago, my friend and I decided to try Hanugin Mongolian BBQ on Lonsdale. I’ve always walked by it, and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a look as we both live on the North Shore. If it looked meh, we could always head to the one in Downtown.

We went around noon, but the restaurant was empty when we walked in. As we were looking at the prices, a man appeared and started showing us how everything worked. You get a bowl and choose your ingredients of meat, vegetables, sauce, and noodles, and they cook it up for you on a huge grill.

I wasn’t even aware that the man worked there – I thought he was just a regular who was being nice as he prepared his bowl – until he started explaining about the pricing, as well as complaining about how he had some customers who push the food down in their bowls, which was unreasonable with the rising cost of meat.

Lunch Menu Prices:

$8 for the Blue Line
$10 for the Red Line
$1 for every 100 gram over the line
$16 for All You Can Eat
(Dinner prices may be a bit more, like $10 for red and $12 for blue)

No offence, but I usually push the ingredients down when I go to a Mongolian BBQ place. How else is everything going to fit in that bowl?! The weight wouldn’t change just because the food’s pressed, and if you have an All You Can Eat option, people are going to try and get the best bang for their buck. With him eyeing us, we didn’t dare push the food down in our bowls..

When we went to weigh our bowls on the scale, the nice thing was that the man let us put some ingredients back if the weight was over the blue/red line so that we could pay those prices.

I opted for all meats and veggies, as the meal came with a free bowl of rice, salad, and soup. My friend added thick egg noodles in hers. Mine ended up at the blue line, and hers at the red (noodles weigh a lot!).

Hanugin Mongolian BBQ - Grilled Dish
Hanugin Mongolian BBQ – Our dishes once grilled

The taste of your dish really depends what you add to it. They have a table top card with recommendations for sauce pairings. I put less sauce than what was recommended and could have added a few more spoonfuls, as my plate ended up being a bit on the mild side, but it was still good.

While eating, another group of customers came in and they were helped by a younger guy. We saw the man who served us eating his meal a few tables away (which could explain why he was prepping a bowl in the first place). He was occasionally telling the younger guy what to do, so we assumed that he was either the owner or manager.

The food was satisfying and we got the bill. We paid by leaving cash on the table. As we stepped outside, my friend wanted to have a smoke when the owner came out and asked us if we paid. He started rambling about how he had customers who dined and dashed a few times before, and that he didn’t know us and has never seen us in the area before.

We said that we had paid and asked if he had checked the table. He said no. My friend offered to go in with him if he was concerned about us not paying, but he declined and went back in. As we stood outside, surprised by what just happened, the owner never came back out to apologize.

I can understand the owner’s perspective where he has had incidents of customers who dined and dashed, but perhaps if he had worded things in a different manner, checked the table before accusing us, or apologize after realizing his mistake, it would have totally changed this dining experience for us, instead of leaving a sour taste in our mouths. I don’t think there are any other Mongolian BBQ places on the North Shore and I have always gone to the one in Downtown, but with this unpleasant experience, I will not be visiting anytime soon, especially if there are tons of other restaurants on Lonsdale to choose from.

Restaurant Review: Hanugin Mongolian BBQ

  • Quality: The taste depends on what you create. There was a large selection of ingredients to choose from. Meats were frozen, but vegetables looked fresh. Sauce pairing recommendations are provided to help you with your creation.
  • Quantity: Blue/Red lined portions were more than satisfying. Meal comes with a free bowl of rice, salad, and soup.
  • Ambience: Small, casual family-owned restaurant; dark and quiet; not busy.
  • Pricing: Affordable (approx. $10-15/person).
  • Service: Average, but nice that they let you put ingredients back if your bowl weighed too much.

Eat Here Again? I would have definitely come here to eat again as the food was good, filling, well priced, and it’s on the North Shore. But thanks to the unpleasant experience with the owner at the end of my meal, I will not be visiting anytime soon.

Ever had any really bad restaurant experiences? Share in the Comments below!

  • Andrea Chen

    “except for this one place in Taiwan”
    Chest bump*