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Korealicious- Lemoyne, PA

A couple of weeks ago, Dana and I decided to go into Harrisburg to take some things to be sold near Harrisburg Mall. After turning things in, they said it would probably be a couple of hours until it was ready for us to return. Dana had barely had breakfast that day and I had yet to eat, so we decided to find somewhere to eat. We were not far from a Korean fusion restaurant we had been to before, and I had been excited about returning to it, so we hopped in the car and drove over to Korealicious.

I discovered Korealicious a couple of years ago when I first started getting into Korea and had wanted to find someplace nearby that made Korean food, however, such locations are few and far between in this area. Plenty of Indian restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, and even Vietnamese, but nothing Korean. You would have to go closer to Philadelphia, Baltimore, or New York to find something.

I was super excited when I ran across this restaurant on Instagram when a reel about one of their fusion dishes popped onto my feed. At that time, I did not have a palate for spicy food and to say the first time I ate there was delicious but SPICY is an understatement. Seating and hours were limited the first time we went as it was in 2021 and there were still a lot of specific rules in place due to COVID.

I was excited to finally return. It's a small restaurant, maybe about twelve tables or so, so when they get busy it will fill up fast. It is decorated with a lot of pictures and artwork from Korea, including the wedding photo of the owner and her husband in their bridal hanboks, which I love. Some sort of Korean TV show is playing on their TV screen as you are seated. Their menu is fairly simple with standard Korean foods, as well as a few of their special fusion dishes. While their website has two desserts listed, the bingsu will not be available until the end of June, so only mochi is currently available.

We did not get any appetizers this time. Korean dishes come with plenty of food, so you do not go hungry, and this is no exception, so we only got our main dishes. Dana got pork bulgogi with a full set. A full set means that it comes with lettuce wraps and ssamjang, which is a spicy dipping sauce. I got the tteokbokki, which is my favorite Korean street food, and some pork mandu (Korean dumplings). Though I love how they spell tteokbokki as phonetically as possible on their menu, so it reads as ddukbokki. It took me a while to pronounce it correctly as well, so I can see how that spelling would assist. I also ordered banana milk to drink, because I have found that I love it so much after having it in Korea.

The first to come out, as is custom in all Korean cuisine, is the banchan. Banchan are a variety of side dishes served with every Korean meal. It will vary as to what you get at the restaurant, though kimchi is the main staple you will see. I've had so many different types of banchan at the different restaurants I've gone to, even in Korea. At Korealicious we got kimchi, cucumber kimchi, a shredded cabbage salad with a delicious dressing, and pickled radish. The pickled radish, the first time we went, was a wonderful surprise and is probably our favorite. It's also a wonderful palate cleanser as needed.

Soon our meals came out and the food was just as delicious as I remembered during our first visit. Dana's pork bulgogi was delicious, though she did have to break the lettuce wraps in half otherwise she would not be able to fit them in her mouth. Bulgolgi is meant to be wrapped and generally eaten in one bite. I told her perilla leaves with bulgogi are amazing, but they are not common in the US. As I mentioned when I said we did not get any appetizers because you get a ton of food and sure enough, there were leftovers of her bulgogi she took home.

My meal was just as delicious. The mandu was especially good. Usually, when people think of any sort of dumplings, it's either fried or steamed. However, they deep fry their mandu so it's a delicious crispy outside instead of the traditional fried bottom and softer tops. I found my new favorite way of cooking dumplings. The tteokbokki itself was amazing. A rich spicy and tangy sauce covered the rice cakes (tteok) and the fish cakes. I would love where to find fish cakes so that when I make tteokbokki at home, I can include it. The tteok was cooked to perfect so had a wonderful chewy texture to it. I ate almost all of it and all of the mandu. A feat for me since I am unable to eat as much as I once did.

Of course, we had to finish off our meal with some mochi. They have a variety of flavors to choose from. We each got two a piece, but the waitress accidentally grabbed the wrong flavor for me so I unexpectedly had three. Dana got ube and lychee, both delicious, though Dana did say the lychee did taste a little like freezer burn, most likely because lychee isn't one ordered often. I ordered passionfruit and matcha. She brought passionfruit and mango, and we joked about how she kept saying to herself before she left the table that it was matcha and not mango, but still, she ended up bringing mango. Regardless, all three were delicious.

I one hundred percent recommend Korealicious to anyone who wants something in the area for Korean cuisine. If you have the chance to try something made with their gojuchang aioli, get it. That is also very delicious to have, which we tried the last time we were there. I will go here again to try other items on the menu.

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