Tasty discovery: Korean lunch box.
Destination: Sami's Korean Restaurant, 1501 Big Bethel Road No. 600, Hampton.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Sunday; noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Even if you aren’t an Olympic athlete or attending the games this month, you can still get a taste of Korea as Sami’s Korean Restaurant in Hampton serves up delicious Korean dishes — no plane travel needed.
A highlight of the menu is its diverse lunch deals between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Friday (it’s closed Tuesdays). One of the restaurant’s best steals is its Korean lunch box that offers seven items from the menu for under $10.
The lunch box includes beef (or chicken) bulgogi, dumplings, fried (or white) rice, broccoli, sliced zucchini, kimchi and noodles.
With a bunch of options to try, the bulgogi was definitely a standout for me. The thinly sliced, marinated pieces of beef were slightly tough and sprinkled with sesame seeds. A spicy dip came on the side for the beef. The delicious glaze added spicy pepper flakes and a tad of sweetness that really enhanced the flavor of the meat.
The kimchi was quite addictive. The spicy traditional Korean side dish was made of crunchy cabbage and radishes with flavors of chili, ginger and garlic to give it some kick. The sliced zucchini and broccoli also were spiced like the kimchi.
My two meat-filled dumplings were fried just right. The small portion of crunchy noodles were intentionally less flavorful than the rest of the box, but were still great to mix with other items such as the beef and fried rice.
The service was fast and friendly and the restaurant has a bar. Other menu items include gimbap, soups and other Korean favorites.
Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134. Follow me @heynatjo.