Restaurant News & Reviews

A dining surprise awaits you hidden inside a grocery store

Vegetable Bibimbop with Banchan is one of the choices available at Choi's Korean Restaurant.
Vegetable Bibimbop with Banchan is one of the choices available at Choi's Korean Restaurant. Special to The Telegraph

If you’ve ever driven down Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins, you may have passed Choi’s Korean Restaurant without even knowing it. Finding a full-size restaurant inside what seems to be just a Korean grocery store is a bit of a shock, like a wardrobe opening into a forest.

This super-clean place is usually not too busy in the evenings but can be packed at lunch. Expect to find all your usual Korean favorites — like bibimbob, bulgogi, and galbe — as well as tonkatsu, jeyuk bokkeum, even chicken teriyaki.

A very engaging hostess will seat you and soon after bring you several banchan, small dishes of accoutrements to go with your meal. If you’re really hungry, go ahead and try them, but they are really to add extra flavor to your meal.

We started with six baby spring rolls, shrimp shumai (dumplings), and a seafood pancake that could be a meal in itself. Next I ordered my favorite Korean dish to eat and to say, bibimbob. Available as vegetarian or with beef, this one-dish meal comes in a burning hot stone bowl and needs to be stirred as soon as it comes to the table, in order to not burn the rice. On top, you’ll find namul (seasoned vegetables), gochujang (chili paste) and a fried egg.

We also tried the beef bulgogi (also fun to say), which arrived on a metal and wooden platter. Translated literally as “fire meat”, the ribeye is sliced thin, marinated and grilled. If you’re feeling bold, try the rib bone marrow broth with sweet potato noodles or the spicy pollack roe (fish eggs) soup. Another adventure would be the cook-your-own sliced pork belly called samgyubsal for $16.99 a person.

After dinner, take a tour of the attached Asian market where you can find self-stick acupuncture needles, milk-flavored hard candies and jelly cups. If you have an ounce of curiosity, you’ll have the most interesting evening you’ve had in a while.

Choi’s Korean Restaurant

Address: 423 N. Commercial Circle, Warner Robins

Phone: 478-328-1746

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Payment: Credit card, cash

Smoking: No

Alcohol: No

Kids Menu: No

Noise Level: Low

Price range: $7.99-$18.99

Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.