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Inter Korea House

Posted by DID 25 Mar 2012 6 Comments

Somehow I missed the opening of Inter Korea House last November, regularly driving past it to go to Vit Goal Tofu for our Korean fix. This was, lucky for me, remedied last Saturday night when we were invited to a birthday dinner at Inter Korea House. Inter Korea House is located in the same strip mall as Jamaica Jamaica and Big Lots at the ethnic food haven that is the intersection of 54-55. From the outside, it’s hard to know what to expect, but inside Inter Korea House is bright and welcoming. The staff is friendly and helpful and on a Saturday night, Inter Korea House was full of families sharing plates of kimchi and bowls of noodles.

The menu, somewhat Korean-Chinese fusion, is extremely varied in both price and offerings. There are noodles bowls, the classic tofu hot pots, bibimbap, lots of lo mein dishes and dumplings. Prices range from $8.99 for bibimbap to over $25 for a sea cucumber dish. Our waitress brought out the classic Korean small plates shortly after we sat down and we nibbled on fresh kimchi and bean sprouts while perusing the menu.

We couldn’t resist ordering the haemul pajeon, a seafood/scallion pancake. It came out first and was light, fluffy and filled with scallions, squid, octopus and shrimp. It was platter sized and even after sharing with the rest of the table, we still had leftovers.  Our table also ordered steamed dumplings (eight for $7.99), which were giant, succulent half-moons filled with beef and vegetables.

We ordered the pork tangsooyook as our main dish to share – it turned out to be enough food to feed about four people. It was a pile of crispy fried pork, pineapple, green peppers and onions tossed in a fresh sweet and sour sauce that was surprisingly light and not too sweet. Our table also ordered one of the tofu casseroles (which looked really similar to Vit Goal’s tofu soups) and the hot and cold variations of bibimbap. The hot (dolsot bibimbap) comes in a stone bowl and is topped with fresh veggies (note for bibimbap lovers: this version does not come with an egg on top, but I’m sure the accommodating staff would add one if you asked). The cold bibimbap, piled high with shredded vegetables would make an excellent meal during the coming heat of summer. We were dining with two vegetarians and a vegan and our waitress was happy to modify dishes to accommodate them.

It’s probably worth noting that Inter Korea House does not serve alcoholic beverages – only tea and sodas are on the menu. Everything we sampled was fresh, flavorful and Inter Korea House is sure to become a regular stop when we’re in this part of town. Vit Goal Tofu will reign supreme when I’m craving my bubble tea/tofu pot/red bean dessert fix, but Inter Korea House is a nice alternative with a more diverse menu, affordable prices and a friendly staff.

Inter Korea House
NC Hwy 55
Durham, NC 27713

Mon-Sat: 11 am – 10 pm
Sun 12 pm – 9 pm


  • Amy said:

    How would you compare it to Chosun Ok across the street? Aside from the fact that Chosun Ok serves alcohol? Thanks.


  • anonymous said:

    I was with you until ‘pineapple’. Not really though. I saw green bell pepper in one of your images, for example.

    Also a question: I moved to this area 4 years ago and have really longed for great Korean food such as I had found in LA and Orange County and in NY at Sa Rit Gol (the only great Korean place in NY as of 2008). When I got to NC I read several recommendations for Vit Goal, but equal number of reviews that complained about service and cited racial bias (sometimes in same review). These reports were sufficiently credible and distasteful for me to defer the potential pleasure of the food.

    I would love to hear any more recent reports about the owners and servers and their efforts to correct and make amends that might make me feel ok about trying Vit Goal. Bubble tea (which the poster mentions as a further virtue of Vit Goal) is not Korean, btw.

    I have tried Chosun OK (‘Amy’ asks the poster to compare) and was very disappointed.

    I miss good Korean food.


    Sant replies on March 26th, 2012 at 1:51 pm:

    LA has a huge Korean community so if that’s your reference point you’re probably going to be disappointed. It’s like going to LA and hoping to find BBQ comparable to Allen & Son– it’s not going to happen. There are 4 Korean restaurants in Durham: Chosun Ok, Vit Gol, Inter Korea House, and Min Ga. You’ll have to just try each one and see which comes the closest.


    judas_escargot replies on March 26th, 2012 at 2:27 pm:

    Don’t count out the ‘cue in LA just yet… I hear the smoke-flavoring over there is so abundant that it hangs in the air for most of the year.


    Sant replies on March 29th, 2012 at 11:13 am:

    I doubt there are people in LA chopping hickory wood at 2AM and burning it down to embers to make their que like Keith Allen does.

  • KK said:

    The best Korean food I’ve had in the area is in Raleigh at Seoul Garden. http://www.raleighseoulgarden.com/. It has the BBQ grill tables and non-grill tables. Still not LA, Orange County or NYC KBBQ, but it does the kick for NC.


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