Blue Bella Pocha Korean Bar

Hey Everyone,

Jess and I were on the West End in downtown and decided to wander around looking for a place to have dinner, when we happened upon Blue Bella. They are located on a corner of an intersection on Robson beside a bunch of other Korean restaurants, but we decided to pick this one over the rest as it looked more appealing to us from the outside than the other ones!

The inside was not bad either:

Now it was still bright at this time so it didn't seem that dark, but as the sun went down, it became very dark in the restaurant, and they don't light it up very much, so it was very dim later on!

Our photo editing also makes it look brighter than it actually was!

Now when we first walked into the restaurant, we were not greeted by any staff for the longest time. Interestingly, a girl who walked in after us was served by one of the staff before we were! Not a good start for their customer service rating! When we were finally greeted, we were brought to a table near the glowing "beauty" sign on the wall as seen in the pictures above. The floors were VERY sticky everywhere, so beware!

One thing that became immediately apparent was that this was a very legit Korean restaurant, and we were pretty much the only non-Korean customers in the restaurant. This gave the impression that they provided better service to Korean customers as the girl who walked in after us was Korean and was immediately attended to when she came in and cut us off, while we waited patiently for our turn to be helped as normal customers should. While we waited prior to being seated, the thought of leaving and going elsewhere ran through my head several times, but we were eventually greeted and seated before this idea came to fruition so we ended up giving it a shot.

Once we were finally seated, it took forever to finally place our order as no one came to take our order. Again, I contemplated leaving, but alas someone came to take our order after we had to ask them as they passed by. While placing our order, I found their service to be actually very friendly and helpful. This contrast in service gave hope for their overall rating as the service rating might not be as low as it originally may have seemed. 

A particular aspect of this restaurant that kind of bothered me was the fact that they played Korean music on their sound system, played Korean music videos on the TV, but the two did not match! One song would be playing while a different song's mv would be on the TV. This may not be an issue to most people but I found it odd!

After ordering our food, we were not immediately brought water like every other table had. 20 minutes had passed and we had still not been brought a jug of water, so we decided to ask for it. This was the first place I had tried a pint of 1516 Bavarian Lager $5.95 and I fell in love with it immediately, but Jess did not order a drink so she was just going to drink water, which was communicated to the server upon ordering our food.

Finally, onto the food! What was described on the receipt as simply "Open Food" $1.00, was a tray of side dishes, some of which did not seem like actual side dishes at all!

The picked radishes and pickles seemed normal, and Jess loved those. The bowl of soup seemed to be ginger soup, as it was spicy and had a ginger flavour to it, but was surprisingly good! There was the typical kimchi, and also a side of edamame on the other side of the tray. Yes, those are shrimp crackers on the tray, and it was part of the whole tray! Just behind the plate of chicken is a whole fish! It was a small fish, but the entire thing minus the head. If the shrimp crackers was surprising, this was even more of a surprise, as an entire fish was given as a side dish, part of a tray that costs $1.00! This fish was grilled and was pretty good too! Mind blown!

We had asked the server for what amount of chicken was included in each dish, and she advised that one order of chicken would be enough for the both of us to share, and even offered to do half and half for the flavours in the order! So we had an order of half Original Deep Fried Chicken and half Deep Fried Chicken tossed with special sweet spicy sauce $20.95.

There must have been about 16 pieces of chicken in total on this dish and it was very nicely plated. The original is the lighter coloured one, and it was very delicious! I really enjoyed the original chicken as it had tons of flavour, was moist, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and just an overall excellent fried chicken. The special sweet spicy sauced chicken was slightly spicy, but not to the point that I couldn't handle it. I don't eat much spice, so if I can handle it, this wouldn't be considered spicy for most of you out there! The peanuts on it are a nice touch and tastes great with what is an already awesome chicken dish. This was a more moist flavour and was also slightly crispy on the outside and very tender on the inside. All of the chicken were very well cooked through as well. We both loved this dish very much and thought it was a very good deal for the amount and quality of the chicken.

The service had improved after we got all of our food as they seemed more attentive as time passed. Jess and I both agreed that the food really saved their overall rating and their service did improve to cover some of the early faults. 

Overall this restaurant turned out to be very good! This felt like a very authentic Korean joint as all the other customers were Korean, and mostly young teens and college students. This gave us the impression that this was a preferred place for Koreans themselves to hang out at, as some were celebrating birthdays there, and another table in particular were having tons of fun playing various games at their table. It was a very fun atmosphere in the restaurant and once you are immersed in that atmosphere, the sticky floors and mismatching music and mv's no longer bothered me! It was clear that this was a great place to hangout with friends, have some great food at reasonable prices, and have a few drinks as well! They had a variety of Korean alcoholic drinks, which we did not try but will definitely come back to try next time with a few friends. The lighting was very dark in there, but we were seated under the large glowing blue sign on the wall, so that aided in our visibility of everything around us. We're hoping the initial service experience we had was just a one off, as the rest of the dining experience was very well served, so we're going to give them the benefit of a doubt and give them another try next time!





Thanks for reading everyone, and let us know if you've dined here and whether your experience with their service was different. Munch on!
- Phil

Blue Bella Pocha Korean Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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