When I was younger, Korean and Barbecue always seemed like oddly-paired words. Having little to no knowledge about East Asian cuisine or culture, I never really considered any connection between the mysterious far away nation and the steel thing hidden under a tarp beside my family’s garage. In my homogenized, westernized, television-influenced white-bread brain, I guess I just assumed that a barbecue was a North American invention by some woman named Barb. Probably created so she could drag the neighbours over to her boring backyard lawn-social events and show them her ugly flamingo napkins. Upon further research on the topic, it turns out I was a tad off-base.
Well-read historians who probably wear tweed-jackets claim that when the Spanish
invaded settled in the Caribbean, they adopted the word barbacoa from the cooking technique used by the indigenous people living there. The process involved slow-cooking meats on a platform or sticks, allowing the smoke to rise and forge a certain flavour. Since this was only about 1492, they still had to wait a bit before they could baste it up with some Bull’s Eye. I’m sure pig’s blood was just as tasty, though.
Anyway, as much as I’d love to talk about historical barbecue facts (and spend another 40 minutes trying to pick out the best Taino Indian name for a shitty photo caption), I have a restroom to review. To sum this educational segment up into a deeply considered thesis: barbecuing is awesome.
Regardless of where this technique originated, it turns out that the Koreans do a pretty kick-ass version of it. My absolute favourite place to eat such delicatessen is Kim’s Korean BBQ House. If you’re in the mood for some badass bulgogi, Kim’s is the place you need to be.
The restaurant, a quaint little building on Bowen Road, offers quite the elegant presentation considering its relatively contained space. Peaceful paintings and plants decorate the dining area. The service is usually speedy and unobtrusive. There is a noticeable absence of aggravating, chancy music. Across the board, It’s a pretty chill place to chow down on some teriyaki chicken.
I could safely say that this is one of my favourite Nanaimo restaurants; but before I go overboard with the gushing, I’ll get to the grime – if I can find any.
Due to the modest square-footage, the restrooms at Kim’s aren’t a challenge to find. You might not think this is an issue, but I’ve done full tours of restaurants that landed me in their kitchen when I was only looking for the loo.
The small, sectioned off space reserved for the bathroom doubles as a spare-chair corridor. The extra furniture is neatly stacked though, and it isn’t in my way. Quite an economical use of space.
There’s also some sort of butterfly-cupboard apparatus hanging here–but before you get all “IN A GADDA DA VIDA” on me—it appears that this Butterfly isn’t an Iron one. It’s probably copper or something, but who really cares? It looks cool. Even if I’m not a big fan of orange. (PS: If you don’t get the 60s reference, it’s okay. I’m sure ChapSnat and Drake are more interesting than this shit anyway).
Entering the men’s room, I am awash with a lovely floral scent. The kind of chemical cocktail designed to deter you from lingering foulness. This aroma is frequently paired with an unmistakable trace of faeces, but not here.
As I scope the room, the breezy bouquet of Air Wick’s Hawaiian Blossoms & Papaya coats my concerns with a faint fog of fruitiness. And even if the plugin looks a little sticky, it’s clear that freshness is of foremost importance at Kim’s.
The presentation in here is fabulous. They’ve got a balmy potty-paradise vibe going on, and they pull it off almost perfectly. The only thing missing is an angelic nymph, guiding me toward the baptismal blue toilet to cleanse myself of impurities.
An impressive arrangement, all around. I would give them a red star to match the North Korean flag, but I’m pretty sure that North Korea is the scary, oppressive Korea. This restaurant is more deserving of the gold, anyway. Not even the most callous authoritarian regime could put a damper on this delicate setup.
Okay, enough about colours. Without fail, this toilet-water is bright blue every time I am here. It’s like having a miniature Lake-Louise to relieve myself into. Not that anyone should do that into the real Lake Louise, (but hey, sometimes you just gotta go).
They are also consistent with their restroom-appliances at Kim’s. Next to the toilet, their Tork T1 Jumbo Roll 10″ Dispenser System offers a bountiful supply of TP, offering 10 times the amount provided by conventional dispensers! Relaxing security for your rump.
This bathroom also sports a matching Tork Intuition Hand Towel Roll Dispenser. The Tork catalogue boasts that this model has a long battery life—lasting up to 56,000 hand-dries!
A great investment in hand-relief, which brings happiness to everyone.
In the left corner, there’s a dresser. Or a cabinet? Maybe it’s an armoire. Is it a chifforobe? I never really learned the difference.
Whatever it is, it’s pretty sleek. Since I’m a huge snoop, I absolutely must know what’s inside these mystery drawers and the cupboard at the bottom. Being nosy about people’s bathroom belongings isn’t limited to that chick you just met on Tinder who invited you over at 3am. Always do your research.
This should be fun! Ready, kids?
What doesn’t this place have? Well, for one, a dirty sink. This baby is polished up and looking so pretty, I was practically squinting from it’s glistening surface. Hell, the hand soap even smells like bubble-bath.
To top it all off, they give you the option of a fan, next to the light switch. There are technically two fans, if you include the one at the entrance to the restaurant. That one is perfect if you prefer more traditional technological fanning systems. Unfortunately, neither of them will likely help you beat the heat.
Next to the lightstwitch, there’s a Foodsafe instructional sign on how to wash your hands. Apparently, I have been doing this incorrectly for years. I was never informed that I did not have the proper portable hygiene accessories required to prevent foodborne illness. Thanks to this sign, I will have to promptly order such a device. If you didn’t know this, I am letting you know now. Spread the word to stop the spread of germs. Let’s make Canada’s fingernails great again.
In conclusion, I can definitely say this was a great experience. I learned. I laughed. I leaked. It’s nice to leave a restroom with dry hands and zero complaints. If you ever decide that you need more barbacoa in your life, be sure to stop in here for a bite and a bowel movement.
I’d like to thank everyone at Kim’s Korean BBQ House for providing such a tranquil restroom experience.
Toilet Paper Rating: 5/5