By: Revanche

Fooding Test Drive: the new Korean restaurant down the way

September 8, 2012

For a whole $25, PiC and I splurged on a new dinner experience nearby – trying a restaurant that no one we knew had tried before. We’re not hugely adventurous in that way.  We love trying new foods and new places, but PiC relies on recommendations and reviewed places, the risk of a disappointing meal is just too high for us in our old age. 😉  I thought it might be worth it just to see whether we had a worthwhile contender for our business and I didn’t personally regret the price even though I might not feel like it was worth going back any time soon.

PiC did a real comparison, ordering the bibimbap, not the stone pot. It was basically all the classic ingredients, and good. A little odd that the rice was on the side but that didn’t take away from the meal.

The Classic Bibimbap: served here with the rice on the side instead of in the bowl.

Instead of my usual soft tofu soup, I was charmed by the idea of a restaurant serving oxtail soup, so I had to give it a try. I’d recently experimented with cooking a family recipe and that went pretty well, but I still need to develop that sure hand for the flavoring “to taste.” I probably should have gone with the tofu soup. The oxtail soup broth was bland and disappointing, as though it hadn’t been steeping to bring out the flavor of the oxtail bones. It did have all kinds of things in it but it didn’t make up for the fact that the soup was pretty much hot water that I flavored with the salt and pepper.

Oxtail Soup: Just add salt and pepper

Some days I choose Korean cuisine entirely for this:

The Side Dishes: Possibly my favorite. There’s a seaweed salad, potato salad, kimchee (an acquired taste that I haven’t quite got down yet), soybeans, coleslaw, and a lot of other delicious tidbits.

The problem with that is when they disappoint, like this place did. The seaweed salad and other normally tart pickled selections, were simply not. They were limply tangy, like they were trying as hard as possible not to be offensive which made no sense to me because the population around here seems to appreciate fairly authentic (which would read: flavorful) cuisine. After all, the very popular usual restaurant serves very pickled side dishes and they do an incredibly brisk business – I’m going to say there’s a correlation between their flavors and their success. I want my tart things to be mouthpuckering! Otherwise I’d just stay home and make my own darn pickled stuff.

Overall: they’re very average. Taste isn’t better than our usual nor are the prices better. I suppose it’s good to know we’re weren’t missing out on a gem either in the flavor or price arena?

No, I would really have liked to have a second option on those nights when our favorite is jampacked. But they’re super nice there and bring you tea and stuff while you wait. They do everything right. Which is why they’re the favorite.

3 Responses to “Fooding Test Drive: the new Korean restaurant down the way”

  1. After years of 80 zillion sushi places but no decent Korean place (there was one dreadful sushi/Korean place full of msg), we have 3 good home-style Korean places in our smallish town. One of them is truly wonderful. I got hooked on BiBimBop in graduate school and they make it just right at our favorite place in town. All of the places are good with sides, though they tend to give 4-6 sides each time (which sides you get varies when you go). Oddly we went to some not as good places when we were in a major city a few years back and just couldn’t find any place good… there were good restaurant-style fancy Korean places, but no place with the good simple stuff.

    Oh man, I could go for some kimchi right now. Except nothing is open on Sunday (except the Indian place).

  2. Mmm. Bibimbap! My favourite Korean dish is Dak Galbi which is like a stir-fry of hot pepper paste sauce, chicken and veggies. I also love the apps. I’m suprised how much you got though! Most places I offer only give about 5-8 selection max. Looks like you got 10!

  3. Shelley says:

    We’ve found that eating out is a lot more fun if you don’t do it very often. We’ve found a new-ish restaurant within walking distance that is run by a chef with a bigger place in Newcastle, which has been recommended. So, we’re planning to go down there – it’s near the fish quay – for our anniversary towards the end of the month.

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