gracecheung604 | write on time: Seoul House - K-BBQ Craving Satisfied!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seoul House - K-BBQ Craving Satisfied!

One cuisine that I love but rarely get to try is Korean BBQ. Because it's platters of meat, I always felt that you needed a large group to go and share and sample. Throwing aside that notion, we decided to head for dinner anyways, even though there were only five of us.  side dishes 2 For all BBQ orders, you get a few sides, and here was the selection for the night. All are marinated or pickled vegetables, serving to accompany all the BBQ meats we had coming up. The top left dish is a simple Marinated Soy Bean Sprout appetizer, and although they are similar in taste to the Mung Bean Sprouts you normally get at Vietnamese restaurants, the bean is quite a bit larger.kimchi We all liked the Kimchi but wished it was a bit spicier, though this did have a great crunch. A little more of this would have been appreciated. In fact, a little more of all the sides would have been appreciated. I think I saw somewhere on the menu that each additional side dish was $2.50, not worth it in my books.  daikon The pickled Daikon was nice and tart, definitely a palate pleaser. It might have been better balanced visually if they also served pickled carrots alongside this.    seaweed We also got some Marinated Seaweed, or Wakame which everyone except my stepdad enjoyed. The texture was just a blt too slimy for him. The addition of cucumber was appreciated, giving the soft seaweed some crunch.  cucumbers This Marinated Cucumber was my least favourite. Although the vinegar and sugar marinade was tasty, I didn't enjoy the texture of this...I found it slimier than the seaweed. On the flipside, my stepdad liked this one!  assorted sushi We also got an appetizer Assorted Sushi to start. A few pieces of Ebi, Surf Clam and Salmon and Tuna and a Salmon Maki rounded this out. The sushi was fresh and nicely presented but not a highlight and I probably won't order this next time.  japchae As frequent readers of this blog will know, my mother is a fiend for carbs. Her request in a sea of BBQ meats? Japchae please. This is a dish made with sweet potato noodles, stir-fried with pork and assorted vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and spinach. The primary flavour here seems to be sesame oil, but it was also quite sweet. The noodles were very slithery and had a good bite to it. It was my first time tasting this dish and I was surprised by the complex flavours. I added a bit of hot sauce for heat as well. Apparently, this dish can be served hot or cold, but I think I prefer the hot version better. chicken udon 2 Another order of carbs were needed, so we went with a Japanese Style Chicken Udon. This was loaded with tender chicken meat as well as some shredded dried seaweed. The noodles were a bit overdone here, but overall dish was quite soothing and comforting on a cold Vancouver day.   bulgogi They have a variety of set menus, which we were going to order from, to make family style eating easier and these menus usually comes with a good selection of the restaurant's feature items. Strangely though, our waiter recommended against us doing that, saying that the combos weren't as fresh as ordering a la carte. Mind you, they were fresh, just not AS fresh? Um...okay, I'm taking his word and not taking any unnecessary chances. So we decided to order separately, starting with the Bulgogi Beef, which was served in a messier pile than as Chinese Hot Pot at places likeLandmark Hot Pot House. The marinade has strong hints of soy sauce and sesame oil. There must be some sugar which helps to caramelize the meat when you are grilling it. I had hoped for stronger flavours, perhaps some ginger or garlic, you can see a really light sprinkling of pepper too, a heavier hand would have been appreciated.   chicken Our next meat dish was the Chicken, which seemed to have the same marinade, but with a bit more pepper and a sprinkling of green onion to finish the presentation. This didn't really enhance the flavours but did look just a touch more prettier. The chicken was sliced a bit thinner than the beef, probably to speed up the cooking time. 
spicy pork Our favourite meat of the night was the Spicy Pork, which had a nice dark and spicy marinate and was very tender after being cooked. There is just a bit of fat but nothing to cause excessive splattering. The spice was well appreciated after the mildness of the first two meats, but I think calling it spicy is a bit misleading, I think a more apt term would be "well-seasoned".     salmon 2 For my mom, we got her the Salmon, which were nicely sliced filets of the fish. As you can see, this wasn't marinated at all, rather just seasoned with salt and pepper. She actually enjoyed it this way, but I think I would have found it way too bland. One thing I did appreciate was the speed at which things were coming to the table though, it's nice to be able to throw everything on the grill instead of eating a plate of beef, then a plate of chicken, and so on. But since they don't really have to do much to the meats, I guess it would make sense they all come at once.   bibimbap 4 2 To finish off the meal, we decided on getting another carb dish, since we had potato noodles and udon already, we opted for the BiBimBap, a rice in a hot stone bowl. Hapa Izakaya serves a version of this, their Ishiyaki Rice. The one at Seoul House is quite different though, a lot less sauce and fresher vegetables. The beef is finely minced but should actually be sliced and similar to the bulgogi beef we had earlier. The rice is drier, which makes it easier to get a nice layer of crispy rice on the bottom from the hot stone bowl. The daikon, carrots, sprouts and spinach all mix together quite well, but the best part has to be the egg, once you break into the yolk and it hits the bowl, you have a whole new appreciation of just how hot the bowl is, when you hear the sizzle. One bowl is more than enough for one entree, but it was nice for us to share at the end to close off the meal.

Take Note:

  • You have to take your shoes off if you want to site in the Tatami rooms
  • The sushi/sashimi is not the way to go, stick with the Korean dishes
  • Ask for hot sauce (gochujang) in the beginning if you like your dishes spicier than not.

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