Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do you have Seoul? - Seoul House

So, do you like my puns? I have many more knee slappers to share in future posts so stay tuned.

One of the things I like about summer is spending time with big sis, as she is a teacher and once the kids are entertained with programs of camp she has time to come downtown and play. We have had some great adventures this summer, firstly heading for lunch to Brassaii Bistro (one of my favourite brunch/lunch places) and going to the AGO for a long overdue visit to the redesigned space. The surrealist exhibit was on, and we both enjoyed it. I hope to go back soon as our time was somewhat limited.

Recently, we met up on Orfus to check out linens. Yes, I know super exciting life I lead. Moreover, it was an excuse to A. not work and B. spend time hanging out. At Orfus and Dufferin is Seoul House, a long time destination for the uptown Korean community and at all hours is full of families or business men getting their fix or Kalbi, Bi Bim Bop, or any one of the many iconic Korean dishes available. With lunch specials starting at $7.99, and being with my more adventurous sister, we decided to check it out. I had been there years ago with friends for dinner and really enjoyed it. We were taken by our Korean friend who has introduced us to some great authentic places in various areas of the city.

As an aside, I also frequent the uptown location of the Owl of Minerva for their famous pork bone soup. If you have not tried it, I will gladly take you there or the location in Korea-town on Bloor, and the best thing is they are open 24 hours for that late night craving. What could be bad? Spicy broth, succulent meat (pork neck), some potato for good measure, and steamed rice on the side.

In the end the lunch specials were not as appetizing as the regular menu, and most were sushi influenced as they do Japanese food as well to appeal to the masses. If I want Sushi I will go to a Japanese restaurant. The obligitory kimchi was brought to the table consisting of three options - the spicy pickled cabbage that makes your ears burn, a lovely marinated potato Kimchi that was both sweet and a bit savoury, and green beans marinated in sesame oil. All three were great, each individual and different, and the perfect amuse bouche to start our meal.

I started with, what was billed at "Kimchi Spring Rolls", and a chili on the menu suggested it would be spicy, which I enjoy. It was tasty, but not at all spicy and a little greasy. Would skip this one next time and try something else. I did bring home a take out menu so I would remember what the dishes were called that we ordered, but alas, it seems to have fallen prey to the same monster that eats my socks and there is no menu online that I can find. Oh wait, nevermind, thanks to a reviewer on I found my dish -

"dduk mandu gook... a fantastic and comforting soup of rice cakes, dumplings and beef in a savoury broth".

This would be an ideal soup on a cold winter day, but is great and filling any time of year. The statement made by this reviewer is spot on, and I enjoyed.
Dduk Mandu Gook
Big sis ordered a soup with various seafood and a side of grilled mackerel with steamed rice. Does anyone know what it is called? Whatever it was she really enjoyed the soup and the fish was nice, flakey, and flavourful, not too fishy.
Service, was very courteous and full of smiles, as expected. Really, she couldn't stop smiling, it was very cute. If you happen to be up in the Yorkdale vicinity and don't feel like going to one of the places in the mall I would recommend Seoul House for lunch or dinner, and if it is nice out it is a short block away. They also have a number of grill-at-your-table available for DIY Kalbi, Bulgogi, etc. and private rooms for larger parties.

P.S. neither of us found linens but we did have quality time and good food, which makes for a great afternoon.

Peace, Love, and Ice Cream.

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