Seoul Dookbaegi [ Re-visited]
#1031, 1033 Kingsway
(604) 879 1515
Previously I had mentioned on an earlier visit to this restaurant that I wanted to explore the Soondubu on the menu, after hearing that it was their house specialty. As a few months had passed since then, I felt it was time to go sample this dish at Seoul Dookbegi.
This visit coincided with a much busier night, with many of the tables in the central part of the restaurant occupied, so we were seated in a booth near the entrance. I noticed there was some interesting Korean script plastered on the wall in front of me, and the bowl of flavored salt (for Seolleongtang) was already on the table.
From this vantage point, I could see more clearly the framed pictures with descriptions of dishes available on the menu. Seeing great images of food just wets my appetite all the more while I am checking out the menu or waiting for my food to be delivered to my table.
The banchan was exactly the same five dish combination that we had seen previously. The steamed broccoli being the unique thing I remember from this set, as well the kimchi was really good again.
And finally the Soondubu. Immediately after it was brought to my table, I noticed the strong scent of sesame oil. For those who have ever cooked with it know, a little goes a long way. So sensing so much of it had me worried. A quick stir of the top layer did reveal a shimmery level that confirmed my guess that they had been a little generous when pouring this on top.
Stirring the pot some more, I was pleased to find a plentiful amount of soft tofu – a key element of this dish. Although I had asked for the seafood variant, there was a distinct lack of many pieces of shrimp, clams, squid, etc. Thus the flavor hadn’t really been incorporated into the soup, unlike what you get at Insadong. As much as they may think highly of their version, I’m afraid Seoul Dookgegi’s doesn’t cut it 100%, and thus Insadong remains the Soondubu champ in the GVA for me.