Sunday, March 30, 2008

Seoul Gum Tang - 3801 Telegraph Ave

Seoul Gum Tang almost looks like a Korean Community Center from the outside. It's on the corner of Macarthur and Telegraph, and has a parking lot on the Macarthur side.

We don't remember that this place has actual windows either. Glass doors, yes. Windows? We don't think so (we'll check for sure next time we traverse past).

We didn't know what we'd find inside, but the PIC was feeling a bit tired of Korean food already. Fortunately, this isn't a Korean BBQ place. The specialty here seems to be big huge cauldrons of dumpling-filled soups, which come to you on your own personal bunson burners. I'm not sure why the Koreans are so fond of portable grills and so averse to windows - one would think they'd be best off going hand-in-hand. 'Tis a mystery.

We asked the waitress what was good, and she told us "Everything!" As per the norm in our Korean restaurant experience, we were the only non-Koreans in the place and the staff was Korean. Other than Dan Sung Sa, all our waitstaff in the Korean establishments speak Korean as their first language and have spotty English, making it somewhat difficult to really get to the bottom of mysteries like "Hot ball." Hmm.

What we saw on the menu: Assorted casserole of dumpling. We don't know what was in that dumpling, and we feel better off not knowing. (It was some kind of meat.) It cost $28.95, so whatever it was I hope it's good. Something about "Hot Ball" (yes, you can giggle - we did). Most things on this menu are served in a bowl.
What we ordered: Beef/kimchee dumpling
What it came with: steamed rice, marinated zucchini, green onion and kim chee.
Atmo: Korean community center
Crowd: Korean folks of all walks of life
Spent: Around $30
Overall rating: 3 sporks

The atmo in here is very bright and has flat screens with Korean news on them. These folks get extra style points for having utensils in a little box, cool lightweight metal chopsticks, and metal rice holders for your personal rice serving to keep it hot.

The dumpling soup was service in a ginormous cauldron on aforementioned personal stove, and it had cabbage and other fresh veggies on top that you can put in and let wilt. The broth was cloudy and light cream/salmon-colored, and this freaked us out. We still don't know what was in this broth. It was good, but not knowing what was in it and the vaguely fishy flavor scared us both a little.

The soup also contained udon noodles and fish cakes - the latter of which I hate and the PIC loves.

The dumplings themselves were extremely flavorful, and we ate almost all of them.

Advice: don't take this stuff for leftovers. We brought it home to see what would happen and discovered that it became a gelatinous, milky mass when it cooled down. This was less-than-appetizing for us, but absolutely delicious to the canine residents of the house.

The dogs give this place 5 paws for allowing them three major loves all in one dish: fish, beef and noodles.

This restaurant cemented the PIC's opinion that she just doesn't really like Korean food very much, and that the only way she plans to eat it again is if we do Korean BBQ somewhere with fire grills and good meat. Exception is the Dan Sung chicken wings.

So, we may just skip the rest of the Korean restaurants. If we do, we'll list them anyway and note that we skipped them.

1 comment:

jeesung said...

there are windows! at the top of the wall in that side room/area (right side when you walk in).