bul go gi house
8813 92 street
Korean food is something of an anomaly to me. When talking with friends or family about possible dinning options, Korean doesn't seem to be something that anyone craves. Chinese - who doesn't like it, Japanese - of course, Vietnamese - Pho and Bun goodness!, but Korean....nope. I think I can count the number of times someone has suggested Korean food on one hand, so I was obviously excited when a couple of friends asked if I wanted to head over to Bul Go Gi House. The restaurant, located in a french dominated neighbor, has been serving fellow Edmonchuckers Korean food since 1973.
My normal Korean order is bibimbap, as I really enjoy the simplicity of this 'meal in a bowl' dish and it's perfect for solo dinning. Things have changed though as I've become so entranced with the crew over at Eat.Sleep..Dream...Food and their Korean adventures that I already knew what I was having - soondubu.
Soondubu is described on the menu as; soft tofu with shrimps, clams and vegetables in a hot & spicy soup. Asking the waitress how spicy the dish was she mentioned it wasn't 'that' hot, so I asked for the dish to be kicked up. The bowl arrived bubbling away at full steam, and the first thing I noticed was the massive amount of tofu which was soft and delicious.
The broth was tasty with a nice developed flavor profile, while the vegetables consisted of a sliced mushroom and the green onion garnish. After making my way through the tofu, I was slightly disappointed to find one lonely clam and three shrimp; so much for 'clams'. I'm glad I asked for extra heat as it was still more than manageable (think no forehead sweating) and who knows how tame it would have been without this request.
My dining companions decided to split an order of Japchae (fried, soft clear noodles with black mushrooms and vegtables) and Samsunshin (fried vegetables with beef, chicken, and shrimp). The Japchae was a solid dish but with vegetables scattered on one side, it was a little deceiving. The mushrooms easily made this dish in my mind; they were that good.
The Samsunshi was a good mix of fatty beef and chicken thigh meat, with a couple of shrimp thrown in. The vegetables were cooked perfectly and were quite plentiful. This is a perfect dish for the less adventurous crowd or for rounding out the order if you need another plate.
The banchan sides were bean sprouts and a pretty blah kimchi. Come to think of it, I've yet to receive any other sides here in Edmonton.
The restaurant, with its dated decor, looks as if they haven't changed much in 30 years. However, I think this is the sort of place that has built a name for delivering quality korean food and doesn't need a modern look to entice customers. Arriving for a 6 o'clock supper, there was only one table occupied, but within a half hour the restaurant was completely full. I suggest if you have the time, or that rare once in a blue moon craving for Korean, convince some people to head down and enjoy the tasty treats.
Friday, March 20, 2009
bul go gi house