I thought I did not like Korean food. I have had only a few dealings with Korean food, and it has all been kind of bad in the past. There was a place I spent a mint on, but it is now closed, and the beef was tough shards of boil meat that had the texture of a rubber tire, and it was flavorless. There wasn't enough sides and sauces I could put on the destroyed beef to make it work. That was 10 years ago, it was a gross meal, and I left frowning, and I did not try another Korean restaurant until 3 years ago. Again, the quality of the food was disgusting, and the pork that we got was nothing more than a food distributor pork cutlet, deep fried, and then ladened in a sweet brown sauce that overwhelmed everything. It was gross too. I had higher hopes for this 2nd Korean restaurant because I know the owners, they are from Korea, and have been in the restaurant business both in Asia and the USA for decades, and this was their 1st Korean venture in the USA.
Fast forward today, and we were invited to a birthday dinner at SDG Tofu House on Antioch Pike. This is where I discovered that I ACTUALLY LOVE KOREAN FOOD! I love the side dishes, I love dried fish, I love the tofu soup and I love the sauces!
We were so lucky to be invited to a birthday party dinner for a new friend of ours. She wanted to go to the Tofu House for her birthday dinner. Thank you dear new friend for choosing such a tasty restaurant for your birthday!
The food here at the Tofu House is a limited menu. There are a few meat items, and a few styles of soups, and then there are a combo of the meats and soups. I like the limited menu because that means that this family owned business only has to work on a few dishes and get them right. I got a beef short rib dish in combination with a tofu soup with everything in it. The soup arrived in a stone bowl that has been super heated in the oven before being filled with soup. The soup goes into the bowl and the bowl is then served.
my soup with shrimp eyes looking out
I grabbed my camera to show you how the soup bubbles at the table due to the really hot stone bowl. I saw this once on another's blog, Cooknegr. I was intrigued because I have never seen soup just bubbling away hot like that before. I thought that I would have to go to California where Cooknegr lives, and have him tell me where he got the soup, and I would go there to try boiling hot soup.
soup served in boiling hot stone bowls
I was happy to find out that a little local restaurant, the SGD Tofu House had this soup. The way to eat the soup is to NOT TOUCH THE BOWL, it is really hot. The other trick is to take one of the eggs, and drop it into the boiling hot water and poach the egg to make the soup really rich and perfect for a winter's day.
dried salted fish (hom ha (chi.), jagal chi (kor.))
The other think I liked about Tofu House were all the side items included in the price of the entree. They had various side dishes included sweet-savory sauced boiled peanuts, daikon in a spicy red sauce, pickles in a spicy sauce, kim chi, and dried small fish. The small dried fish are like dried anchovies, they are only about one cm long, and are eaten head and all. The salty preserved fish flavor is outstanding, and an acquired tasted. As a child, I had some of these dried fish on occasion, but not often. I really like the flavor and texture, but I have not had these little fish for about 25 years. Tasting these little fish took me back to my childhood when my mom would make a simple dinner of veggies, rice, and a little bit of the dried fish for flavor.
The one side dish that I thought I would have more of a reaction to, was the kim chi. With the various flavors of the soup, meats, daikon, dried fish, pickles and peanuts, the kim chi took a back seat. Kim chi seems to be the best know side dish of Korean food traditions, and this kim chi was tasty. But because all the other foods were so spectacular in my mind, the highly flavored kim chi just faded to the background.
I eat locally wherever local happens to be. I like finding good food where ever I go, from down home cookin' to celeb chef's food. I really like food, so that is why I blog about food. I am not a writer and never will be, so there are gonna be some typos and bad grammar. Oh well, I still love food! Also, I am not a photographer, but my little point-and-shoot camera seems to do well for my food photos. my email is LannaeFood (at) gmail com