Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Spicy House Korean Restaurant 2006-06-07

I've never had Korean food before. When we first moved back I read a glowing review about Spicy House Korean Restaurant so I've been looking forward to this visit for quite some time. So, once Kristin was off to her Dragon Boat practice Tristan and I loaded up in the car and headed on over.

Walking into the place I had a good feeling that I was in for something special. Despite the North Lonsdale location I happened to be the TWG (Token White Guy), which is always a good sign for an Asian restaurant. We sat down and immediately were presented with menus, a carafe of water and utensils (chop sticks and spoons wraped in paper). The menu was very full, written in Korean script with the anglicised names and translations. All kinds of strange and wonderful things popped out at me: Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi soup with tofu and pork), Albab (Assorted fish eggs, vegetables miced in hot pot), Dakdongjib (Chicken gizzard), etc, etc. I knew this would be a tough decision...

For Tristan we ordered the Sogoki Dupbab (Marinated beef on rice) that was not supposed to be too spicy, and for me the Ojinguh Bokkum (Fried squid with vegetables and noodle with spicy sauce), which the waitress warned was very spicy, and to my delight a Hite beer, product of Korea. While waiting for the food to show up we occupied ourselves tearing apart the chopsticks and playing table hockey with the lid from Tristan's apple juice. The Hite beer was a pale lager style with almost no real beer flavour. I think they're trying to out Budweiser Budweiser... But it was still beer and I was thankful for it when my Ojinguh Bokkum showed up!

Because when she warned me it was spicy, she was not KIDDING!

I like spicy food, especially spicy Asian food. I find that the Asian burn is much more rounded than the Mexican burn and tends to tail off while still leaving flavour on the taste buds. My usual reaction is to get an itchy scalp (I've only met one other person who reacts to hot food the same way). Well, by the time I was half way through my scalp was beyond itching and just plane sweating! It was quite the sensation. And through it all the flavours of the food were still able to be enjoyed.

As expected Tristan's beef and rice dish was pleasantly mild and flavourful. We were also served four side dishes: the omnipresent kimchee, an unidentified spicy shredded vegetable, potatoes and a delicious fried tofu (that Tristan pigged out on).

The service was very good, the price reasonable and the atmosphere pleasant. They have two large tables with the surrounding benches that I noticed people taking their shoes off before sitting around. I assume this is a traditional Korean style setting. I also noticed portable gas stoves keeping hot pots hot at several tables. I think next time I'm going to have to try that...

Overall a very good dining experience that I would happily revisit, especially with a larger group to sit at one of the big tables. Spicy House Korean Restaurant is at 2039 Lonsdale Ave, across the street from London Drugs.

LERS Score: 5 (Probably)


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