Korean Village Restaurant May 8, 2014

Korean Village Restaurant

One of my closest friends lives in The Annex, which is a great address for a good dinner. With my Guu craving satisfied the week prior, I was eager to try out a new restaurant. Being a skip away from Koreatown, Korean was really the logical option. After reading reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, Korean Village Restaurant seemed like the best option with a high volume of strong reviews and a lengthy history.

Atmosphere: My first thought entering the restaurant was how large the dining area was. It’s rare to find such a spacious interior in the neighbourhood and with the tinted windows, it was impossible to tell from the store front. The bamboo decor and screens were a little dated but cute and traditional. With no background music playing, being able to converse with our indoor voices was a plus. Most of the tables that Monday night were occupied with couples enjoying dinner.

Service: Honestly, I’m a little conflicted about the service we received. It wasn’t rude, it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t great. When I placed my order for the seafood noodle soup, the waitress questioned me twice, asking if I knew what I was ordering. Confirming once, I can understand, twice makes me feel uncomfortable. The dish is brought served raw and cooked at the table. Once the platter was dropped off, we weren’t provided any instructions and no one came by to tend the pot. Once I started poking around, our server came by to tell us it was ready to eat and she looked confused as to why we hadn’t started. Throughout our meal there was very little attention and follow up service.

Food: Between the two of us, my friend and I split a spicy rice cake and Hae Mul Jung meal. Five side dishes were served, including fish cake, bean sprouts, kimchi and pickled cucumber. Note that on Korean Village’s menu, it does state that there’s an extra charge for re-filling side dishes, we didn’t try asking for more.

Our rice cake dish came out quickly and was the perfect texture. I liked how saucy the dish was and that it had a great spicy kick. The slices of onion were a great excuse to eat more of the sauce. As soon as I knew we were headed to a Korean restaurant, I wanted to order Hae Mul Jung, spicy seafood noodle stew. Recently, it’s become one of my favourite dishes and I prefer it to the pork bone or beef stews. Partially because we didn’t know how long it needed to cook for, the clams, rice cake and noodles ended up a touch overcooked. I liked the variety of seafood, the quantity was great and each ingredient tasted fresh. Large pieces of tofu were also included along with Korean cabbage, enoki mushrooms and sliced cucumber. The noodles reminded me of soba noodles but thicker and with flour. I had been expecting clear sweet potato noodles and would’ve preferred their lighter texture. As is, the dish was heavy and we took a container to go. My favourite part was the soup, it was flavourful but the seafood flavours didn’t translate to the rest of the ingredients.

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