Eyeing for Soondubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew) ever since I read maangchi and found out through urbanspoon.com that Choice Sushi has this dish on the menu. I said I better try this first at a Korean joint before making it by myself at home so I know what taste I should expect.
I have been up to Korean and Vietnamese foods for the past 6 years. Back when I was new to Winnipeg, there was not much of Korean restaurants that I knew until I volunteered for Folklorama where I chose to do it at a Korean pavilion in 2006 and 2007. At that time, I was introduced to some different variants of Korean food and had my first kimchi too.
Just like many other sushi joints in Winnipeg, Choice Sushi is also owned by Korean. Hence, many sushi joints incorporate Japanese and Korean food together in their menu. I think it’s a great way to introduce more Korean foods to the public.
I’m at the point that I’m tired of sushi. Eating too much sushi in the past? I guess. Whenever my husband asks to go for sushi, I usually pick other Japanese foods beside sushi such as sashimi, bbq salmon belly or bbq salmon rib, ramen, takoyaki, donburi, udon, soba if they don’t have a choice of Korean food.
This time I went with my new partner in crime for food hunting. Apparently she is just like my husband who is a pesco vegetarian, a vegetarian who is still eating fish and seafood.
A friend who came earlier than me had ordered takoyaki (octopus ball) and asked me to try it. I should say that wasn’t the best takoyaki I ever tasted in Winnipeg. Then my banchan (side dishes) came to accompany the Soondubu Jjigae that I ordered. Banchan consists 3 small plates of each kimchi, potato salad and wakame (seaweed) with gochujang (Korean chili paste). As kimchi has many different variants, this kimchi doesn’t have a strong fermented taste and spicy to my tastebuds. My friend loved the potato salad which has a sweetness tone a bit due to the apple and carrot addition. The wakame with gochujang was also a good banchan.
As steam was releasing out from the bowl that the lady brought to the room, I could feel my excitement. My pipping hot Soondubu Jjigae was coming along with a bowl of rice. Then my friend’s seafood scallion pancake (Haemul Pajeon) arrived too.
Soondubu Jjigae was good but something that I felt missing. A taste of dried anchovy, fish sauce and spiciness was a bit low as supposed to be stronger when I read through maanchi’s recipe but I did still enjoy it. It cost me $10.99 without tax. My friend’s haemul pajeon wasn’t the best one either since I had Haemul Pajeon before from Nol Eur Tor which was a better taste but greasier.
Since there was no dessert menu but my friend insisted that she could have something sweet. The ahjumma (a Korean way to call a lady for respect which we referred to the lady who was served us) was very nice to us offering a Korean coffee but my friend isn’t a coffee drinker meanwhile I myself didn’t care for sweet stuff after meal. Then this ahjumma offered us black sesame seed ice cream. Choice Sushi proved that they want to make customers happy by offering something that they actually don’t have in the menu Really great customer service!!!
Please don’t degrade the appearance of this black sesame seed ice cream. It is delicious. I’m sure the restaurant got the ice cream from an Asian stores that I know sell many Asian flavoured ice cream such as durian, halo halo (Filipino iced dessert), purple yam (ube), jackfruit, Thai iced tea.
My total bill was $13.98 which was rounded up to $14.00 as per February 4, 2013 Canadian pennies went to retirement. When I paid my bill, I told her to have a toppoki (tteokbokki) – Korean spicy rice cake in the menu and she said that I will tell my boss.
I would love to try other Korean dishes from Choice Sushi one day. The only thing that is a bit hard for me to come to this area is parking spots. An area that is close to downtown area and U of Winnipeg, it’s known for its limitation. It’s not only the spots that are very limited but time limit to park from Monday to Saturday during the day.