Reasonably priced while wholly satisfying, here comes Seoul House!
XPress readers say the best Korean grub is served at Seoul House on Bank Street. The award is proudly posted in the window next to their menu, which features a mix of Korean and Japanese dishes.
But oddly enough, I prefer the Japanese to the Korean offerings.
On my first visit, it’s a weeknight and I’m looking for something light and fresh. I catch a glimpse of sashimi on a cute wooden board at the table next to me and can’t resist.
I’m soon digging into a bowl of hwe dupbap – rice topped with hefty chunks of raw tuna, salmon, snapper and mackerel, with a pile of carrots and greens.
They recommend adding hot sauce, so I sprinkle it liberally over the whole bowl.
Cool tender fish gets deliciously mixed up in each bite with the fresh crisp vegetables, steaming rice and hit of spice. All this for $11.95.
My second visit brings me and a friend through the doors on a sunny Monday at noon, ready to tackle the Korean dishes. We’re alone, though a few people trickle in as we eat. I hear the snug 18-seat restaurant is busiest at lunch, but I’ve yet to see it full.
We begin with a seafood pancake and gyoza. Though the pancake is limp and sparse, the fried gyoza are crispy and steaming. I could’ve eaten twice as many of the juicy pork and sprout stuffed dumplings, especially dipped in their spicy, fermented sauce.
I go for stone bowl bibimbap – I hear it’s a classic. The dish is filling and tasty, but in a greasy spoon sort of way, as my companion points out. I am disappointed by the lack of crispy rice at the bottom and overcooked egg.
I’ve had better bibimbap in town, though I paid about $4 more, so I’d say the $9.50 price tag is reasonable.
Seoul House isn’t the best Korean I’ve had in Ottawa, but their sushi is among my favourites. It’s affordable and I leave satisfied both times. I’ll definitely return for a satisfying meal at a sensible price.
Seoul House Korean
252 Bank Street; (613) 235-9535
Lunch specials: $7.95-$13.95