26 Mar Arisoo, Abbotsford
In a street full of mostly Vietnamese restaurants (it is Victoria Street after all) and a scattering of Thai, a few Korean restaurants have started to appear in the mix. Seoul Soul, Chimac and Arisoo provide a bit of variety in the cuisine available here.
In preparation for our holiday to Korea, I wanted to bring my parents to a Korean restaurant to whet their palates. Arisoo is a small, simple restaurant halfway between Collingwood Station and The Hive. Apparently serving authentic home-style dishes, I thought it was the perfect place to provide my parents some education on Korean cuisine, which they’re not too familiar with.
The weather turned chilly and we ended up ordering mostly stews to warm us up. Our only non-stew dish was the marinated pork belly with chilli sauce, done bossam style where the pieces of pork were wrapped in some lettuce leaves before being shoved in the mouth. The meat had been grilled inside the kitchen so there weren’t any fumes to contend with, and no BBQ-smell-in-your-clothes that often happens at Korean BBQ.
Three different stews were on the cards: kimchi stew with tuna, sundubu jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew) with seafood and doenjjang (soybean paste stew) with beef brisket. Because it had been boiled, the tuna started to take on a drier texture almost akin to canned tuna, so perhaps a different protein would have been a better choice.
The doenjjang was heart-warming. The savoury miso stew base was tasty, the beef brisket still tender rather than tough.
I’ve always loved sundubu, so I’m a bit biased when I say I liked it the best out of the three. I find kimchi stew tends to be a bit bitter, and I prefer the smoother taste of sundubu, especially with that jelly-like egg cooking slowly in the middle of the bowl.
We were well satisfied with our meal at Arisoo, and the prices were quite reasonable. Lunch specials are also available too, so I’m hoping to pop in again to try more of their menu.