The fringes of my scarf whip around my head as I pull my collar up around my ears. A cold gust of air presses the edge of my coat against my legs. The bright sky hints at the oncoming season but the chill still seeps into my skin. It’s the kind of day that calls for lingering over a steaming bowl and the rich and spicy pork bone soup for two at Seoul Restaurant fulfills that craving perfectly.
Giving the server a small wave and a nod, we slide ourselves into a wooden booth along a wall. While handing out chopsticks, spoons and napkins, he drops off a pitcher of tea and an order sheet. We mark off our usual, the gamjatang for two. Bowls of banchan make their way onto our table and our favourites are piled high. As we’re taking little bites from each, a burner is placed on our table and a nearly over-flowing wok is nested on top. Pushing the julienned carrots, sliced mushrooms, onions, and rice cakes under the oil-slicked red surface, We turn up the heat and watch it bubble away.
The vegetables are plentiful in this version of pork bone soup and they give balance to a very hearty dish. The meat from the pork neck bones is tender and moist, it’s excellently cooked and pulls off easily. Sweet, lightly spicy, and rich the pork broth shouldn’t be ignored. Unfortunately, the dumplings originally included melt away when cooked for too long and so they’re substituted for additional rice cakes. Needing some time to cook, the rice cakes become tender as they soak up the delicious broth. I’ve loved them from childhood weekend lunches at home and here they’re a chewy alternative to the creamy potatoes. With such a plentiful wok, it easily feeds three and is a dish that I’m always happy to share.
621 Bloor St W