Sometimes, you just crave a big bowl of hot, steaming tofu soup (soondubu), so Dean and I wandered into Seoul Garden one chilly night after a few drinks at Keen’s. The banchan is good, and…
The soondubu arrives still boiling hot, bubbling a bit, while you crack your raw egg into it and stir till it resembles almost a very spicy egg drop soup. I foolishly thought that since I’ve been eating a bit of spicy food lately, I could ask for it “a little spicy” but it was way too spicy for me. I was sweating – and not from how hot the soup was, either. However, on the cold night, with me at the start of a bad cough/sore throat, this really hit the spot – I believe in sweating out toxins and eating/drinking things to soothe sore throats, so this was exactly what I wanted. I think it was Dean’s first time with soondubu, and he seemed to enjoy it, too.
I wouldn’t say Seoul Garden makes the best ever soondubu – I personally have really enjoyed BCD Tofu House’s more (they’re opening a new one in the same spot there used to be one in Ktown, yay!). It’s hard to explain what it is – it’s a more complex taste, more depth to the soup. I’ve made this at home a few times, and while mine passes as some version of soondubu, it definitely isn’t quite there yet in terms of complexity. Maybe I need to add more anchovies… In any case, Seoul Garden suffices in a pinch when you want soondubu, and they’re open late! I’ve been there in the past and I’ll probably wind up there again … solidly good.