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Homestyle Korean Food at the Dolsot Cafe

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Shortly after Chef Jason Laurin (@chefjayl) of Essence Catering bid his Smoke Dinner‘s guests good night, Jenn and I struck up a conversation with guest Chef Michael Hay (@michaelthehay). Besides chatting about developments in the Courtyard Restaurant’s kitchen refit, which Chef Hay is actively sharing with twitter, the subject of an old conversation came up, The Dolsot Cafe (512 Bank Street). Apparently, Chef Hay is rather fond of the home-style Korean restaurant’s dolsot bibimbap.

Dolsot bibimbap is a stone bowl, containing sticky rice, a variety of cooked and/or raw vegetables (stir fried slivered carrots and daikon, blanched bean sprouts, sliced boiled mushrooms, and spinach) and cooked beef (roughly minced or coarsely ground). Traditionally, it is served with a raw egg yolk.

While we have visited the Dolsot Cafe several times now, neither Jenn nor I have eaten bibimbap outside of Toronto. We will have to remedy that situation.

For the time being, here are dishes we had from our most recent visit.

Here is our traditional banchan (meal side dishes)

Curried potatoes, house kimchi, and deep fried tofu

Curried potatoes, house kimchi, and deep fried tofu

There’s something about Korean restaurant rice I adore. It may be the stickiness, the fragrance, or the fact it handles well entirely with chopsticks (and without having to tip a bowl to your mouth).

Rice

Rice

As we typically do, we ordered haemod pajun ($8.95)

Seafood green onion pancake

Seafood green onion pancake

My main: Gamjatang hat ($8.95)

Spicy pork neck bone soup with potato and vegetables

Spicy pork neck bone soup with potato and vegetables

Her main: Kalguksu ($8.95)

Flour noodles in chicken broth, served with chicken and vegetables

Flour noodles in chicken broth, served with chicken and vegetables

Ordinarily, two people do not order this much food, something our server pointed out to us when she wheeled our dishes to us. She was amazed we finished everything.

While every dish was surprisingly generous in portion, it is not everyday you get to eat food as if you were dining in a Korean family’s home. Everything tasted freshly made, no instant soup mixes, no short cuts. The pancake was assembled and “griddled” on high heat, developing a lovely crust. The pork soup and chicken broth, tasted as if they were long simmered. The vegetables were crisp and vibrant. The noodles were al dente (yes, Asian noodles can be tooth-some and chewy). Everything, save for the banchan, were served piping hot.

Great food at great prices. Jenn and I will be back. Though, we may just order a bibimbap each next time…Then again maybe not :)

Particulars:
Dolsot Cafe Korean Restaurant
512 Bank Street
(613) 230-8488

Dolsot Cafe Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.

Comments

Lynne

thanks for this! i can not wait to go and sample. your pictures are beautiful and the food sounds like it's just as beautiful!
i heart korean food and can not wait to get some in my belly!

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