Monday, June 17, 2013

New Seoul Korean Restaurant

This past Saturday after a trip to the Geology Museum, mother, sister, and I went to lunch at New Seoul Korean Restaurant on Old University Avenue.  This is, of course, in preparation of my move to South Korea this fall that I have alluded to in various blog posts, but not announced formally.  It's happening!


We walked in and were seated right away in the small yet comfortable restaurant.  The other occupied tables at that point were all tables of Koreans.  We took that as a good sign.  After enough time to explore the menu we ordered.  Then our server brought out four small plates of different starters right away (we didn't order these).  She explained what each one was, then let us be.  We weren't sure if we were supposed to wait for our meals and use them as condiments, or to pick up our chopsticks and start eating them right away.

After a bit of hesitation, we decided to just go for it.  There was a plate of kimchi, the traditional fermented Korean side dish that others have told me I'll need to learn to love.  My favorite of the four was some type of potato dish; it was really sweet.


Then out came the appetizer of kimbap that the sister and I had decided to split.  Kimbap is, "Rice, fish cake, fried egg, yellow pickled radish, carrot & spinach all rolled up in dried seaweed," according to the menu.

I was being adventurous when I suggested we order these, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  Guess what?  I really liked the kimbap!  It could have been my whole meal (I sure filled up on enough of them before tackling my "real" meal).  It helps that I love rice, but the slight flavor from the seaweed, mixed with the variety of small treats inside the rice made a really pleasant taste.

Main courses

My main course was chicken bokum: chicken, cabbage, carrot, green pepper, onion & red cabbage.  I ate half in the restaurant, and the sister got my leftovers.  It was delicious; I enjoyed tasting a new flavor, distinct from American Chinese or Thai food.

All of our courses came with a bowl of yummy, sticky white rice.

My mother ordered the shrimp bokum: shrimp, broccoli, carrot, green pepper, mushroom, onion & zucchini in a sweet & sour sauce.

And the sister got tukmandu soup (I think!): dumpling, sliced rice cake, shredded beef, egg, green onion, onion, with dried seaweed on top.  I got her leftovers since she got mine -- this soup hit the spot, too!

I've already used the word once already, but the food at New Seoul Korean Restaurant was delicious.  This was my first time eating Korean food, so I don't have anything to compare it to (yet!), but the place does have a reputation of being very authentic.

The service was fantastic; our waitress was very kind and showed the right amount of attentiveness to our table.

If you go...

What: New Seoul Korean Restaurant
Where: 2503 University Ave.; Madison, WI
Hours: 11am - 9pm, Monday - Saturday
How much: Most main dishes fell between $8 - $13.  If you want to spend less, go around lunchtime and ask about lunch specials.
Menu: New Seoul Korean Restaurant menu  (prices may have changed)
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  1. The food looks good, although I have difficulty with the spicy stuff so it wouldn't quite work out.

    Congrats on the move to South Korea!! I know how crazy it can be moving to the exact opposite side of the world.

    1. Thanks -- it will be an adventure! All of our "main courses" weren't spicy (I'm not a big spice person, either), but the kimchi definitely has a kick, as I'm sure many other foods will in S. Korea.

  2. hola Rebe, la mejor inmersion cultural empieza por la comida, bon appetit