SEOUL SOUL

323 Victoria St
Abbotsford, VIC 3067
http://www.seoulsoulgroup.com/
It’s no secret that Melbourne loves to eat. Combine that with the fact that Melbourne is also a rather worldly place (despite its small size), I’ve been left rather reluctant to make any claims on the authenticity of a restaurant. Good yes, authentic no. I’ve only been to less than half a dozen countries myself, but luckily between friends and co-workers, I can usually get a pretty good opinion on just how genuine the food at a restaurant is. 
Take Bilge for example. She found her one true love – Korea – in our 3rd year of uni together, and has since embraced all things Korean; she even flew over at one point just to see one of her favourite K-pop stars in concert. I’m expecting her to bring a nice Korean boy to show us any day now. Anyway, she knows what’s up when it comes to Korean food, and according to her, Seoul Soul is up high, not down low, and definitely not too slow.  
Bucking the TARDIS trend, Seoul Soul is even smaller inside than it appeared from the street, consisting of just two long tables running down the narrow length of the restaurant, and a couple of tiny little tables jutting from the walls. Though I’m not keen on the cement walls and bare light bulbs, as it reminded me too much of an awful flat I lived in for a year when I was 3, I did like the little hand-made bits and bobs sitting around that seem to be characteristic of Korean restaurants. The staff were lovely. 
Tofu and Stir-Fried Kimchi ($8)
Tofu and Stir-Fried Kimchi ($8)
Whenever I feel a little less sprightly than normal, kimchi and tofu hotpot is my go to dish, and it has never disappointed me with its restorative properties. Keen to mix things up a bit this time, I ordered the Tofu and Stir-Fried Kimchi ($8) instead, and was pleasantly surprised by the smokiness underscoring the vegetables, which were stir-fried with kimchi in a spicy chilli paste. Paired with the delicate cubes of tofu, this was the perfect ying-yang combination. 
Dduk Bok Ki ($13)
Dduk Bok Ki ($13) is another favourite of mine, and I especially like that Seoul Soul gives the option of having the rice cakes cooked with a spicy or soy sauce, as Chris’ love for food usually stops where the chilli starts. The fingers of soft yet chewy rice cakes were cooked in a delicately sweet soy sauce, and were decidedly comforting in its stodginess. There was a good amount of beef and fish cakes without too much cabbage padding it out, and the pair of spring rolls and curry puffs was a welcome, though slightly unorthodox interlude. Despite my preference for the robustness of the rice cakes at Warra Warra, there is something to be said about this lighter, more graceful version. 
Marinated Butterflied Beef Rib ($18, 180g)
Running down each table is a metal grill often found in Korean restaurants for the purpose of BBQ, but on closer inspection, it actually turned out that these were for decorative purposes only. Still, if you like Korean-styled BBQ meats, there is an a la carte section dedicated to it. We sated our fleshly desires with the Marinated Butterflied Beef Rib($18, 180g), which was as good as grilled meat gets. My only complaint is that the pieces were cut up a bit too small to fully show off the full, smoky flavours of the beef, and I longed to sink my teeth into something more substantial.
Marinated Butterflied Beef Rib ($18, 180g)
So it was lucky that Chris hates working for his food, and I got to monopolise the challenging but absolutely delectable rib. Though it was hard to get all the meat without grabbing the bone with both hands, what I did manage to get was brimful of charred, fatty goodness. A truly awful photo of me attacking the rib also exists, and no I will not post it.
Kimchi/Pickled Turnip
And to go with the meat, tiny jars of kimchi, and sweet and crunchy pickled turnip that was delightfully refreshing. All in all, this was a relaxing and enjoyable dinner, and downright cheap for Korean food, especially Korean food of this quality.
Rating: 13.5/20 – i like dinosaurs.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Seoul Soul on Urbanspoon

Abbotsford  Asian  Cheapie Lunch (Under $15)  Korean 



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