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Monday, 24 September 2012

House of Tofu Soup

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I’ve always been a huge fan of Korean kimchi and would order kimchi hotpot all the time at various bubble tea places. Richard’s store had Korean student work for a month during the summer. I badgered him to tell me where to find the best Korean food in Vancouver, and kept getting the disappointing answer of Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Coquitlam… Luckily, one of the places he mentioned – House of Tofu Soup, also has a location in Richmond. So we eagerly ventured there one evening in the summer (yes this post is very late…)
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_MG_9144 copy House of Tofu Soup in Richmond is located along Garden City Road, near the chain of restaurants along Alexandria Road. It’s part of a busy plaza with very very little parking – especially during dinner hours. The interior is simple, but quite spacious for an Asian restaurant. Everything looked clean and modern. There were colourful pictures of their offerings on the walls.

Korean green tea was served almost immediately in the usual metal jug. I remember that evening was quite chilly, so the hot tea was definitely welcomed!
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Of course, we went for the tofu soup. I liked how you had so many ways to customize it, from the degree of spiciness to the extra ingredients you wanted inside. I noted that this place would also be Nabs-friendly! One of these days we will drag him here. :)

At the bottom of the page, I noticed that there was a soup and bulgoghi (BBQ meat) combo for about $15. We opted for the seafood soup at medium spiciness and the beef bulgoghi.
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As with any Korean meal, we started off with the traditional banchan, which at the House of Tofu Soup consists of seaweed, kimchi, mashed potato? and pumpkin soup! The pumpkin soup was really creamy and sweet (but not overwhelmingly sweet). I wished they could give us a bigger portion of it. My mom’s garden just harvested a ton of pumpkins, so maybe I’ll try to make it at home some time. :)
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We also got the MamDeukee (Kimchi Korean rice cakes and dumplings) for $5.99. The rice cake pieces were really chewy and the sauce was super yummy…but then again, it was kimchi flavoured and I’m a little biased when it comes to kimchi. :)
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Next, the much-anticipated tofu soup arrived. What is unique about this place is that they give you a raw egg, which you are supposed to crack into the soup once it arrives. Quite a nice touch to add a little do it yourself~ At most other Korean places, we have been accustomed to receiving rice in a little metal container. Here, the rice arrives in a stone pot, and the waitress would quickly scoop out the rice into the familiar metal container. She then proceeded to pour barley tea into the remaining rice that’s slightly crispy and burnt. Apparently you are supposed to eat it as a palate cleanser?

The soup was really flavourful and medium spiciness wasn’t too bad at all. Although we ordered it with seafood, there were only a few pieces of shrimp and tiny mussel. I think I may want to try one of the meat options if I were to return.
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The beef bulgoghi arrived piping hot on a metal plate, very reminiscent of how teriyaki beef would be served in a Japanese restaurant. The bulgoghi sauce was sweet but savoury at the same time. The beef was really tender despite its dry looking appearance.  _MG_9200 copy
The Yummies:
  • Very delicious pumpkin soup (<3 it)
  • The tofu soup is one of the better ones I’ve had in the lower mainland – with plenty of customization available
  • Reasonable prices for the portions served
The Yuckies:
  • Very limited parking in the plaza – and this place competes with multiple other restaurants
  • Service could be a bit more attentive, but it wasn’t bad…

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