Steveston aka Storybrook, is probably one of the furthest points away from me in the Lower Mainland. No, I'm not including Abbotsford here and yah I know White Rock is even further. I guess the game of Frogger I play with my car in Richmond makes the drive seem like an eternity. So when a tasting was arranged at the newly opened Osum, I hesitated briefly. Looks like I wasn't the only one to hesitate because I ended up giving Diana and Amy a lift there. I'm sure they didn't want to play Frogger in Richmond either...
Meeting up with Nora, we got down to sampling some eats beginning with the Hot Dry Noodles consisting of house made thick noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, pickled mustard greens, cilantro, chili oil, garlic sesame chili sauce and braised pork belly. I enjoyed the chewiness of the noodles and when mixed with all of the ingredients, there was a spicy kick at the start and lingered right until the end. It wasn't overpowering though as I got hits of saltiness, peanut, sweetness and tang as well. Nice crunch from the nuts and mustard greens too. Off to the bao, we sampled the Osum Pork first. Inside the firm, yet not dry bao, there was slow-braised pork belly, cucumbers, pickled mustard greens, cilantro, peanuts and garlic peanut sesame sauce. This had varied flavours and the pork was relatively tender.
My favourite bao was the Osum Beef with braised brisket, pickled mustard greens, crispy shallots, toasted pine nuts, cucumber, cilantro and spicy peppercorn sesame sauce. As clearly evidenced in the picture, the beef was well-charred and caramelized. Hence it was sweet and smoky while tender to chew. There was a tangy crunch from the pickles as well as some background spice from the sauce. Next up was something very different and to many people, just plain weird. Garnished with crunchy cheese puffs and processed cheese, the Osum Chicken also consisted of more typical ingredients such as cucumber, red onion and cilantro in a Korean sweet & spicy sauce. Although the chicken was tender and there was a nice crunch to go with the sweet glaze, the whole thing tasted of processed cheese and its usual saltiness. I know process cheese and chicken in Korean food is a thing, but it's not my cup of tea.
The use of process cheese didn't end there though as it was thoroughly featured on the Korean Cheesy Chicken over hand made noodles, cucumber and kimchi tossed with chili flakes and kimchi mayo. This had somewhat similar elements to the bao, but the saltiness of the cheese was more evenly distributed amongst the noodles. There was more tang due to the kimchi and the spiciness was different as well. Lastly, we had the Multi-Mushroom Noodle with home-made kale noodles, kale chips, assorted mushrooms, truffle oil and mushroom sauce. I loved the chewy sheet noodle while the Earthiness of the mushrooms really came through. I found the use of truffle oil just a bit over which made things far too woodsy. This could've been great without any truffle oil at all. Not unlike Bao Down and Heritage Asian Eatery, Osum fits a niche that hasn't been necessarily filled up until now. I must give it to them for offering up some unique and interesting items. On the other hand, some tweaks are needed here and there.
*All food and beverages were complimentary*
- Dare to be different
- Not devoid of flavours
- A change of pace compared to other spots in the area
- A few tweaks with the flavours are needed