Sherman's Food Adventures: Gangnam Tofu Soup

Gangnam Tofu Soup

Okay, let's get the joke out of the way first...  Yup, I recently visited Gangnam Tofu Soup in Coquitlam - "Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style".  Alrighty, with that taken care of, I'd like to say that I do enjoy a good Korean tofu soup and according to my friend, Gangnam Tofu Soup & Korean Grill does it well.  Better than House of Tofu Soup apparently (but honestly, that isn't a high bar IMO).  Well, we met up for some tofu soup and other eats on a Monday night.

So I'm not sure if it is the pandemic (supply issues and/or not wanting to carry too much inventory) or it was a Monday night, but they didn't have many of the dishes we wanted to order.  Well, they still had some Banchan for us in the form of kimchi, bean sprouts, stewed potatoes and tofu skin.  I gotta say that their kimchi was legit where it was flavourful without being sour and had a nice balanced spice to it.  Stewed potatoes were soft and full-flavoured.

Of course we had to indulge in some soft tofu soup since that was the point in dining at Gangnam.  We ended up having the spicy Beef Brisket Tofu Soup.  Gotta say that this was pretty darn good.  Broth was spicy and had depth that exhibited some brininess as well as spice from the kimchi.  I thought this was pretty spicy but not to the point it was overwhelming.  The brisket was super tender and the tofu was buttery soft.

As part of the tofu soup, one could make it a combo with a side of Beef Bulgogi and rice for a total of $19.95.  That we did and it really made the whole thing a filling meal.  There was a considerable amount of rice (which was meant for both the bulgogi and the soup) served in a stone pot.  The bulgogi itself was served on a cast iron hot plate on a bed of white onions.  Sweet and well-seasoned, the beef was tender and went well with the rice.  Could've used a bit more searing, but it was still delicious.

We didn't end there with the soup as we also got the Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup).  This came steaming hot with the usual perilla seeds on top.  Oh, I really loved this soup as well where it was full-flavoured and also exhibited depth.  I could really taste the meat and also the sweetness of the veggies.  The large pork bones had plenty of buttery and tender meat falling off of them.  I also enjoyed the soft chunks of potato.
So there was one order of boneless chicken left, so we had to make a decision as to what flavour we should choose.  We ended up with the Soy Garlic Korean Fried Chicken because the kids said so (yes, they matter the most...).   Although the colour was a bit pale, the batter was crispy and the dark meat chicken was tender and juicy.  I found the sauce to be sticky and sweet with only a bit of saltiness.  Plenty of fresh garlic though.
Going for the usual dishes we order at Korean restaurants, we had the Dolset Bibimbap.  This came sizzling and we were able to get a rice crust.  The trick is to mix everything and then push the rice against the bowl with nothing really in the middle.  There was plenty of ingredients and they were well-prepared.  The rice was a little on the wetter side so the parts not touching the stone bowl was soft.  Of course we mixed in some gochujang (but after the fact because the kids don't prefer it.  The server was a bit horrified that we didn't originally mix it in.  LOL).

Continuing on with the usual, we also got the Japchae.  Portion size was decent, but wasn't huge by any means.  It was $21.00, which is pretty standard at most Korean restaurants.  However, I still think this particular dish is usually pricey at most places.  Anyways, as for this version, it was very black-pepper forward.  I personally enjoyed that as it was flavourful and not overly sweet.  The noodles were not clumpy nor greasy.  Plenty of ingredients too, so all-in-all, solid dish.

Lastly, we decided to try the Rice Cakes with Cheese which was indeed very cheesy.  However, we thought there was a bit too much in the way of white onion.  As such, the flavour profile was sharp rather than merely being cheesy.  There was a bit of spice and the rice cakes were nicely textured being soft with an appealing chewiness.  Overall, we thought the meal at Gangnam was solid where the tofu soup was excellent.  People are super nice and the place is spacious with lots of parking.  A good choice if you are in the Coquitlam Centre area.

The Good:
- Excellent tofu soup
- Super nice people
- Generally solid eats

The Bad:
- I guess this might be a one off, but they didn't have much stock in certain things (not blaming though because Covid, high food costs and supply chain issues might have contributed to this)


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