Korean Seoulfood Cafe | West Loop/Fulton Market | Asian, Korean | Restaurant

Korean Seoulfood Cafe Menu

Hours: Lunch, Dinner: seven days
Open Late: Thursday-Saturday till 1, Sunday-Wednesday till midnight

Price: $$

Authentic Korean, including a number of relatively obscure items. Closed the last Sunday of every month.

Restaurant Details

Korean restaurants outside Koreatown and its suburban outposts often seem to pander to feeble Western guts, sapping strength from dishes that should make eaters leap tall buildings with a single bite. The name of Korean Seoulfood Cafe may pun on South Korea’s capital, but owner Dan Choi employs a cook from Chonju, in the southwest of the country. There, in the rice bowl of the peninsula, the food is spicier, saltier, and generally more highly regarded than the rest of the nation’s--and here in Chicago the cook isn’t trying to coddle patrons with oversweetened glop. Chonju is the home of the ubiquitous rice dish bi bim bop, and at Seoulfood it’s available with chicken, shrimp, or pork as well as the more common beef. It’s a deep bowl filled with quality grains, but like most items on the menu, it’s a mite pricier than what you’ll find on the northwest side. Then again, that’s where you’d otherwise have to go to find less common dishes like beo-sut jeon gol, a hot pot filled with chap chae and assorted mushrooms; “Harry Met Sally,” a special of spicy stir-fried pork belly and squid; and nak ji bok keum, broiled octopus with noodles and vegetables that’s usually eaten while the critter is still in its death throes (not here, unfortunately). A few panchan come with each order, including a salty-sour jalapeno kimchi I’d never seen before. The house cabbage kimchi is fresh and crisp, and though I prefer a bit more funk myself, it has a respectable burn. I like this place--even if some dishes are served in tinfoil containers like TV dinners, giving the impression that they’ve been held and reheated. I guess that’s the price of offering such a large menu of relatively obscure items.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$

Payment Type: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

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