Korean Village (Calgary) – Finally! Some good gamjatang!
In Kingston, there were many Korean places for some unknown reason. In fact, none of the sushi shops in Kingston were run by Japanese people: they were all Korean! One of the benefits of this was my exposure to Korean food. I have become particularly fond of Gamjatang or pork bone soup. Unfortunately, we tried some at Seoul in Calgary (article here) and it was pretty bad.
I often drive home along 10th ave after I pick up J from work and we always hit this small Korean strip mall. I get my Kimchi there, I get my Korean buns there, and I get my Korean fried chicken fix there. But I’d never had gamjatang there so I had to check it out.
I am not sure exactly what this is but I like it. It is sort of a flavourless jelly with some soy/spice on top. Clean and a nice palate refresher. It comes complimentary with your meal.
These are the steamed dumplings for $10. The noodle shell was light and the pork insides were juicy and flavourful with little bits of noodle to add some bounce to the dumplings. Solid dumplings.
This is the Gamjatang for $10.95. Such a good deal. You get several large bones of pork, some potato, tons of vegetables, and rice. You feel so warm and cozy after this. Perfect for Calgary over these last few weeks. The soup base was delicious with a distinct porkiness that was both savoury and a little sweet. The perilla seeds that are ground on top are supposed to take some of the stinky porkiness out of the gamjatang (according to the lady I talked to). I think they add an interesting almost medicinal/herby taste to the soup. This is the best Gamjatang I’ve had in Calgary. It isn’t quite as spicy as I would like but that is all a matter of preference.
This is the seol-leong tang (milky unsalted beef bone soup with thin-sliced beef and noodle) for $10.95. It was about as plain as it sounds. A clear, warm, hearty broth but really no seasoning at all. If I was nauseus… this would be a great soup to help make me feel better. Curiously, they serve it with a small bowl of salt and pepper so you can season it to taste. It is nice because then you can control the amount of seasoning you want… but why not just add it to the soup then? They make a point of unsalting the soup… only to give you salt afterwards?
This is one of their large hotpot soups made with chicken. I forgot to write down the name but it was for $30.95. They said it served 2 but it can obviously serve more. It was delicious. You can see how wonderfully colourful the food is. The soup was so rich, spicy and heart warming. The chicken, at first, was not too flavourful, but as you let it boil in the hotpot, it really picked up a lot of depth. There were potatoes as well as some rice noodle cakes in their as well to provide some starch.
This is another dish where I forgot to write down its name. Basically a beef, mushroom, potato stew served with noodles and an egg. Basically you add the broth over the noodles on the right. There was a panfried egg that opens and shares its yolk as you mix it all up. This was soooo tasty. Lots of beefy flavour, with little pockets of potato. The mushrooms were also delicious. If you don’t feel like a soup noodle, I’d recommend this… if you can find it on the menu.
I really liked Korean Village for their soups. They were warm, delicious, and satisfying. My only recommendation would be to leave your coat in the car. It smells heavenly in there…. but you will go home smelling like Korean food.