Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finally some cheap Dim Sum in Seoul that won't break the bank.

One day after a walk in Seolleung Park, we walked in the back streets to check out the shops and restaurants. There was one that caught my eye from far, right across the street.

This restaurant had towers of bamboo steamers at the glass windowed kitchen which is facing the road. The chef dressed in white uniforms were working without paying much attention to any passerby on the sidewalk. Hung at the front of the restaurant was a very modern bistro design signboard that reads 'chiu chow chinese cuisine'.

Since I had some pricey Dim Sum already at Yum Chinese Restaurant that very day, we skipped this restaurant and planned to come back to try it one day. I had a feeling that Chiu Chow wouldn't disappoint me like most Chinese( or rather Korean-Chinese) restaurants.

Today another Chiu Chow opened at Daechi-Dong, near Dunkin Donuts. I was extremely delighted. At lunch, I went there with 2 other guys and we had a really good time there.

The ambience was very modern Chinese, red with laquered black wood theme, with waiters and waitress dressed in chinese traditional black silk shirts with butterfly buttons. I saw a Buddha Bar CD among other CDs at the cashier counter. But I didn't hear any music in the background. Maybe they would play it one day?

Their ChiuChow style dim sum menu consists of the XiaolongBao, SiewMai, Steamed Pork Buns, Zambing( sounds like zian bing in Chinese, which is fried bread), fried eggrolls, Guotie( fried gyoza?) and more. There are 11 items in the Dim Sum section. A steamer basket usually comes in 3-4 pieces for 3,500won. Sounds very reasonable to me in Seoul.

They have other dishes on the menu, rather similar to a menu in a typical Chinese restaurant in Seoul: Jjamppong, JapchaeBap, Jajangmeon and Tangsukyuk(12,000). One thing that looked interesting was the Cripsy Egg Noodles in Seafood Gravy.

The crab fried rice(6,000won) was exceptional with Wok Hei, a smoky taste associated with high heat woking. I could taste the crab too.

JapChaeBap that Ced got was very good indeed. It was a medly of mushrooms, seafood and noodles served with white rice. What I got wasn't up to my expectations. It was called Chiu Chow sik meon, noodles with bok choy and fatty boiled pork in soup. Everything in the bowl was ok except the main ingredient - the broth. The broth tasted like some cheap Japanese instant stock that has a fishy taste.

As for the Xiaolongbao and SiewMai, I would give them both my thumbs up. I hadn't tried real Chiu Chow Dim Sum before, but the food at 'Chiu Chow' is as good as Ding Tai Fung in Seoul.

Will I come back to this restaurant? Definitely! I will try the Chiuchow-style coffee next time.

chiu chow chinese cuinine:
Daechi Branch is closed to Daechi subway station, next to Dunkin Donuts.
Their number is 02-567-6115 and their website is http://www.station4u.co.kr/