Koreana at 8A/9D2 Thai Van Lung street in Saigon’s District 1 opens today, hence les fleurs visible outside. It’s one of… ooohh… at least 10 Korean restaurants within a 1 mile radius of this popular downtown eating street. I pop in to try their soon dubu jigae (soft tofu soup). As with everything Korean, it’s hot. There’s a raw egg in the middle, stir that in. And shedloadsa of side dishes; kimchi, beansprouts, wee salty prawns etc. Mix and match, as you like. I’ve tried several versions of this dish in Saigon. All taste identical. The only discernible difference being some have shell-still-on-clams, some don’t (Koreana doesn’t). Do clam shells add taste value? Or are they along just to piss you off?
It’s a solid non-solid soup. The tofu slides down. Side dishes are respectable, not overdone but not too exciting either compared to some other Korean outlets in Saigon. I cannot for the life of me distinguish a taste difference between any Korean tofu soup sellers in Saigon, or in Korea for that matter. Uniformity with Korean food is rife, but so what? Koreana is clean with a selection of built in barbie tables – I’ll attack a sam gyeop sal on one of those soon enough. Service is the usual fidgetty first day nerves and empty tables, but attentive. More pics from Koreana on Flickr. And here’s the blogmaster general of Korean food, FatMan Seoul, on the same dish in Seoul. And here’s the bill. 65,000VD a shot.