Seoul Gardens Restaurant and Grill is located on Horatio Ave. in downtown Maitland where they serve authentic family style Korean cuisine.
It is a great place to take a date, family, or a big group of friends. Now… it is not like a Kobe’s, Benny Hana, or Shogun where they put on a production with furious fires, flying eggs, and flaming hot volcanoes. –Though, that does sound pretty exciting…
No, it is a place to go for a quiet sit down meal where time is not a factor and you are there to enjoy the food and the company you were with. My parents has never had Korean BBQ and for someone who are picky-eaters like my parents, I knew, deep down, that they would enjoy themselves at Seoul Gardens.
We were a party of 6 and my brother thought we should start off our Sunday luncheon with a couple of appetizers. One called, “Haemul Pajun,” which in the description from the menu it is, “Korean Assorted Seafood Pancake.” This pancake had very little batter. It almost looks like an “Egg Foo Young,” but it is not, it is made from all-purpose wheat and rice flour. It is light, crisp, and all the vegetables in the pancake is a nice contrast to the seafood, both in flavor and texture. It was cut into triangles like pizza so there was enough slices to feed all 6 of us!
Another item we ordered was called, “Yaki Mandoo,” which is Korean dumplings served with a spicy soy sauce. These dumplings are filled with meat, probably pork, with vegetables like green onions and probably with some minced kimchi. They are fried and then served with a dipping sauce, in which case, soy sauce.
Now it is time to talk about the Korean BBQ. It is called Bulgogi, which literally translate out to “fire meat” or we can sum it to, grilled meat. I have had in many different places and everyone does it a little different. In this restaurant, they have a gas grill cook top in the middle of their granite top table. It has a very big and powerful hood that hovers over it to suck up all the smoke. Typically, you order a plate of Bulgogi and then they let you cook it up.
Since they soon realized that we were not Korean at all…
they felt compelled to grill the meats for us. The lady was very nice and displayed a high level of subservience. Everything she brought out was with grace and with a smile. She brought all the little dishes of condiments to go with the Bulgogi and placed them all evenly out on our granite table.
It was an assortment of homemade kimichi, pickled cucumbers, pickled radishes, pickled soy bean sprouts, sauteed watercress, fresh lettuce leaves, and also they serve you fermented soy bean paste and rice. You can choose to have rice with your Bulgogi or you can choose to make little lettuce wraps with the fermented soy bean paste and with all the little pickled veggies.
After everything, 2 appetizers and 3 orders of different types of Bulgogi, our warm waitress then came out with a tray with 6 cups of refreshing cinnamon tea topped with pine nuts. She told us that it helps with digestion and also, since we did consumed a lot of red meat, maybe the cinnamon tea is to help lower our cholesterol.
Seoul Gardens Restaurant and Grill is Mega YummO-O-O-O-O!