I know I am totally guilty of not posting in a very long time…It’s probably been literally a whole month since I’ve last posted, but early October was midterms for me, and then I got sick. And now I’m still sick, so I’ve been eating at home pretty much every day. I pretty much got sick two times in the month, and while I was sort of recovering from my first cold, I decided I should finally go out to eat! But that also meant limited choices since I shouldn’t be eating oily, greasy food. I ended up looking some places offering soup and came across House of Tofu Soup. I’ve actually driven by the the restaurant multiple times on Garden City, and I was always curious if it were good. Looking at the reviews, it had pretty good ratings, but those can be deceptive sometimes.
J and I got there at around 8 for dinner and the place was pretty packed! It wasn’t fully occupied, but pretty full compared to what I had imagined. The place looked really small from the outside, but it was actually quite large and could fit many tables. I felt like there was a lot of the young crowd here, although there were families as well.
After taking down our orders, we were served appetizers just like any other Korean restaurant. However, their appetizers were a little different from the usual ones I see. What was really interesting was the Pumpkin Soup. It was funny because J did not believe me when I said it was soup, and refused to drink it. We asked the waitress after, and she confirmed that it was pumpkin soup. I actually thought it tasted a little like cream of corn, but I guess my taste buds were acting a little funny since I was still sick. I actually really enjoyed the soup though. It was quite thick, but the amount they gave you was perfect so that you wouldn’t get sick of that thickness. It also had a hint of sweetness, which I really enjoyed. Another interesting appetizer was the Mashed Potato. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. It was a tiny scoop with beans and corn mixed inside. It was smooth and creamy, and was pretty good as well. And then there was the typical Kimchi and Marinated Seaweed, which I both enjoyed. The last appetizer was the Radish, which I took a bite out of, but did not enjoy due to personal taste preferences. What I really wanted as part of the appetizers were sweet potatoes! But guess they don’t serve them here… Oh and they also brought an egg as well, which I assumed was to be thrown into my soup.
J got the JapChae, which apparently wasn’t that great. I only took a few strands to try, but I wasn’t exactly able to get a good taste of it. The appearance of it didn’t look as flavourful as some of the other ones I’ve seen before though. It also seemed to lack some of the usual veggies that other Korean restaurants use. It looked as though there were more potato noodles than the accompaniments, which might be the reason why it wasn’t as tasty. It was a huge portion however.
And for myself, I got the Tofu Soup, where you get to choose your toppings and soup base. I chose to get a Mix, which basically means there’s both seafood and beef. As for the soup base, I had to go with “White” since my throat definitely would not be able to take the spice. I kind of regret getting the mixture of toppings, because most of the seafood portion were shrimp that were so tiny that it was pretty impossible to rip off the outer shell. I already hate making a mess with seafood in public, and the fact that the shrimps were so tiny, I just completely gave up on doing so. So it was pretty much a waste for me. They did however have mussels in it too, but they didn’t come with the shell and were extremely tiny as well. The beef was limited as I got the mixture, so I should have probably just gotten all beef instead. However, I really enjoyed the tofu and the soup was full of it. I liked how they weren’t cubes of tofu, but they were the ones that were extremely soft. It mixed in well with the rice. I have to say the soup lacked flavour though, but I’m guessing that most people normally order the soup with spice, so that should probably help.
What was really interesting about this tofu soup was that, the waitress would come with a trolley and there would be your tofu soup as pictured above, and then there would be a stone bowl with your rice in it. Then she would scrape the rice and put it in the metal container that was beside the soup in the previous picture. There would be a little leftover rice sticking to this stone bowl, and she would pour this tea in it. She told me that it was for cleansing at the end of my meal. Pretty interesting! I’m guessing if she didn’t pour the tea in it, then it would be like the crunchy rice in bibimbaps! I tried the rice with the tea at the end of my meal, and indeed it was quite cleansing! It was like rice tea… well that was literally what it was. The most interesting part of my meal for sure.
Overall, I wouldn’t say House of Tofu Soup is anything amazing. I actually prefer the Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot, which is pretty much the same thing, although I heard they changed names. House of Tofu Soup would definitely be able to fit larger parties though. Prices were decent, but nothing too special. It might be a place I would go again if I ran out of choices and was around the neighborhood.