Monday, September 17, 2012

Pre-dinner at DamSo

On one hectic Monday evening, we arrived Ma Dang Coul, a popular Korean restaurant on Denman, for a huge dinner feast.  As we were the first few to arrive, half an hour deemed too long to be waiting around with no food.  So, we decided to head over to Damso, a Korean fusion restaurant nearby known for their modern spin on traditional Korean dishes.  

There were so many appealing dishes on the menu.  Like always, we put our brains together but ended up using our gut instinct to pick out words that stood out best for each of us.  They included my preference for beef tongue, B's usual craving for dok-bokki, and P's carnivorous appetite for beef ribs.  We were really tempted to order Kalbee Osso Bucco, which seemed to be a popular item amongst the diners there.  It was visible at almost every table.  Just watching the guy next table sucking on the juicy looking meat off the bone on an empty stomach proved almost too much to bear.  However, we resisted the temptation as a bigger feast was awaiting us in half an hour at Ma Dang Coul.

The first dish to arrive was B's pick, chicken kalbee dok-bokki.  Who knew that these Korean rice cakes now a common staple were once only served as Korean royal court cuisine?  The dish was what you would expect from dok-bokki from anywhere.  The rice cakes were soft, yet chewy.  The sauce was a bit tangy and more sweet.  There were small bits of chicken in there and a lot of onion.  Size wise, it was a pretty good dish to share and very filling too.  
Now, this was a version of carpaccio I had never tried, kalbee, or beef short rib, carpaccio.  The first thing I noticed and only thing I didn't enjoy about this was the texture.  The beef ribs were nicely marbled and marinated, but when I chewed into it, the meat was also completely frozen.  I'm not sure if that's how it was meant to be served.  Nonetheless, despite the frozen meat, I was still able to appreciate the different elements that made up the whole dish.  The use of crisp Asian pear, jalapenos, sesame, and some kind of really refreshing and citrusy dressing worked well altogether.  

The last tapas dish was my absolute favourite.  The beef tongue, served in some kind of a sweet sauce, was extremely tender.  And I can't stress that enough. I loved the flavour of the sauce, a harmonious blend of sweet and savoury, which complemented the beef tongue nicely. When I think back of the other beef tongue I had, I couldn't think of one as memorable.  Next time, I honestly wouldn't share this with anybody. Y'all get your own tongue.

Damso is serious about being creative and innovative with their dishes.  I would definitely love to come back again not only to eat more beef tongue, but try out other dishes like the Osso Bucco, bulgogi burger, stuffed calamari sausage, and almost everything else on the menu.

Damso Modern Korean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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