Gamasot Report - Korean in Springfield
Eight intrepid Chowhounds braved the wintery heat wave and traveled to exotic Springfield for the Sul Leung Tang (beef bone soup) at Gamasot Restaurant.
A Gamasot is the name for the metal cauldron in which the SLT is cooked. And I'd say it was about a third of the kitchen. Like one of those pots you expect missionaries to sit in as cannibals prepare the firewood.
The SLT was flying out of the kitchen. Not only were folks in the restaurant ordering it, but they were constantly ladling out large portions into carry out containers.
I don't think any of us had had this before, so another new food experience to notch in our belts.
Other items we ordered:
App #1: Bin Dae Duk (a pancake with mung bean paste and scallions)
App #2: Mandoo Gui - fried dumplings
App #3: Mool Mandoo - steamed dumplings
Bi Bim Bap - shredded beef, vegetables, and rice combo
Galbi - Korean BBQ ribs
Ju Gu Mi Bokeum - Baby Octopus, vegetables, spicy sauce over udon
Bi Bim Naeng Myun - very thin buckwheat nnodles served very cold with sliced beef and spicy sauce
Duk Man Gook - turned out to be SLT with rice cakes and other add-ins
all this served with a rather generous panchan that included soon dae (a rice and pork pudding).
The SLT - we accidentally wound up with two orders b/c of the Duk Man Gook - was not a big hit. I think I was the only one who had something positive to say. This is a gentle delicacy, and it was served with salt and vinegar and some other condiments to change the flavor as you like. It is cooked for 48 hours, and it arrives as a milky, waxy broth. Hard to imagine consuming large quantities of this stuff as with pho.
Our other items were all high-quality but with muted flavors. This worked out to an advantage in the octopus dish, which can usually be overwhelming in its heat. Here it was a fine balance of flavors and textures, a real treat.
The Naeng Myun is served in a cold metal bowl. I've had this elsewhere, and it's sometimes served with ice cubes thrown in to keep it very very cold. This was an above average version (no ice cubes) but still, very cold noodles form a massive, unappealing clump.
the soon dae that came with the panchan was a nice bonus, smooth in texture and flavor.
All in all a good spot, maybe ok to take non-Chowhounds who'd be scared off by bold flavors.
Good report, Steve. Other than a few mandou and a bimbimbap once, this was my first sampling experience with Korean food. Since I've heard how hot/spicy their cooking is, I expected a lot bolder than what we had. I guess there's no generalizing when it comes to regional food.
Soup, I think we may have had the radish kimchi, at least there was something that looked like slices of radish and had the right texture. I'm not sure we all gave the SLT a fair try. The waitress brought a standard sized bowl (that's what we ordered) and we asked her for smaller bowls so we could divide it up. She did the dividing and it wasn't until near the end of the meal when the leftovers were being passed around that I discovered that there was any meat to go along with it. I had a piece, and was kind of underwhelmed. I suspect it would be a totally different experience if it was really cold. This was served hot, but the buckwheat noodle dish was very cold.
The octopus disk was pretty creative cooking, with some heat and distinct flavors, but I was kind of underwhelmed with most of the rest of the dishes we had. That's not a criticism of the restaurant (I don't think) but maybe just that there wasn't anything there that grabbed me. A couple of members of the group who were more experienced with Korean foods seemed to think that most of it was pretty well done.
Good report. This place is pretty good and a lot of koreans go. SLT is very good when it is really cold. One must is a good plate of Kak du gee (radish kimchi) as a part of the panchan. Their rendition is a bit lackig but the SLT is solid.
Have you by any chance been to Seoul Soondae on markham? They have I think the best soondae around but as you've said getting it a part of the panchan is a bonus.