Yong’s Tofu House, Roosevelt

The service here is ridiculously slow. The food is quite good though, especially the seafood tofu soup and the grilled mackerel (like everyone on Yelp has already pointed out). I actually also really like their purple sticky rice. Their banchan is average, though refillable and there’s just something about seeing a ton of little dishes in front of you that makes it feel so homey.


Seafood tofu soup with an egg (the egg is complimentary). The tofu is really nice! it’s a jigae though (instead of a gook), so I think it should be quite easily made with korean bean paste and gochujang? Nevertheless they have been simmering this the whole day and it is perfect when it is cold out. There’s clams, tofu, mushrooms, prawns in it and it is really hearty.

The Banchan

kimchi


spiced beancurd


pickled bean sprouts


beans


steamed broccoli


sweet and salty potato


unseasoned omelet roll


altogether now :D

The Entrees

We ordered the seafood pancake appetizer; its humongous, and totally not an “appetizer”, unless perhaps you are feeding a family of 10. So that was my entree.


Z had the grilled mackerel, which was amazing. I think some of the bones are still in it, but not a whole lot. It was really tender and slick with a perfect amount of oil rendering between the flakes.


Seafood tofu soup all stirred up.

So I really hated the service. There was only 1-2 people running the entire show. One server, and one cook. The cook’s station is in the middle of the restaurant, so it REALLY is like a home kitchen, or like a Japanese ramenya/omakase type setting, except you get your own tables like in a restaurant and don’t sit at the chef’s station. Not only did the waitress ignore us despite our repeated waving at her to get our order taken, she was absolutely swamped (it’s not like there was a queue, it’s just that for that amount of seating you really need more than one waitstaff) and we even felt bad for trying to grab her attention when she was obviously busy. But that’s just her job, nobody should be made to feel bad for making someone do their job! She also, get this, took orders from and served several tables that arrived after us before us, which is something I really hate. We waited over an hour for our food. Not cool, guys. She also repeatedly told us to “hang on” without ever getting back to us. When a waitress tells you to “hang on”, typically it means she’ll be back in 1-2 minutes. At Yong’s Tofu House, “hang on” takes on a whole new flavour. In layman terms, it means “shush! can’t you see I’m working?” It’s not like our order was particularly difficult. You retrieve a bowl of rice from the steamer, ladle the soup out of your vat of soup, and grill the mackerel. That’s it. I can do that in 5 minutes. Anybody can do that in 5 minutes. The amount of time we waited there (while watching everybody around us get served before us – did we piss her off in some way before even sitting?) would make one think they were GROWING the rice in a little indoor farm, harvesting it, husking it, then cooking it to order in their rice cooker, before it reached the table.

At the very least I think, if you are going to take a long time with the order, you should get the banchan to the table first while people wait, sorta like peanuts at a chinese dinner so they can fill up while looking enviously on at everyone who actually got served. Nope. They only serve the banchan when your food is about to be ready -.-

So I don’t know if I will go back. The mackerel is really good! Ah, dilemmas. The greedy girl in me usually triumphs in these situations though, especially if it’s rainy out (only all of the time here) and all one is craving is a piping hot bowl of beanpaste stew.

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