Monday, November 24, 2014

korean: TOFU VILLAGE



TOFU VILLAGE 豆腐村
at In Base
No. 68 XinHu 2nd Road, Neihu
台北市新湖二路68號
(02) 2792-4989

MRT: no MRT in walking distance to this location in Neihu

website: Tofu Village FB page

hours: 11AM - 9:30PM

$$

Kid friendliness: non spicy tofus available, many meats and appetizers and tofu ice cream at end

Visit reviewed: 9/8/2014


Tofu Village holds the prize for being the first (and only) restaurant that I've seen in Taipei that has galbi jjim on the menu. For those of you who have never had galbi jjim, it's a delicious beef short rib dish that is steamed or braised in a sweet soy sauce until it is fall off the bone tender. The pureed Korean pear, onions and kiwi in the recipe tenderizes the meat as well as adds layers of sweetness, so the sometimes tough short rib becomes melt in your mouth goodness. My standard for galbi jjim is from a little restaurant in Koreatown LA called Seong Buk Dong, which charges a small ransom for the homemade dish, but I still pay it because it's that good. I even begged a friend for crib notes of their family's recipe and made it with a thinner cut short rib that was pretty amazing.

So back to Tofu Village- was their galbi jjim worth ordering?



Korean soondubu tofu stews have become quite popular in the last few years in Taipei, so we've seen the opening of a lot of sit down restaurants, whereas before I could only find it in the mall food courts or localized Korean spots. (That's actually one reason I was surprised to see that Ari Tofu House had closed down).

The menu at Tofu Village has a couple pages of appetizers- Korean pancake, pork fried kimchi, spicy Korean rice cake (tteokbokki) which they call rice pasta, and japchae - as well as meat dishes- spicy chicken,  spicy pan fried pork and vegetables, bulgogi, and galbi jjim. There's about 13 tofu stews on the menu, including vegetarian, kimchi, clam, mushroom, seafood and ham & cheese.



Panchan that day included potato salad, kimchi, seaweed, dragon beard veggies and spicy fish cake.



I ordered the Seafood Beef combo tofu stew (NT$279) which came with shrimp, clams, oyster and beef, in a mild spiciness as well as a bowl of purple rice. Good amount of tofu, soup and stuff inside- I finished it.



The galbi jjim (NT$480) looked promising when it arrived at the table, but the meat was so tough, it was impossible to take bites of the beef. Either they didn't marinate it with the right tenderizing recipe or they didn't cook it long enough? After we showed the server, they offered to replace it and whisked it away. But the replacement dish was even worse than the first time, with a sauce and meat being too salty to eat and the meat was still rubbery. So unfortunately, I'm going to have just make it at home until I find another place that makes it. Thanks A for the recipe tips!!





And at the end of the meal, you can opt to get some ice cream made from tofu. I thought it had a weird flavor, but it's complimentary so you can give it a try. Tofu Village is decent enough that I'd come back for the tofu stews and try a few other of their dishes, but I wouldn't go out of my way eat here unless I was nearby. This particular location is in the middle of a ton of shopping centers- there's Carrefour (Taipei's Kmart), RT Mart (which has a Nike outlet), HOLA (Taipei's Bed Bath and Beyond), B&Q (hardware store, reminded me of Home Depot), and last but not least, Costco, all in walking distance from each other.  


OTHER LOCATIONS

Bellavita
No. 28 Song Ren Rd. B2, Xinyi District
台北市信義區松仁路28號B2
(02) 8729-2733

No. 50 ZhongXiao W. Rd, Sec. 1, 3F
台北市中正區忠孝西路一段50號3樓 
(02) 2371-4989

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