House of Tofu Soup is a restaurant that I'd heard about here and there from various friends. It's right in our neighborhood on North Road, and we often pass by it when we go out for walks.
The restaurant is surprisingly very large, with rows and rows of high booths and wooden tables, which lent a privacy to the dining space. The atmosphere is definitely one of a family restaurant, and while we were there, there were groups of young people, and families with young kids.
The service was a little bit weird. We were led to a booth and must have waited 15 minutes for tea and a menu, even though at the time, we were one of only a few parties dining. It was strange, because we'd thought they'd forgotten about us or something.
As is the custom of most Korean restaurants, first came the banchan-- kimchi, picked turnip, seaweed, and mashed potato. These weren't bad, though we weren't really fond of the mashed potato, which was too sweet.
For appetizer, we had fried dumplings. These were crispy, and filled with pork. They were quite tasty, though I didn't care for the dipping sauce, which I felt was too sweet.
Shane ordered the stone bimimbob ($10.99), with is rice served in a sizzling hot stone bowl and topped with egg, beef, carrot, radish, and raw egg (which cooked in the hot bowl). All this was served a giant stone bowl in a wooden pedestal, and it also came with a side of tofu soup. Stirred up with the red pepper sauce, this dish was really good and filling.
I decided to order the famous tofu soup (in mild, medium, or hot), and opted for the hot seafood version ($9.99). This arrived in sizzling stone bowl, and came with a side of rice (and peas) that was also served in a stone bowl (the 'burnt', crispy rice that's stuck on the bowl's side is quite tasty). The soup itself was rich, tasty, and spicy, and the tofu was deliciously silky and soft. I enjoyed adding the raw egg and observe it cook in the soup. However, the dish was a disappointment. When I think about a 'seafood' soup, I expect squid, shrimp, octopus, clams maybe, but the 'seafood' in this case consisted of tiny shrimp (inch-size and smaller), with their heads and shells on, long antennae, and feet. I had no idea what to do. Was I supposed to eat the creatures whole? Or was I supposed to peel these tiny things? I really didn't enjoy this dish. There were a whole lot of these creatures, and I was reminded at how bug-like shrimp are.
The experience was a disappointment to me, especially compared to what Shane got--his side of soup was the same size as my main dish (not that I would want a huge bowl of that soup, mind you), but it's the principle, you know?
In the end, I'm happy to have tried this restaurant. We might come back again, but heck, I would never order the same dish again...