Jeffrey Merlot
Mr. and Mrs. M

A nod to Seoul Korean Restaurant

By - Sep 23rd, 2009 10:27 pm
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Seoul Korean Restaurant on Prospect Avenue.

Back in the early ’90s, Milwaukee had only one Korean restaurant called Club Wasabi on the South side. It was very good. Mr. M. remembers the owner ribbing him once about whether he could figure out that “wasabi” wasn’t really Korean, per se. It’s Japanese horseradish traditionally served with sushi/sashimi. The owner thought that naming his place after something Asian-hot would lend it an air of American coolness. Then, Mr. M. remembers ribbing the owner a few years later, after he closed his restaurant in order to go in with another guy to open a night club at the corner of Water and Michigan streets. (It’s now occupied by Joey Buona’s.) What a regrettable disaster that turned out to be. Milwaukee was left with no Korean restaurants for a very long time after that.

Fast forward several years: There was once just another Japanese restaurant next to the old East side Salvation Army store on Prospect Avenue (remember that?). And then miraculously, Han Kuk Kwan appeared  at 2178 N. Prospect Ave. It eventually evolved into its current incarnation, Seoul Korean Restaurant. Alas, alas. Milwaukee again had a Korean restaurant! So, of course, Mr. M. insisted on taking Mrs. M., especially for his birthday and for those great lunch buffets every once in a while.

So, let’s compare Seoul Korean Restaurant, f/k/a Han Kuk Kwan, to Club Wasabi, where Milwaukee once had great Korean food on the South side. Well, now it has even better Korean food on the East side.

For $10 to $20, our city’s only Korean restaurant offers diners an authentic, albeit limited range of Korean dishes like bibimbop (rice and vegetables with beef or tofu, topped with fried egg) and traditional bulgogi, which are fun lettuce wraps you roll yourself with tender, spiced beef, and, of course, plenty of the spicy-savory Korean cabbage relish called kimchee, rice and other succulent, little goodies that are provided on the side. Vegetarian options abound here, too. In fact, the weekday lunch buffet is a remarkably good deal at less than $8 per person (all you can eat, of course). A nice selection of Korean and domestic beers just tops it!

The seating’s a little tight, especially during the weekday lunchtime buffet, but the service is fast, friendly and attentive. At night, the lights are turned down a little, providing a nice, cozy — even romantic — atmosphere. It’s totally worth it. So go support our city’s only Korean restaurant!

Seoul Korean Restaurant. Milwaukee's one and only.

Seoul Korean Restaurant
2178 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee
414- 289-8208

Major credit cards accepted.

Categories: Dining, Mr. and Mrs. M.

0 thoughts on “Mr. and Mrs. M: A nod to Seoul Korean Restaurant”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now this place is a delight. Thai and chinese are great but the Korean experience is a guaranteed winner. Tired of the monotony of Japanese, I know I am, try Korean. an array of flavors playing on your palate triggered by kimchi, the quintessential Korean chutney/pickle. Just love it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What!? I had no Korean recipe accompany this review!? Shame on me! here’s one of my faves:

    Korean Lettuce-Wrapped Ginger Pork BBQ – Daeji Bulgogi (Recipe serves 6)

    Marinade Ingredients:
    2½ tablespoons Korean chili paste (gochujang)
    2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
    1/3 cup, soy sauce
    2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
    2 tablespoons honey
    ¾ cup brown sugar
    salt and pepper
    5 garlic cloves, finely minced
    3 knobs (thumb-size) of ginger root, grated/ground
    ¼ pealed Asian pear, pureed
    sliced fresh ginger (10-12 pieces)

    For Marinade:
    Peel and chop Asian pear. Add soy sauce and place in food processor. Blend until smooth. Grind garlic and ginger separately.

    In a mixing bowl, add chili paste, the pair mixture, ground garlic-ginger mixture, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, brown sugar and honey. Mix well with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

    Pork Ingredients (replace pork with beef tenderloin or top sirloin for regular bulgogi):
    3 lbs. thinly-sliced, bite-sized pork, center-cut loin or tenderloin (½ lb of meat per person)
    10 thin coin-slices of fresh ginger

    For Pork:
    Massage marinade into the meat by hand. Add slices of fresh ginger. Marinate for a minimum of 30 – 60 minutes.

    Cover grill with aluminum foil (with no holes or slits cut in it!), then set the heat to “High” and let it heat up really well.

    Place meat flat on the grill- make sure not to layer meat. Just leave the ginger slices with the grilling meat.

    Cover and grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn meat over, and cook for 5 more minutes until brown.

    Wrap a small portion tightly in a lettuce leaf and stuff the whole thing in yer mouth! Serve with Kim chi and jasmine rice on the side.

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