Savory “Seoul Garden” Satisfies Students’ Appetites

By: Stephanie Montes De Oca – Contributing Writer

When people ask what type of Asian cuisine you have eaten, most answer Japanese, Thai, and/or Chinese. Of course, these aren’t usually authentic dishes, nor are they all the continent has to offer. Most people are unaware of the many restaurants that offer not only the Pan-Asian cuisine they are accustomed to, but serve more traditional dishes as well. Luckily, you don’t have to travel to faraway places to immerse yourself in something new – many of these can be found right here in Miami.

Most of us have our favorite sushi spot or Chinese buffet, but when it comes to Korean cuisine, we draw a blank. In fact, most of us aren’t even familiar with Korean food at all, but for those with a taste for dynamic flavors and cultural experiences, there’s Seoul Garden located not far from main campus.    The owners and cooks at Seoul Garden are both Korean and always present – you’re likely to meet them within your first few visits. They are extremely friendly and like to make sure you are happy with the service and food provided – which you will be because the food is absolutely delicious.

Barbecue is a standard part of the culture in Korea, where it is typical to grill your meat on a charcoal grill or one installed in the table. The portions of the dishes are huge and satisfying and are meant to be shared. After grilling your meat in a savory sauce, you place it on fresh lettuce with garlic, soy bean paste, rice, jalapeños and sometimes kimchi, a typical Korean side dish made from spicy pickled cabbage. Koreans typically wrap all of this up and stuff the whole thing in their mouth, but if you can’t, that’s fine – just eat it in bites and savor the taste.

Kenneth Calona, a junior majoring in Hospitality Management at FIU, said he found out about Seoul Garden because of his friend a few years ago. He ordered galbee, Korean style ribs, and said it is his favorite Korean dish, along with bulgogi, marinated beef, and ddeokbokki, spicy rice cake. He recommends this place to everyone, and rates the food a ten out of ten.

Emmanuel Lopez, a junior majoring in Public Relations at FIU, said he heard about the restaurant from a friend as well and had spotted the restaurant while driving around the area. He ordered chicken fried rice, even though he wanted to order samgyeopsal, Korean style bacon, but that dish is a bit on the pricy side. The rice ended up being delicious though. His favorite Korean dish  is galbi, which are Korean style short ribs. He rated Seoul Garden eight out of ten.

Spicy food lovers should try ddeokbokki, and dwegi bulgogi, spicy barbecue pork.Also highly recommend is galbi bulgogi, or marinated beef, for meat lovers. The kitchen will provide you with side dishes that pair well with what you order, as well as some great kimchi.

So if you’re looking to either expand your palate, or find that Korean spot you’ve been hunting for, Seoul Garden may just be the place for you.

Seoul Garden is located at 8228 W Flagler St

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