Korean Food for the Rest of Us

Bay Area foodie reviews Myung Dong Tofu Cabin

By MARIAM HOSSEINI
|  Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Korean Food for the Rest of Us

Banchan at Myung Dong Tofu Cabin.

At any given time, I’m probably craving Korean food. It’s just one of those cuisines that I can’t get enough of.

Unfortunately, Korean food is hard to come by if you happen to be outside of the East Bay or San Francisco. All of my favorite Korean restaurants are in Oakland, but when I recently found myself in San Mateo with an insatiable craving for Korean food, I decided to try Myung Dong Tofu Cabin.

Myung Dong Tofu Cabin is located in one of San Mateo’s countless strip malls, and as the name suggests, they excel at tofu soup and stew.

Upon being seated, I was brought a tray of banchan, the delicious cold and crunchy small dishes of food that are served with every Korean meal.

Most restaurants bring at least ten plates of banchan, but here, I was served seven. That’s okay though, because I needed to save room for my tofu stew.

Next came my cauldron of hae mool soon doo boo, or seafood tofu stew.

As is standard, I cracked a raw egg into the bubbling vat of stew and gave it a good stir. It’s a good thing I added the egg too, because the stew would have probably been too spicy for me to bear without it. Eaten with a bowl of purple rice, this spicy, briny dish is the ultimate cold weather comfort food.

The prices at Myung Dong Tofu Cabin are very reasonable and the service is friendly. And while they really do excel at their tofu stews, I’ve made the mistake of ordering dishes like bulgogi here and was disappointed as the beef was dry and tough. Stick to what they do well though, and you’ll walk out more than satisfied.

Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years.  She blogs regularly at yogurtsoda.com.
 

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