April 30, 2013
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.
In a world of American-Asian food, it’s easy to get something sub par. But, Dolsot Korean Cuisine definitely has an authentic feel.
The recently opened restaurant is small and quiet. There was only one other family there that night, so we had the attention of both a waiter and waitress who were very observant of our needs.
Upon arrival, we were quickly seated and a young, Korean gentleman took the time to explain the menu. This was necessary, because 90 percent of the menu is in Korean, with little explanation in English.
There were appetizers, soups and main dishes, and we played it safe and went with chicken teriyaki and an appetizer. The appetizer, gogi mandu, was a steamed dumpling with pork inside. It came with a dipping sauce reminiscent of soy sauce, and was very good, although the dumpling was a little doughy.
The chicken teriyaki was nothing like fast food chicken teriyaki. It arrived in a thick, hot, stone bowl with a raw egg in the middle. There was rice on the bottom along with vegetables and chicken. Our waiter said it would continue cooking, so we stirred the egg in, and it did just that. The chicken was cooked when it arrived, and the bowl kept the meal warm the entirety of our visit.
The entrée was a little pricier ($15) but there was so much of it that we took enough home for a second meal each. There wasn’t a lot of chicken, which was a little disappointing, but there was plenty of rice, and it wasn’t spicy, which is important to someone who doesn’t like a lot of spice.
To my surprise, we were also served something called banchan, little dishes of food along with our meal. Our waiter explained what everything was, and said all the vegetables used are fresh and local; they definitely won points for sustainability.
We were also served a simple soup that wasn’t anything extraordinary, but was good nonetheless. The banchan consisted of cold broccoli, a very small salad with a dressing that really packs a punch, kimchi (fermented cabbage seasoned with chili peppers and salt) and bean sprouts. The broccoli was nothing special and the salad dressing was too spicy for me, though my dining partner has tougher taste buds and enjoyed it. The cabbage was bland but decent, especially for someone who doesn’t like cabbage, and the bean sprouts were ordinary.
Between the appetizer at $8 and the dinner at $15 it may not seem like a budget-friendly place to eat, but with the amount of food served, it is a good bargain.
As we were leaving, our waiter said Korean food is typically very spicy, but I was glad to know there were milder options on the menu.
Although I could have easily made the chicken teriyaki myself at home, the dumplings were worth the trip. The banchan was unique and the soup good. It is worth another visit just to try something different. If you’re looking for a relaxed evening in a casual restaurant when you don’t want to cook, Dolsot is a great choice.
If you go
Dolsot Korean Cuisine
-317 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
-11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday
-Appetizers: $6.95 to $14.95; soups: $8.95 to $12.95; entrées: $7.95 to $30