More Than Just Tofu Soup

It is hard to keep up with the ever changing restaurant scene in Richmond.  Even when a restaurant catches my eye, I don’t have a chance to try it before it goes under.  House of Tofu Soup had been on my list for several months before I went to try it.  From the exterior, can be hard to know what to expect because the windows are opaque, and there aren’t any menus posted.

House of Tofu Soup

I knew to some degree that House of Tofu Soup was going to be worth while because they used to have a location which I frequented on Broadway near Fraser.  Back then, it was a little hole in the wall, obviously a family business, but the food was good.

When I walked through the door at their new Richmond location, I was surprised by how large and how full the restaurant was.  The servers were extremely busy, so it took a few minutes to be seated.  Looking over the menu, I immediately noticed that it had been streamlined; only offering a small number of dishes with protein variations.

Full House (of Tofu Soup)

My friend and I decided to share a combination meal, which was fairly inexpensive.  The meal included their namesake soup, and a bulgoghi.  Along with our meal came the usual banchan side dishes, which included kimchi (of course), mashed potatoes, seaweed, and (what I think was) pickled daikon.

Pickled Daikon (Top Left), Mashed Potato, Seaweed, Kimchi, Raw Egg, Mystery Sauce (Bottom Right)

The kimchi’s marinades had reached every cabbage molecule.  Each leaf was perfectly cut into bit size pieces, so my teeth and chopsticks didn’t have to play tug-o-war like they sometimes do with kimchi.

The potatoes tasted like a potato salad, except in mashed form with sweet corn kernels speckled throughout.  At first, I didn’t like the seaweed because it tasted a bit fishy, but I grew to like the limp slimy texture and I ended up getting a refill.  I can’t remember what the pickled daikon tasted like because I only had one piece, but I know I didn’t like it.  I went the rest of the meal without trying it again.

It took a little longer than I would’ve liked for the meal to come, but they were extremely busy.  I was very patient in waiting since I had the banchan to keep my mouth busy.  Before the main attraction arrived, we were brought a strange yellow sauce and a raw egg.  The sauce was glossy, and looked like it was made with egg yolks.  I knew the raw egg was for the soup, so I deducted that the sauce was for the bulgoghi.

Rice served in a Dolsot

The thing I always remembered about House of Tofu soup was the unusual way they served their rice.  On this occasion, it was the same as before.  The rice was brought to the table in a dolsot stone pot with a wooden lid.  Once our server emptied the rice it contained into a steel bowl, and the rice that was stuck to the dolsot was soaked in tea.  Once the rice softened I ate it like a soup, and it was be a bit bland, like usual.  But there was something so enjoyable about the fragrance that the tea lent the rice.  This was always the highlight of my visit to the restaurant, and still is.

Tea Soaked Rice

Beef Bulgoghi

When we finally got our soup and beef, they came to the table steaming upon their stone wares.  I cracked the egg into the fiery orange soup, and gave it a stir.  I can’t remember what the soup at their previous location tasted like, but I loved the smooth silky texture of the soft tofu that was in the bowl before me.  The broth was very potent, and there were plenty of small prawns providing flavour.

Tofu Soup with Seafood

I am not entirely sure if I ate it correctly, but dipping the beef bulgoghi into the mystery sauce did compliment the tender beef.  I didn’t taste any yolk in the sauce, and it was slightly sweet.  I still think it was egg yolks in the sauce, but I guess I won’t know for sure unless I ask someone.

By the time we finished our meal, the restaurant cleared out and was only half full.  I guess we got there at the peak of the dinner rush.  The new House of Tofu soup seems to have found their key to success, but I  will always remember the small, quiet, neighborhood restaurant with the exceptional food.

House of Tofu Soup on Urbanspoon


Tagged: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: