If I have learned anything over the pandemic it is this – Korean dramas (Kdramas), through their strong storytelling, delightful visuals, strong performances and (mostly) happy endings, have filled voids and kept numerous Indians company as they navigated months of uncertainty and alone-ness. They introduced us to their culture – both historical and modern, family values, fashion, and beauty trends and of course their food. Kdramas are ambassadors for enticing us with slurps of deliciousness as the characters dig into bowls full of yumminess – food seems to be an important character in nearly every kdrama.
2020 was the perfect time to take advantage of this gaining popularity of all things Korean and Kaviraj Thadani did just that when he opened Seoulmate, a Korean delivery/takeaway kitchen in South Mumbai.
I waited until I found someone who I knew would either enjoyed Korean food or was willing to try the cuisine with me and explore familiar dishes I have only watched others eat like bibimbap, jajangmyeon, bulgogi and of course the famous Korean barbecue.
The menu may not have stews and salads to offer, but what they do well is, balance the menu with non-vegetarian (mostly chicken or pork) and vegetarian options so there is something for everyone which is wonderful.
Setting the mood for my at-home picnic was songs from various Kdrama OSTs playing while we sat on the floor with the center table being the focus of our attention as each of the takeaway disposable boxes opened to reveal the deliciousness within.
Dak Gang Jeong (Korean Fried Chicken): These are small balls of crunchy fried boneless chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and sesame seeds. The more I think of this dish, the more I want to re-order it.
Kimchi Mandu (a Korean dumpling): The menu identified these pan fried dumplings as ‘spicy’ (2 green chilli markers) so the of course I armed myself with a glass of water just in case. This dish was a bit of a disappointment in terms of the spice level that I had expected. Kimchi according to what I know can be wickedly sour and crazy spicy – this was neither.
Chicken Mandu (a Korean dumpling): Now with no expectation of this being spicy, my palate received flavours exactly as I was expecting them. The filling was chicken mixed with glass noodles with what I believe to have been a soy based dipping sauce. I think I would have preferred a spicy dipping sauce. (While ordering I had asked for a spicy sauce, but I wasn’t too impressed with the taste).
Chicken Spam in Kimchi Fried Rice: This rice dish was flavourful and had a tang from the kimchi. It had a good mix of slightly sweet and sour. I had read someplace that kimchi fried rice had a lot of garlic, but I could not taste the garlic (I am not sure if my expectation was realistic). It came topped with a fried egg. I shared the leftovers of this with my mom, and she absolutely loved it. In Korean households this can be categorized as comfort food and is popular as its usually made with left over rice with Kimchi mixed in.
Would I order again from Seoulmate? I now know more friends who want to explore this cuisine, and I still have quite a long list of what I still must try from the Seoulmate menu and with the thought of that fried chicken irresistibly stuck in my mind, I would have to say a resounding, YES.
Location: Seoulmate, Meherabad Building, 2A, Breach Candy, Mumbai Telephone: +91 9820415720/ +919820559198 Delivery and Takeaway ONLY 11AM – 2:30PM and 6PM – 9:30PM (Tuesday to Sunday)
NOTE: I ordered and ate from SEOUL MATE on my OWN time and money. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.