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Restaurants & Bars 7

African in PDX and New Seoul Garden extra (sort of long)

Victoria | May 13, 200507:14 PM

Hi All, wondering if anyone knows of an African restaurant (west, east, southern, no matter) that isn't Ethiopian in Portland? I went to Baobab years ago, but it no longer exists. I would like to try the cuisine again, but am not sure what region of Africa Baobab based it's cuisine from.

Also, recently went to New Seoul Garden on Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy for Korean. I really miss the cuisine (I'm Korean and my Mom is the most amazing cook ever.) It was an interesting experience. We got the bulgogi (marinated rib eye), marinated chicken, the mixed veggie plate for roasting and the soon dubu jige (soft tofu and seafood in a spicy broth). The first thing I noticed was that the grills are gas. Back home in Philly, the restaurants my family went to used charcoal grills, the flavor is definitely affected and I've grown up with charcoal. To any who have watched King of the Hill, Hank would kill me then cook me in his propane grill. The marinade was pretty basic, soy sauce, sugar, but mysteriously lacking in the physical presence of crushed garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and green onions, it is possible that they ran the marinade through a sieve? It still wasn't bad at all and satisfied my craving for a large mound of beef cooked at my leisure, but I think the marinade could have had a bit more presence. I like garlic and ginger and like to be inundated with it in korean marinades. The chicken was served on the same platter as the beef in the same marinade. I've never had chicken in a korean restaurant, but it was also satisfying and worked better with the marinade in my opinion. The chicken was made up of leg and thigh meat, which I thought very good for grilling. It's richer and more moist. I would nix the mixed veggie platter. It was quartered white button mushrooms, large slices of white onion, sweet potato and regular idahos or maybe they were Yukons, they looked fairly waxy. But they were not marinated at all. Not even brushed with sesame oil or even any kind of oil. The tofu stew was spicy and seafoody, and since it is my favorite korean dish, I was happiest eating this and sort of refused to share it with anyone. The tofu was silky, though I suspect it was bought through an American distributer. My Mom seriously used to get tofu in unmarked containers from the Korean grocer. I don't know if they made it on the premises or what not, but it is fantastic and has an interesting tang to it, not unlike a very mild cheese. Finally, the kimchee bar is really kind of a mix of kimchee and ponchon. I wish there were more types of kimchee as they were missing the classic napa cabbage and daikon varieties. I would like to try Koreana next and see if they have a wider variety of kimchees and the more exotic kind like raw clams in hot sauce. Anyway, I recommend New Seoul if you want that Korean bbq experience. I will have to go back and try the naemyungs (vermicelli rice noodle dishes that'll make your nose light up!) and the bibam baps and squid dishes!

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