All week I'd been working myself up for Korean, which brought me to Cutlet House, a new restaurant in the remains of what was once I-Noodle. Cutlet House specializes in Korean cutlets, serving them in pork, beef, chicken and fish versions.
These thin breaded cutlets, known in Korea as Donkasseu, are the Korean version of Tonkatsu, which is the Japanese version of schnitzel. Lost in translation? Me too. Unfortunately, the best way I can describe Cutlet House's Donkasseu is with a quintessentially Canadian word : meh.
Served with suspicious speed, my pork was dark-edged and chewy enough to taste like it'd been waiting for me for quite a while. Smothered in an overripe fruit sauce and plated with rice, potato and fresh green salad, the Donkasseu left me underwhelmed.
In fact, the most interesting thing I have to say about the whole experience is that writing about it just taught me that underwhelmed is actually a word. For the last 16 years I've assumed Sloan's lexicography was right, believing that people only used it as breezy reference to their 1992 hit, Underwhelmed:
She was underwhelmed if that's a word,
I know it's not 'cause I looked it up.
I will say this though - Cutlet House is the kind of place I really want to like. My server was so friendly I feel guilty I didn't like the food. So I'll throw this one out: the salad was excellent. And, they have a pretty good selection of Korean-style Chinese food and a nice, clean dining room.
If I had ordered this dish in a hurry, I'd be pleased with the quick service, and rapid delivery of my massive slab of pork. That said, next time I'm in this hood and looking for lunch, I'm going to check out another place - like The Grill Pit, which is just a stone's throw away. Oh, and after that, I'm going to head over to one of these places , and maybe see about a new dictionary, too.