Tofu Village- House of Soon Tofu is buried in a strip of similar Korean restaurants on Bloor between Bathurst and Christie, and specializes in (you guessed it) soon tofu soup. Spurred on by a friend that it was one of the best bowls of the stuff in Koreatown, I had to pay a visit. The portion sizes are generous and the prices are fair, but I'm not sure I would choose it again over the other options in the same vicinity.
We chose a combination of soon tofu and mixed vegetables with rice (Dol Sot Bibimbap) for $14.95. The soup was the perfect amount of spicy (well, at least for me), and the tofu was light and creamy. It came piping hot (still boiling, actually) to the table and cracking the raw egg into the broth made it even richer.
For someone who loves to try little tastes of everything, one of the coolest things about the soup is that it comes with lots of (complimentary) side dishes. Extra tofu with crunchy broccoli, slightly sweet potatoes, sesame oil-scented bean sprouts, and spicy potent kimchi were all delicious additions and fun to mix and match in the soup as well as the rice bowl.
The mixed vegetables with rice (Dol Sot Bibimbap) came in a sizzling stone pot and contained carrot, zucchini, shaved radish, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, broccoli, tofu and a raw egg. The crispness of the carrots, zucchini and bean sprouts were a great offset of texture to the mushrooms and tofu. As my dining companion noted, perhaps the best part of the dish is the rice at the bottom that gets the most heat and therefore crisps up and is a delicious crunchy surprise!
We also ordered the seafood pancakes ($8.95), which contained shrimp, squid, potatoes, green onion and carrots. These were extremely greasy, and it was difficult to eat much of the dish.
The fried pork dumplings ($6.95), on the other hand, were light, crispy and not at all greasy. The filling of minced pork and onions was just the right consistency — not too watery and not too dry.
We went for lunch and while there was a steady stream of customers, it wasn't overly busy or loud. They're open until 10:30 p.m. every night so I'm sure it gets a bit more bustling later on. The alcohol options here are limited — they offer a small selection of beer, soju and Korean rice wine. The prices seem to be on par with other nearby Korean restaurants as are the generous portion sizes (we split everything and there was still plenty leftover), but I don't think it's fair to characterize Tofu Village as a standout. The soup is good, yes — but not more so than other places in the neighbourhood.
Photos by Denise McMullin