When NongBu Korean Eatery opened its doors along 104th Street last year, the unassuming establishment took many by surprise. Where diners in the city are now accustomed to traditional Korean dishes, NongBu is doing for Korean cuisine in Edmonton what Izakaya Tomo once did for Japanese – it’s updating our understanding of what Korean food is.
When going for Korean food, diners often expect classics like bulgogi or bibimbap. But the short-and-sweet menu of NongBu features the modern street food of Korea today. Sure, your meals will undoubtedly include a selection of familiar sides such as kimchi, spicy daikon cubes and rice, but the mains are where diners are treated to something new and delightful. The seafood Pa-Jeon (think seafood pancake) is like a green onion cake stuffed so full of shrimp and squid, it’s practically a meal unto itself. The Bo Ssam are lettuce wraps, full of sweet roast pork and titillating hot sauce assembled as one pleases.
And be sure to try the DdukBboKki. These novel rice cakes are offered three ways: in a spicy sauce, in a sweet and savoury sauce, or fried and crispy. –Cory Haller